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North America

Ming Fang, Procter and Gamble, Inc., USA (business)

Ming Fan, Ph.D., P.E., Senior Scientist with The Procter & Gamble Company, Corporate Research and Development, Cincinnati, USA. Dr. Fan’s key responsibilities in P&G include environmental stewardship guidance for global product safety and sustainability, enabling innovation through technical leadership and engagement with internal and external stakeholders in the area of environmental quality and science. His research has been primarily on environmental fate and risk assessment including soil and aquatic assessment methodology development. He has held various positions with leading industrial and consulting companies prior to P&G’s career, and has been leading environmental programs and projects from USA, Canada, China, Middle East and Europe. Dr. Fan is a Licensed Professional Engineer in USA, and received his Doctorate degree in Environmental Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dr. Fan is interested in joining the Soil Advisory Group helping promote sound scientific methods for fate and ecotoxicology applied to soil environment as well as contributing to the entire SETAC society.

Rick Scroggins, Environment Canada, Canada (government)

I have been a member of SETAC since 1986, joining shortly after my move from environmental consulting to Environment Canada.  Since 1988, I have worked in collaboration with numerous scientists to provide Canada with standardized biological test methods (aquatic, sediment and soil) for use in Canadian regulatory programs. These methods are widely used to generate toxicological data for use in risk assessment and management decision-making in the monitoring and remediation of polluted aquatic and terrestrial environments.  Under my direction, 22 test methods and 8 supporting guidance documents have been published under Environment Canada’s Biological Test Method Series.  I regularly provide advice on the application and interpretation of environment toxicology data to staff of Canadian federal and provincial regulatory programs.  I also manage two research laboratories which conduct focused research on the effects of chemicals, products of biotechnology, nanomaterials and contaminant mixtures on soil organisms and microbial communities.  I have been the Canadian delegate on the water quality and soil quality committees of the International Standards Organization for several years, providing expert advice on biological test standard development and leading the development of several standards. Within test method development and standardization circles, I have always promoted global harmonization of testing methodology through involvement with ISO and OECD technical committees.  

As an active member of SETAC for the past 26 years, I have served as a member of the various global advisory groups including the Global Soil Advisory Group (six years as a member and three years as the World Council liaison to the GSAG) and the Ecotoxicology or Amphibians and Reptiles Advisory Group (three years). I support SETAC at both the regional chapter and the geographic unit level (North America and Europe)

I would like to serve on the Steering Committee of the SETAC Global Soil Advisory Group as this group is directly relevant to our field of research in Canada. I firmly believe that SETAC is a world leader in fostering the development and improvement of environmental policies and practices supported by solid science and the Society needs to continue to be at the forefront in trying to address global threats to the soil  ecosystem.  


Jakub Hofman, RECETOX, Czech Republic (University)

I am working as associated professor at Masaryk University in Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (www.recetox.cz). I am teaching Soil Ecotoxicology and Ecotoxicology of Microorganisms. I am also coordinating field exercises, excursions, stays and seminars for students. I coordinate Soil Research Group of the Centre which research is focused on contaminants in soils, their monitoring and risk assessment. We study fate and bioavailability of pollutants in soils and their ecological effects using soil ecotoxicology bioassays and microbial biomonitoring. Our projects are related to fluvisols, forest soils and dredged sediments.

Ruth Pereira, Univ of Porto, Portugal (University)

Since my PhD in the area of Biology, I have been working at the Universities of Aveiro and, nowadays, Porto in the area of soil contamination, mainly on the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of contaminated sites, especially those with radioactive wastes. Within this topic, I can distinguish three main lines of interest: 1) the application of ERA frameworks to real scenarios; 2) the validation of natural references soils for the definition of Soil Screening Values (SSVs), 3) the validation of endpoints to measure genotoxicity in organisms exposed in the laboratory and in the field. The last issue is especially important, since the effects caused by chemical and radiological contamination could be underestimated by the endpoints assessed in standard protocols.  Further, countries like Portugal, Tunisia or Morocco lack soil protection legislation (including SSVs), which makes the application of ERA schemes at national sites more demanding.

My motivation to apply to the Steering Committee of the Global Soil Advisory Group is to have the opportunity of sharing experiences with a highly specialized and motivated group of soil scientists, for the enhancement of soil research and teaching especially in those regions which do not have a long-lasting experience in this area. I also want to be supportive in increasing the representativeness of soil ecotoxicology within the SETAC society. My good connections within and outside Europe may be helpful to reach these goals.

