Congratulations to Newly Elected SETAC North America Board of Directors
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Congratulations to the newly elected SETAC North America Board of Directors. Their 3-year term begins 4 November.
Click the name to read bio.
Jennifer L. Bouldin
Director Ecotoxicology Research Facility, Associate Professor of Environmental Biology, Arkansas State University
I want to serve on the SETAC North America Board of Directors because my vision of interdisciplinary research is consistent with the mission and goals of SETAC. I have a strong passion for education and mentoring students and over 15 years of participation and leadership in our organization.
The interdisciplinary approach within SETAC presents strong opportunities for addressing complex environmental questions. I received my PhD in Environmental Sciences from Arkansas State University in 2004 with an emphasis in ecotoxicology and my degree revolved around interdisciplinary studies and research. The approach outlined in the SETAC mission statement facilitates problem-solving in our complex global environment. It also provides a foundation for collaboration with other global societies to address large environmental problems that cross national boundaries.
Environmental education is one of my passions and SETAC’s dedication to this undertaking opens new venues for environmental instruction. Students learning an appreciation for science at a young age is of utmost importance to our society. Building young scientists and continuing to support them through student involvement is the future of SETAC. We have a responsibility to support our sciences through education, student involvement and commitment to SETAC, and the involvement of young professionals. As Director of our NSF GK-12 program I mentored the development of graduate students to communicate their science to Middle School students and then watched as an excitement and appreciation of science developed in these young students.
I became a member of SETAC in 2000 and have since participated in each SETAC North America annual and Mid-South regional meeting. I actively served on the SETAC North America Student Activities Committee from 2002-2014 and as Treasurer (2001-2005) and President (2006-2007) of our Mid-South regional chapter and am currently serving on our regional board. I served on the SETAC North America 2009 (New Orleans) and 2013 (Nashville) planning and abstract review committees and led the committee to host our regional chapter meeting at A-State in 2006.
I team-taught Job Skills workshops for students and post-docs as part of 2011 and 2014 SETAC North America annual meetings and co-hosted a session (Environmental Education Outreach-Yes you can!) at the 2014 SETAC North America annual meeting. I also hold membership in the SETAC North America Nanotechnology Global Advisory Group. As part of the Student Activities Committee I have supported noontime seminars, assisted with silent auctions and served as a mentor at student-mentor dinners. Locally, I serve on the Arkansas Nutrient Reduction Strategy Work Group and reviewed the 2015 Arkansas Water Plan. I also served on the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Wastewater Licensing Board from 2007-2014.
As the Director of the Ecotoxicology Research Facility I actively engage my graduate students in the science of EPA standard tests and facilitate discussion of EPA regulations and policies governing water quality initiatives. The importance of scientific research to advance environmental policy and decision-making, as noted in the SETAC North America mission, is emphasized to my students both in the classroom and within their research. Incorporated within the numerous workshops and invited seminars that I teach for educators and water treatment professionals, is the research supporting water quality regulations. I also teach graduate classes in the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program in which I incorporate science, environmental policy, law and economics. Exposure to the various disciplines that our science influences better prepares our graduate students for their professional careers. By combining my expertise in ecology, aquatic toxicology, environmental outreach and education, I can contribute to SETAC by expanding additional environmental education opportunities and student involvement, thus furthering the mission of our society.
Associate Professor, Ohio State University
I began attending SETAC North America meetings in 1989 as a PhD student and have been an active member ever since, missing only one meeting. The best career advice I’ve ever received was “get involved in SETAC”, so as a graduate student, I got involved. At an early morning meeting, I was surprised that the members of the Short Course Committee would offer encouragement to a nervous graduate student to actually teach a short course at a national meeting! To my amazement, my proposal was accepted and I offered a short course entitled "Nutritional considerations in toxicity testing" at the SETAC 10th Annual Meeting in Toronto. Little did I know that this was only the beginning of my long-term commitment to volunteering my time for SETAC. In addition to attending SETAC NA, SETAC Europe, World Congress, and South Central and Ohio Valley Chapter meetings, my soil ecotoxicology colleagues and I have offered a short course on "Assessing the toxicity of contaminated soils” at a number of SETAC national and regional meetings. I have served as an Editorial Board Member for Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry (1998-2000, 2003-2005). I have been involved in four “Pellston” or technical workshops and was the chair of the steering committee, participant, and book editor for the Pellston workshop “Assessing Contaminated Soils: From Soil-Contaminant Interactions to Ecosystem Management”. I have served as chair or co-chair for numerous platform and poster sessions, mostly in the area of soil ecotoxicology and as the co-chair of the Soils Advisory Group at its inception in 1997 and as a member since. I also served on the SETAC Short Course Committee and Nominations Committee and been involved with two regional chapters, the South Central chapter when I was at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and more recently, the Ohio Valley chapter. I have served as a mentor at the student mentor dinner ever since I could be considered a mentor and have skated at the SETAC hockey games.
