Author Archive

Emerging Investigator Series: Wei Liu

Dr. Wei Liu received her PhD in Environmental Science from the Aix-Marseille University in 2009. From 2010 to 2017, She held several research positions at European Center for Research and Education in Environmental Geoscience (CEREGE) and French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). In 2017, she joined the University of Geneva, department F.-A Forel for environmental and aquatic sciences as senior fellow in research and teaching. Dr. Liu’s research is focused on the mechanism of interaction at nano-bio interface and the biological effects of nanomaterials at molecular, cellular and organism scale.

Read Wei’s Emerging Investigator Series article “Emerging investigator series: Metal nanoparticles in the freshwater: transformation, bioavailability and effects on invertebrates” and read more about her in the interview below:

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on Metal nanoparticles in the freshwater: transformation, bioavailability and effects on invertebrates. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

My first article focused on the cellular bioenergetics and the geno-toxicity of metallic pollutants, an extension from my graduate work. After my PhD, I did research in the field of environmental nanoscience at CEREGE, CEA and Univ. Geneva.  I have involved in various topic including: (i) characterization of environmental fate and distribution of natural and manufactured nanomaterials; (ii) mechanistic understanding of biomolecule/nanoparticles interaction; (iii) (eco)toxicology impact of nanoscale pollutants at molecular, cellular and organism scale.

Most recently, I focus on the bioavailability and molecular ecotoxicology of nanoparticles including nanoplastics to aquatic invertebrates with the aim of proposing AOP for freshwater gastropods. So consequently, in this Emerging Investigator Series we summarise and meta-analyse the published data regarding the metallic nanoparticle’s transformation in freshwater and toxicological effects in invertebrates. We come up with an overview highlighting the currently research gaps and subsequently, the recommendations for future researches.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

I am particularly interested in applying multidisciplinary bio-analytic approaches that combine biology, toxicology, physical-chemistry, biophysics and crystal-chemistry to better understand and explore the nature of material/living interactions.

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

We need to observe and understand whether lower doses, given within realistic environmental concentration or sub lethal dose of nanoparticles, affect the biochemical processes of aquatic organisms, and we particularly focus on simulating whether they develop early stress or not, and if yes, how.

What do you find most challenging about your research?

Nanomaterials are extremely sensitive to the surrounding environment. The most challenging and exciting aspect is to work on long-term and low-dose realistic environmental exposure scenarios to nanomaterials. It is also highly critical to figure out the key factors affecting the nanomaterials transformation in biofluids.

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I will attend the SETAC Europe 32nd Annual Meeting. I am planning to attend the International Conference on the Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials.

How do you spend your spare time?

I enjoy reading and outdoor activities like hiking and diving.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

Diving instructor in tropical waters.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Follow the topic that you find most curious about, and then let this curiosity inspire your choice of studies and research.

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Emerging Investigator Series: Yuxiong Huang

Yuxiong Huang is an Associate Professor of environmental science and technology at Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University. Dr. Huang is an interdisciplinary environmental scientist, with expertise in pollution control and environmental fate and transport, exposure and risk assessment. He received a B.S. degree in 2011 from the Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University; and Ph.D. degree in 2015 from Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara. Before joining Tsinghua University, he was an associate specialist at the University of California’s Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology. Dr. Huang currently leads a research group focusing on sustainable nanotechnology, addressing both the applications and implications of engineered nanomaterials.

Read Yuxiong’s Emerging Investigator Series article “Emerging investigator series: Hetero-phase junction 1T/2H-MoS2 nanosheets decorated by FeOOH nanoparticles for enhanced visible light photo-Fenton degradation of antibiotic” and read more about him in the interview below:

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on Hetero-phase junction 1T/2H-MoS2 nanosheets decorated by FeOOH nanoparticles for enhanced visible light photo-Fenton degradation of antibiotic. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