Erik Smolders, Leuven University, Belgium (University)

Erik Smolders is environmental chemist with expertise in soil science and environmental toxicology. He is full professor at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium teaching environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology. Research focuses on bioavailability of contaminants and plant nutrients in soils and water. This research is extended to environmental risk assessment and soil fertility evaluation. Erik Smolders has been chair of the Scientific Committee of  the Society of Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC, 2009-2012) and is member of the International Committee of the International Society for Trace Element Biogeochemistry (ISTEB).

Dave Spurgeon, (Univ or Business)

Dr David Spurgeon  has a 17 year track record of ecotoxicological research focusing on the development of approaches for the risk assessment of metals and organic pollutants; work that has resulted in the publication of more than 75 ISI papers. Dr Spurgeon‘s work has focussed on the development of toxicity tests method for soil invertebrates and in the use of text method for deriving soil quality criteria and for assessiung and monitoring pollutant effects. He currently manages national and international projects that are developing method for assessing the ecological effects of chemical pollutions focussing in particular on aspects such as toxicogenomic analysis for mode of action assessment, effects monitoring,  mixture toxicology and the risk assessment of nanotechnology products and emerging pollutants.


Mark Maboeta (academia)

My research focus is that of soil ecotoxicology utilising earthworms and earthworm biomarkers.  These studies focus on the effects of agricultural and mining activities on the soil environment. On completion of my PhD I did a postdoctoral stint of two years. These studies focussed on the environmental risk of organic waste produced by platinum mines and to use earthworms to bioconvert it for use in tailings dam rehabilitation strategies (waste as a commodity). Whilst the latter type of research seldom results in tangible scientific outputs it does have an important social impact with regards to job creation for previously disadvantaged communities.

I have consistently worked and done research in the field of earthworm ecotoxicology (organismal and cellular effects) and the broader field of soil ecotoxicology (agricultural and mining areas). This has stimulated new ideas on how to continue with my research in a sustainable manner, especially with regard to pollution of soils and how to address and manage these effects. Current research projects undertaken by me include assessing the effects of gold, coal and chrome mining activities on the surrounding soil environment.

In the light of my research focus and the relative small number of researchers in Africa focussing on soil related ecotoxicological; the GSAG would give me the opportunity to:

  • Stimulate soil focussed research in Africa
  • Make a contribution to GSAG from an African point of view

Latin America

Cintia Carla Niva, Postdoctoral fellow of PNPD/CNPq, Embrapa Forestry, Brazil (academia)

My main research interest is on the biology and ecology of enchytraeids in Brazil and their potential as bioindicators of soil contamination. Recent investigations have focused on the adaptation of ecotoxicological tests with enchytraeids and earthworms to the Brazilian conditions. We are currently editing the first book written in Portuguese on soil ecotoxicological tests using oligochaetes with the contribution of 23 authors. In a joint initiative, we have started a network (60 members), a "facebook” page and discussion list with the aim of promoting communication among people interested in soil ecotoxicology. I am a member of the Committee of Ecotoxicological Analyses of ABNT, the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards, which is translating ISO guidelines related to soil quality into Portuguese in order to help the development of more studies in the country. With GSAG support, the increasing interest in soil ecotoxicology in Latin America will certainly advance more robustly.


Anu Kumar Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO Land and Water's Contaminant Chemistry and Ecotoxicology Program, Australia (Government)

Anu Kumar’s expertise is in the area of the ecotoxicology of contaminants in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Her current research interests include:

  • Ecotoxicological assessment of micropollutants in the environment
  • Development of molecular and biochemical biomarkers for Australian species
  • Impact of wastewater irrigation on soil microbial health
  • Sustainable recycled winery water irrigation
  • Tools and approaches for site-specific ecological risk assessment


This will provide me with an opportunity to collaborate with international researchers and contribute towards research in soil ecotoxicology. I would be keen to participate in ring tests for establishing methods and protocols for new test species. I am passionate about working with environmental management practitioners to reduce pollution impacts in our environment. I would like to promote soil ecotoxicology in the Asia-Pacific region through my contribution to GSAG.