I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. Prior to that, I was an Associate Professor of Zoology and director of the Ecotoxicology and Water Quality Research Laboratory at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. I received my PhD in 1991 from the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo where my dissertation focused on the toxicity of cyanide and thiocyanate to freshwater fish. The focus of research in our lab for the past two decades has been developing methods for determining the bioavailable fraction of chemicals in soil systems. We have used solid-phase and solvent extractions, as well as critical body residues in organisms, to find useful ways to incorporate bioavailability into chemical exposure estimates. Other research includes the aquatic environmental fate and mixture toxicity of triclosan and triclocarban, and field evaluations of the effects of lead on invertebrates and small mammals at a shooting range, endocrine disruptors on freshwater mussels, and glacier retreat on benthic invertebrate communities in the Himalayas. Another major research initiative is the potential human and ecological impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the Utica shale play of Eastern Ohio. From a pedagogical perspective, we have also begun a quantitative evaluation of the development and application of active learning techniques and digital technologies in the biology and ecotoxicology classroom.
I see SETAC’s greatest strengths in its organization as a tripartite entity including government, academia, and industry and in the opportunities afforded to its student members to become involved in all aspects of SETAC function. From the perspective of an academic, this tripartite structure is something very different than offered by other scientific societies, which often don’t involve government and industry. As an advisor of student research, it’s very important that my students are aware that their research will be scrutinized by government and industry scientists, not just academics, especially if they are interested in employment outside academia. As an academic mentor, one of the greatest strengths of SETAC is the encouragement of its student members to become involved with more than just the science. From the student mentor dinner to the Young Environmental Scientists (YES) conference, SETAC is renowned for the opportunities it provides for student involvement. Continued development of activities and programs that attract, engage, and develop our student members is critical for the long-term growth of SETAC world-wide. As a teacher, I think one area where SETAC can take the lead is in science communication. As scientists, we can do a much better job of communicating our purpose and work to the general public. Issues such as PPCPs, metals in soils of community gardens, and hydraulic fracturing can provide opportunities for engaging public discussion using sound science. Personal electronic device technology is developing at an incredible pace and allows for dispersal of information almost instantaneously. How can we best use existing and emerging technologies to increase public awareness and understanding of issues related to chemical concerns in the environment? As a researcher, I think SETAC is poised to lead in the identification and understanding of the large-scale environmental issues (e.g., global scale energy development). SETAC has the expertise in environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology, and life cycle assessment to define the ecological and human risks associated with major societal concerns and effectively inform the public about these issues. These are some of the topics I would like to pursue if elected to the SETAC North America Board of Directors. Thanks for taking the time to read my biographical and vision statements.
Senior Scientist, Academy, National Polytechnic Institute, National School of Biological Sciences.
I have been an active SETAC member since 2006, and the first SETAC meeting I attended was in Porto in 2007. Despite the nearness of the USA and Canada, where the North-America chapter meetings have been traditionally organized, sometimes has been more difficult to attend these due to different practical and logistic reasons. Nevertheless, from some years ago I have managed to participate in both, the Europe and the North-America meetings every year. During these opportunities, I have observed and compared the differences in the organization and peculiarities that both chapters have, but without doubt, the experiences have been rich and I have confirmed the quality and high standards that SETAC stand in all the meetings. Moreover, I have witnessed that global trends are not excluded from SETAC because an important participation of people from other latitudes conflux in these meetings, despite regional issues are the important trait that distinguishes the meetings of each chapter. I have also participated as judge for students’ presentations, and in some of the discussion groups that meet to debate and have agreements during the congress.