I’ve been working on environmental nanotechnology since 2011. My first article was to develop magnetic nanoparticle adsorbents to effectively remove emerging contaminants, published in 2012. After that, I rationally designed a series of novel magnetic-core composite nanoparticle sorbents for organic and metal contaminants remediation in aquatic systems. Recently, our group worked on photocatalysis-based advanced oxidation processes using solar energy to efficiently degrade the persistent organic pollutant, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2020, 7 (8), 2229–2239, etc.). And the present work, we have constructed a hetero-phase junction with metallic 1T and semiconductive 2H MoS2 for antibiotic contaminant photo-Fenton catalytic degradation. Our research is always driven by the urgent technical demand for the effective control of emerging contaminants, and we always follow a rational design pattern to provide “nano” solutions.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

We have a great team working together on Environmental Nanotechnology at Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University. It’s joyful and inspiring to grow up with our next generation of young environmental scientists.

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

While many different nanomaterials-based solutions have been reported for environmental remediation, most of them stunk at the benchmark scale. How to apply the engineering nanomaterials for wastewater treatment in a pilot or full-scale plant? It’s a critical question to be answered.

What do you find most challenging about your research?

The most challenging part of our research is how to upgrade the batch study into a continuous reaction, for example, the reactor design. We have made some progress on it so far.

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

We will attend the ACS Meeting and Sustainable Nanotechnology Conference.

How do you spend your spare time?

I love hiking and snowboarding.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

Probably Chemical Engineer.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Do good time management, particularly a good balance between research, teaching, public service and life.

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Read our collection of papers on UN SDG 6: Clean water & sanitation

Urgent action is needed to combat the climate emergency and associated impacts – and across the world, our community are collaborating to address UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We have put together a collection of leading content on clean water and sanitation from across our energy and environmental science journals. This diverse collection features work on wastewater treatment and disinfection, water resource recovery and monitoring water quality – vital technologies that will help us to improve access to sustainable water for all and address SDG 6.

Read on to discover this exciting collection, featuring:

Opportunities for nanotechnology to enhance electrochemical treatment of pollutants in potable water and industrial wastewater – a perspective by Paul Westerhoff et al.

The potential contribution of urine source separation to the SDG agenda – a review of the progress so far and future development options by Tove A. Larsen et al.

A case study on tap water quality in large buildings recommissioned after extended closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic by Maryam Salehi et al.

A flexible copper sulfide composite membrane with tunable plasmonic resonance absorption for near-infrared light-driven seawater desalination by Zhenmin Xu, Shiping Yang, Zhenfeng Bian et al.

Join us in tackling the climate crisis and contribute to our cross-journal collection showcasing research advancing UN SDGs

The principles of the UN SDGs align closely with our own – to help the chemical science community make the world a better place. So that we can achieve this, we are curating a cross-journal collection across our energy and environmental science journals.

This collection will cover studies which advance our understanding of the climate situation, and present new technologies & innovations to combat climate change – inclusive of environmental engineering, materials science, energy science disciplines and beyond.

We invite you to publish your next paper in this collection – quote ‘XXSDG0622’ when submitting your manuscript. You can put your trust in both our rigorous peer review process and fast times to publication – which are less than 9 weeks after submission across all our journals.

If you have some exciting results to publish on these topics, we would be delighted to hear from you – we are also very happy to guide you on which RSC journal would be the most appropriate for your paper.

Submit your manuscript to the collection

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Emerging Investigator Series: Ming Xu

Ming Xu received his B.S. and Ph.D. degree from Xiamen University in 2006 and 2011. In 2011-2013, he was a postdoc at l’Équipe de Chimie Analytique Bio-inorganique (LCABIE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in France. In 2014, he joined the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences (RCEES), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and became a professor since 2021. His main research interests are the health risks and toxicological mechanisms of heavy metals / nanoparticles. He has (co)authored around 50 peer-reviewed papers.

Read Ming’s Emerging Investigator Series article “Emerging investigator series: Enhanced peroxidase-like activity and improved antibacterial performance of palladium nanosheet by alginate-corona” and read more about him in the interview below:

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on “how ecological macromolecules affect the physicochemical properties and biological effects of engineered nanomaterials”. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

In 2010, I published the first article about the ecological risk of engineered nanomaterials, focusing on the cytotoxicity of CdTe-based nanoparticles on a diatom, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, during my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Qiuquan Wang in Xiamen University. Since then, I have spent many years working on the mechanism of nano-bio interface interactions and nanomaterials’ biological effects. Macromolecular corona, as we know it now, may change the original identify of nanoparticle and modify its fate in an environmental or biological scenario. However, I note that there were only a few studies focusing on the possible influence of ecological macromolecules on the antibacterial performance of nanomaterials, rarely elaborating the underlying mechanism. It is of interest that our preliminary data showed alginate could significantly enhance the peroxidase-like activity of Pd nanosheet. So, in this Emerging Investigator Series paper, we present why alginate affect the intrinsic enzyme mimetic activity of Pd nanosheet and what’s the underlying mechanism of its antibacterial activity.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

Currently, I’m most excited that we have made some preliminary progress in tracing the biological fate of nanoparticles in vivo, and it’s very important for the understanding the benefits or risks of nanomaterials on environmental and health aspects.

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

To provide scientific basis for better use of nanomaterials in environmental and health issues, it’s important to answer how nanomaterials interact with cells at the nano-bio interface and transform within cells, what’s the primary molecular target and underlying regulation pathway of nano-bio effects, and whether nanomaterials will lead to ecotoxicological and health risks. I think there remain many knowledge gaps that are necessary to be filled in the future.

What do you find most challenging about your research?

Development of specialized nanomaterials and in situ techniques for the analysis of nano-bio interactions from molecular to nanoscale level.

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I plan to attend the 11th National Conference on Environmental Chemistry in China this year, and 8th International Symposium on Metallomics in 2022.

How do you spend your spare time?

I spent most of my spare time with my family in recent years. When have free time, I’m fond of reading, hiking, running, as well as visiting places of historic interest.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

I guess I would be a science fiction writer. In my childhood, I enjoyed very much reading science fiction books and magazines. Now when there’s free time, I still like to watch movies and novels on this subject.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Never stop learning, and never stop failing.

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Emerging Investigator Series: Lingxiangyu Li

Professor Lingxiangyu Li is currently an associate professor in the School of Environment, Hangzhou Institute for Advanced Study, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Technical University of Munich, Germany in 2013. His research focuses on analytical, fate, and health risk of emerging pollutants particularly nanomaterials in the environment toward nanosafety assessment.

Read Lingxiangyu ’s Emerging Investigator Series article “Emerging investigator series: Chemical transformation of silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles in the simulated human tear fluids: Influence of biocorona” and read more about him in the interview below:

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on Chemical transformation of silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles in the simulated human tear fluids: Influence of biocorona. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

Since I began doing PhD study in Germany 11 years ago, I did research on fate, transfromation and environmental risks of engineered nanomaterials. In other words, findings from the first article to this paper all belong to my research interest that fate, transformation and environmental risks of nanomaterials.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

Definitely, the analytical method development for showing the real concentrations of engineered nanomaterials like Ag-NPs through wastewater treatment plants to environmental water was one of my best work, which makes me very excited. Since I develop robust methods and then applied this method to illustrate environmental issues.

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

First, what is the real concentration of engineered nanomaterials in the environment. Second, are nanoparticles at environmetally revelant concentrations a threat to organisms including human?

What do you find most challenging about your research?

The most challenging issue is speciation analysis of nanomaterials in the environmental and biological matrices.

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

The 11st National Conference on Environmental Chemistry in city of Harbin in December 2021

How do you spend your spare time?

Playing Football and reading history books.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

Being a Military Journalist was my dream during my child period.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Do more thinking by yourself, and do more discussion with others.

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Latest HOT, Review and Open Access content from Environmental Science: Nano

We are delighted to share with you a hand-picked selection of papers recently published in Environmental Science: Nano.