My entire professional career has been in the academy, as mentor but also as scientist in aquatic ecotoxicology. My academic activity has not limited the links that I have stablished in environmental issues with governmental agencies in my country, and with important, global chemical and pharmaceutical companies. At this respect, I have participated in national expert groups in the discussion and formulation of guidelines to regulate the impact of chemical pollutants in aquatic environments, and I have been program leader in contracts for environmental studies required for global companies. In my Institution I held the maximum level as professor-scientific researcher, and I have been also honored by the National Council of Science and Technology in Mexico (CONACYT) with the maximum distinction as National Researcher level III.
My interest in to participate as candidate to the SETAC North America Board of Directors is to have the opportunity to give voice to many scientists in Mexico. However that regionally and naturally we are more linked with the SETAC North America chapter, sharing environmental problems and interests, in practice, due to the differences in the economic development we have, and because of political policies, different visions arise and in some way, implicitly we are excluded from the discussions. Because of this, the influence that organizations as SETAC has in other countries is marginal in Mexico. It is my interest that the influence and weight that SETAC has in the discussion and agreements regarding environmental issues, has also a leading role in my country, as part of a real SETAC North America community. At this respect is remarkably the holistic-integrative vison that SETAC has, involving academy-government-industry sectors. Of course I recognize that some previous attempts have been done, through national scientific organizations (as AMEQA), and trough the organization of some regional chapters, but other efforts should be done to reach the aspiration of a true, regional integration.
Kristine L. Willett
School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi
I have been a member of SETAC since I was a graduate student in the early 1990s.
My PhD research, conducted at Texas A&M University, investigated biomarkers for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure in fish and marine invertebrates. After a postdoctoral year in Dr. Ron Hites’ Lab at Indiana University where I learned GC/MS detection methods for a host of environmental contaminants and pesticides, I joined Dr. Richard DiGiulio’s lab at Duke University and resumed my work on mechanisms of PAH toxicity in catfish and Fundulus. In 2000, I joined the faculty in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Mississippi and have been here since then. I am a Professor of Pharmacology and Environmental Toxicology in the Department of BioMolecular Sciences and the Graduate Program Coordinator of our Environmental Toxicology Program. I continue to study the developmental and reproductive impacts of benzo[a]pyrene using fish models. We have an ongoing collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineers to study nanosilver mechanisms of toxicity. As the only environmental toxicology graduate program in Mississippi, we take seriously our role to help provide the best science in the wake of disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill. Accordingly, we have routine monitoring locations along the MS-AL coasts wherein we have done chemical and bioassay assessments for PAH, inorganic and endocrine disrupting contaminants. In summary, throughout my career I have led research projects which were designed to fundamentally understand the molecular mechanisms underlying toxicity and/or shed light on the potential adverse outcomes due to relevant anthropogenic contamination. I am particularly dedicated to training and mentoring students and have advised or am currently advising the research of 2 postdoctoral fellows, 9 PhD, 8 MS, and 27 undergraduate students.
Most significantly I was a member of the organizing committee for the 2007 SETAC North America meeting hosted in Milwaukee, WI. Through this opportunity, I came to better appreciate both the organizational structure and diversity of expertise represented by SETAC. I was also on the short course committee from 1999 – 2001. Regionally, I served on the Board of Directors for Mid-South SETAC from 2001-2004 and am currently the Vice-President Elect. In 2004, we hosted the regional chapter meeting on campus and plan to host again in 2017. Colleagues from UM and I, organized a session at the 2008 SETAC North America meeting and edited a special issue in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry highlighting the environmental impacts of Hurricane Katrina.
I am passionate about educating, providing mentorship and networking opportunities for the next generation of environmental toxicologists and chemists. I am a product of the student programming offered by SETAC years ago. I believe SETAC provides excellent student opportunities and the structure of the national meeting is welcoming and student-friendly. I am committed to keeping the regional and national meetings accessible for students. I have found the current funding climate for environmental research much more competitive and niched than during my graduate or early investigator days. I would like to see the Society leverage its expertise to educate and reach out to agencies and legislators to enhance research funding for basic and applied environmental sciences. Finally, many of the current environmental challenges are large-scale and non-localized. SETAC is in a unique position to help assemble multidisciplinary research teams to systematically study and innovatively address these global problems.