HOT papers – as recommended by our Editors & Reviewers

Polystyrene nano- and microplastic accumulation at Arabidopsis and wheat root cap cells, but no evidence for uptake into roots
Stephen E. Taylor et al

Natural organic matter facilitates formation and microbial methylation of mercury selenide nanoparticles
Qing Chang et al

Carbon-based ionic liquid gels: alternative adsorbents for pharmaceutically active compounds in wastewater
Carla Rizzo et al

Read more HOT papers at rsc.li/esnano-hot

Reviews – timely overviews of key topics in environmental nanoscience

Metal nanoparticles in the air: state of the art and future perspectives
Anna Rabajczyk et al

Doing nano-enabled water treatment right: sustainability considerations from design and research through development and implementation
M. Falinski et al

Perspectives on palladium-based nanomaterials: green synthesis, ecotoxicity, and risk assessment
Songhao Luo et al

Read more Reviews at rsc.li/esnano-reviews

Open Access – read for free!

Environmental and health risks of nanorobots: an early review
Rickard Arvidsson and Steffen Foss Hansen

Fluorescent plastic nanoparticles to track their interaction and fate in physiological environments
Jessica Caldwell et al

Environmental context determines the impact of titanium oxide and silver nanoparticles on the functioning of intertidal microalgal biofilms
Claire Passarelli et al

Read more Open Access content at rsc.li/esnano-oa

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We hope you enjoy reading these papers, and we welcome your future submissions to the journal.

With best wishes,

Peter & Neil

Peter Vikesland Neil Scriven
Editor-in-Chief Executive Editor
Environmental Science: Nano Environmental Science: Nano
Virginia Tech, USA Royal Society of Chemistry

Submit to Environmental Science: Nano

About Environmental Science: Nano
Led by Editor-in-Chief Peter Vikesland (Virginia Tech), Environmental Science: Nano is the premier journal dedicated to nano aspects of environmental science and sustainability. The journal has an Impact Factor of 7.638* and is published on a not-for-profit basis by the Royal Society of Chemistry; as a learned society and professional body, the RSC is committed to supporting the global scientific community by re-investing all surplus into charitable activities such as education, outreach, and science policy. More details about the journal and our scope can be found on our website: rsc.li/esnano

Sign up for alerts     Latest Issue     Emerging Investigators      Themed Collections

 

 

 

 

Meet the team

 

* 2019 Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics, 2020)

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Find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal including our Open Access options

 Environmental Science: Nano is complemented by our sister journals, Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts and Environmental Science: Atmospheres; find out more about the these journals at rsc.li/envsci

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Emerging Investigators – the latest work from rising stars in Environmental Science

We are delighted to share with you a selection of high-impact papers by Emerging Investigators in the field of environmental science and engineering. These papers, published across Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, Environmental Science: Nano, and Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, showcase the breadth of exciting research being conducted by rising stars in our field.

The latest work from rising stars of environmental science

Emerging investigator series: bacteriophages as nano engineering tools for quality monitoring and pathogen detection in water and wastewater
Zeinab Hosseinidoust et al

Emerging investigator series: carbon electrodes are effective for the detection and reduction of hexavalent chromium in water
Noémie Elgrishi et al [OPEN ACCESS]

Emerging investigator series: quantifying silver nanoparticle aggregation kinetics in real-time using particle impact voltammetry coupled with UV-vis spectroscopy
Kathryn R. Riley et al

Emerging investigator series: air conditioning filters as a sampler for semi-volatile organic compounds in indoor and near-building air
Lisa Melymuk et al

Emerging investigator series: activated sludge upon antibiotic shock loading: mechanistic description of functional stability and microbial community dynamics
Seungdae Oh and Donggeon Choi

Emerging investigator series: heterogeneous OH oxidation of primary brown carbon aerosol: effects of relative humidity and volatility
Elijah G. Schnitzler et al

Emerging investigator series: onsite recycling of saline–alkaline soil washing water by forward osmosis: techno-economic evaluation and implication
Wenhai Luo et al

Emerging investigator series: molecular mechanisms of plant salinity stress tolerance improvement by seed priming with cerium oxide nanoparticles
Juan Pablo Giraldo et al

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The RSC’s Emerging Investigator Series provides a unique platform for early-career environmental scientists & engineers to showcase their best work to a broad audience. Contact us to apply for consideration in this Series. To be eligible, you will need to have completed your PhD (or equivalent degree) within the last 10 years†, have an independent career and appear as corresponding author on the manuscript.

Across the journals, the Emerging Investigator Series is curated by our Series Editors; David Cwiertny, Long Nghiem, Ligy Philip, Delphine Farmer, Lenny Winkel, Guang-Guo Ying and Peter Vikesland.

Read more of our Emerging Investigator Series papers using the links below.

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts Emerging Investigator Series

Environmental Science: Nano Emerging Investigator Series

Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology Emerging Investigator Series

Also, read the latest interviews with our Emerging Investigators to find out more about their work and the important research challenges that they are tackling.

We hope you enjoy reading these papers from future leaders in the field of environmental science.

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Nanosafety 2020 – Environmental Science: Nano Prize Winners


Environmental Science: Nano
was delighted to sponsor poster prizes at the Nanosafety 2020 virtual conference, which took place online from the 5th – 7th October 2020.

The ES: Nano Poster Prize was awarded to Steffen Gottschling (Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien) for his work on ‘Differences in experts’ and laypersons’ sourcing when reading about a scientific conflict in nanosafety: an eye-tracking study’.

“The poster presented results from an eye-tracking study comparing the use of source information between laypersons and experts when confronted with a scientific conflict in nanosafety,” says Steffen. “The results of the study suggest that experts show a higher level of attention to and use of source information compared to laypersons. Therefore, we argue that science communication should provide laypersons with easily accessible source information to encourage its use on a regular basis and science education should convey source evaluation as an important aspect of science literacy.”

The second place prize was awarded to Tim Spannbrucker (Leibniz-Institut für umweltmedizinische Forschung) for his work: ‘Repetitive exposure to carbon nanoparticles induce cell cycle arrest, senescence and loss of gap junctional communication in lung epithelial cells’.

Congratulations to both Steffen and Tim!

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Latest HOT, Review and Open Access content from Environmental Science: Nano

We are delighted to share with you a hand-picked selection of papers recently published in Environmental Science: Nano.

HOT papers – as recommended by our Editors & Reviewers

The fabrication of 3D hierarchical flower-like δ-MnO2@COF nanocomposites for the efficient and ultra-fast removal of UO22+ ions from aqueous solution
Xin Zhong et al

Nanoscale observations of Fe(II)-induced ferrihydrite transformation
Odeta Qafoku et al

 Synergistic effects of lanthanide surface adhesion and photon-upconversion for enhanced near-infrared responsive photodegradation of organic contaminants in wastewater
Jiaying Wang et al

Prolonging the antibacterial activity of nanosilver-coated membranes through partial sulfidation
Ana C. Barrios et al

Read more HOT papers at rsc.li/esnano-hot

Reviews – timely overviews of key topics in environmental nanoscience

Probing the immune responses to nanoparticles across environmental species. A perspective of the EU Horizon 2020 project PANDORA
Annalisa Pinsino et al

Opportunities for nanotechnology to enhance electrochemical treatment of pollutants in potable water and industrial wastewater – a perspective
Sergi Gardia-Segura et al

Interplay between engineered nanomaterials and microbiota
Yirong Zhang et al

Read more Reviews at rsc.li/esnano-reviews

Open Access – read for free!

Mechanistic insights into toxicity pathways induced by nanomaterials in Daphnia magna from analysis of the composition of the acquired protein corona
Laura-Jayne A. Ellis and Iseult Lynch

Fragmentation of polymer nanocomposites: modulation by dry and wet weathering, fractionation, and nanomaterial filler
Richard Zepp et al

Organic matter influences transformation products of ferrihydrite exposed to sulfide
Laurel K. ThomasArrigo et al

Read more Open Access content at rsc.li/esnano-oa

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We hope you enjoy reading these papers, and we welcome your future submissions to the journal.

Submit to Environmental Science: Nano

Click here to return to the journal homepage

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Emerging Investigator Series: Andrea Hicks

Andrea Hicks is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Her work broadly focuses on the environmental impacts of emerging technologies. She completed her undergraduate studies at Michigan Technological University in Environmental Engineering, and her M.S. in Environmental Engineering at Clemson University. Dr. Hicks completed her doctoral and post-doctoral work at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Civil Engineering and at the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy. She is a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award, UW-Madison Community Based Learning Teaching Award, and the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization’s Emerging Investigator Award.

Read Andrea Hick’s Emerging Investigator Series article “Emerging investigator series: calculating size- and coating-dependent effect factors for silver nanoparticles to inform characterization factor development for usage in life cycle assessment” and read more about her in the interview below:

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on ‘Calculating size- and coating- dependent effect factors for silver nanoparticles to inform characterization factor development for usage in life cycle assessment’. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

My role in the article preparation has changed. I was a PhD student when I wrote my first article, working with my advisor Dr. Tom Theis. Whereas now I am the PhD advisor, writing this work with my student Sila Temizel-Sekeryan. Which is a different experience. In general, I have always been interested in emerging technologies, such as engineered nanomaterials. In my first article, as part of my PhD work, I was studying light emitting diodes, and their potential for energy efficiency rebound. And while the rebound effect, or Jevons’s paradox is still part of some of my work, engineered nanomaterials are another interesting emerging technology which like light emitting diodes, have the potential to influence environmental impact due to their ubiquity.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

This work is particular is really exciting. I have studied the environmental impacts of nano-scale silver in consumer products before, such as textiles, and a question that was always part of that work was how to model the environmental impacts of the nano-scale silver itself as a part of the life cycle assessment. In this work, we took some of the first steps to better understand how to incorporate the impact of the nano-silver itself into the assessment. This work would not have been possible without a great deal of work having already been done by experimentalists in order to understand the toxicity of nano-silver.

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

Speaking broadly about emerging technologies, which include engineered nanomaterials, what I think is the most important question is whether or not an advance is societally beneficial. Advances in technology have had a great benefit to society in general, but at the same time there is also an environmental cost. I think that it is critical to evaluate the environmental impacts of  new technologies and potential unintended consequences before they are broadly adopted.

What do you find most challenging about your research?

Emerging technologies are often challenging to study, because they are just that, emerging. It is often difficult to obtain enough information to model these products, either using life cycle assessment or other tools. One way to counter this is to work with other researchers who are actually developing these new technologies and products, to secure the necessary information. What is really exciting about working with people who are researching the technologies themselves allows us to use the life cycle assessment data that we generate, to refine the new technology to make it less environmentally costly.

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

2020 is turning out to be an interesting year for conferences and events, with many being cancelled or moved to fully digital formats, particularly in the United States where I live. In general, I like to attend the North American Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry annual meeting, Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization annual meeting, and the International Society for Industrial Ecology meetings. I was fortunate to be able to attend the second Pan-American Nanotechnology Conference in Brazil early this past spring, before everything shutdown. I’m also a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in our Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and in normal times am on campus.

How do you spend your spare time?

That is a particularly interesting question in 2020. Aside from doing work which I love, I am also a mother to two energetic grade school children and have wonderful husband. I like to spend my spare time with them. In spring 2020 when our school district and daycare shutdown, spare time did not really exist anymore, because I was working and teaching remotely, while supervising my children’s online learning.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

When I was younger, I thought about a lot of different careers, and my main goal was to do something where I felt I could make a difference in the world. Which I know sounds terribly idealistic. I thought for quite a while about being a journalist and writer, documenting people’s stories and bringing them to a wider audience. Or a photographer, like Dorothea Lange, who used her photos to document the human consequences of the Great Depression. Or maybe a medical doctor, making a difference in the lives of my patients. Or a sculptor, bringing art and beauty to the world. It’s actually a really hard question.. I’m lucky that I have a job I really enjoy, where I get to work on cutting edge science, teach and mentor students, and do service in the community.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

When you see the career trajectory of someone you admire, and wonder how you could ever be that good, you need to remember that they got there one step at a time. It all starts with a single step, applying for an opportunity, or writing a manuscript or defending a dissertation. They didn’t become who they are overnight, it took time. You just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and if you do that diligently you be amazed at the heights you can reach.

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