2017 Academic Sector Candidates
2017 Business Sector Candidates
Steven S. Brown
Eric Van Genderen
Kevin Armbrust, Louisiana State University, USA
His career has spanned industry, government and academia. He is currently a professor and the chairman in the department of Environmental Sciences in the College of the Coast and Environment at Louisiana State University and he also holds the Claiborne Chair of Environmental Toxicology in this college. He received both his B.S. degree in Environmental Toxicology and his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry from the University of California at Davis. He was employed for seven years by DuPont Agricultural Products as a regulatory scientist and has held faculty positions at the University of Georgia for four years and at Mississippi State University for 11 years where he also served as the State Chemist of Mississippi. As State Chemist, he led a state agency with shared responsibility and authority for the quality of animal feed, fertilizer, pesticides and petroleum products sold in the State, the safety of manufactured and retail food as well as setting the standards and specifications for regulated commodities. He has chaired and held other officer positions in the division of Agrochemicals (AGRO) of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Within ACS, he also is a member of the division of Environmental Chemistry (ENVR) and serves on the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. He has served as president elect and on the board of directors of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) and has held an appointment on FDA’s Food Advisory Committee. He has been an active member of SETAC since 1992, served as a student mentor and chaired numerous symposia as well as organized joint symposia and activities between ACS and SETAC. He actively participated in the Horizon Scanning project as well as symposia at SETAC Mexico. He also served on the editorial board for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry between 1999 and 2006 and currently serves as an ad-hoc reviewer. He has published 40 peer-reviewed journal articles (12 of which were in ET&C), seven proceedings and over 25 reports submitted to regulatory agencies supporting global pesticide registration and reregistration. His research interests and areas of expertise include assessments of the fate and effects of chemicals in and upon Louisiana watersheds, wetlands and coastal areas especially as they impact the regulatory sciences. Recent projects include risks associated with chemical contaminants in manufactured and retail food; impacts of environmental parameters (e.g. salinity, temperature, etc) on measured physical properties of chemicals; environmental photochemistry and toxicity and phototoxicity of contaminants to aquatic organisms. Chemicals he has investigated include petroleum related compounds, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, current use and legacy pesticides as well as industrial chemicals.
I have always considered SETAC to be a “must attend” meeting. It is the one scientific society that best integrates environmental chemistry with toxicology, is scientifically at the cutting edge of relevance and provides one of the best mixes of industry, academic and government involvement in both a professional and social setting. Maintaining these as foundational principals of the society are a priority for me should I be elected as a board member. In addition, SETAC North America (SNA) needs to look for innovative means to nurture excitement amongst our student members and young scientists. These are our future leaders and our legacy, not only in SETAC but also in the scientific society as a whole. SNA should continue to build upon activities and synergies initiated in previous years amongst its sister societies such as divisions of AGRO and ENVR through joint programing at each other’s meetings. SNA should also explore opportunities for online programing as a means of marketing the society and scientific outreach and engagement to the general public and membership that may not be able to attend national meetings. Finally, SNA should increase programming in the area of scientific communication. This skill set is critical for scientists to impact policy so that our laws and regulations are based upon the best science available. SNA can foster this through programming as well as external outreach.
Steven S. Brown, The Dow Chemical Company, USA
I received a B.S. and M.S. in Biology and Aquatic Ecology from Central Michigan University (’82, ‘86), and a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from the University of Mississippi (’95). Between earning my M.S. and Ph.D., I did research on benthic communities in the Florida Keys (Audubon) and in streams near Mount St. Helens (NSF), and also worked in consulting. After getting my Ph.D., I joined the faculty at the University of Maryland where my research focused on ambient toxicity in Chesapeake Bay and the effects of acid mine drainage in headwater streams. In 1998, I accepted a position at Rohm and Haas Company which was later acquired by The Dow Chemical Company, where I am now a Senior Research Scientist. I coordinate research and advise environmental remediation managers on contaminant fate and effects, sediment toxicology, risk assessment, habitat restoration and land conservation. My current research includes evaluating factors affecting the bioavailability of mercury in coastal marshes, and vanadium and zinc in freshwater systems, and developing methods for in-situ remediation. This work involves collaboration with university and government scientists.
I have been an active member of SETAC since 1987. I have served on the awards and finance committees for SETAC, as a Director for two SETAC North America (SNA) chapters [Chesapeake-Potomac, Hudson-Delaware (President 2007–2008)], and have organized and chaired SNA chapter meetings and workshops. I have participated in a number of the Society’s scientific and outreach activities including serving on the Editorial Boards of ET&C and IEAM (founding member), student mentoring programs, and three Pellston workshops. Beyond my professional life, I have served as an elected official (township supervisor) and a Trustee/Director for three Philadelphia area non-profits (Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Montgomery County Lands Trust, Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association). I also enjoy in golf, fishing, and restoring antique wooden boats.
My vision for SNA is to improve its effectiveness as a leading scientific society that actively seeks to answer questions and solve important problems, and seeks opportunities to share what we know with political leaders and the public. SETAC has evolved substantially since I attended my first meeting 30 years ago. Growth and globalization over the past decade has reflected the need and capacity for SETAC to serve science and society. But, that positive growth has coincided with substantial challenges within SNA. For example, roughly equal participation by scientists representing academia, government, and business was a key strength of the Society in the 1990s and early 2000s, but participation by government scientists has declined in recent years. My conversations with government colleagues indicate their strong desire to increase participation in the future, and if elected to the SNA Board I will work for this. SNA also depends on the strength of the regional chapters and relies on volunteerism of chapter leaders. The personal interest and support of SNA board members is motivational and appreciated by chapter leaders, and if elected I will personally support our regional chapters.
SNA benefits from a diversity of Board members who will share different experiences and perspectives. As an industry scientist, I will share my perspective and promote honest discussion about how to best serve SNA members, science and society. As a former academic, I appreciate the kinds of challenges faced by educators and researchers. I do not fully know the challenges faced by my colleagues in government, but I have a very good relationship with many of them. If elected to the Board, I will bring an open mind, listen actively, and strive to improve the service and benefits members receive from SNA.
Markus Hecker, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. I received my Ph.D. in Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science at the University of Hamburg, Germany, in 2001, and since have lived in the U.S. and Canada where I worked as postdoc and visiting professor at Michigan State University, environmental consultant for a large global firm (Cardno-ENTRIX), and then took a faculty position at the University of Saskatchewan in 2011. My research focuses on identifying the mechanisms of species’ sensitivity to legacy and emerging contaminants, with the goal of developing models that can reliably predict biological impacts of regulatory relevance across the large numbers of species and chemicals to be assessed. Furthermore, I have been, and continue to be, involved with the development, validation, and implementation of alternative testing methods, some of which that have become components of chemical screening programs used around the world (US-EPA’s EDSP, OECD’s Test Guidelines Programme, etc.).
I have been an active member of SETAC starting with my time as a Ph.D. student in Germany. Since moving to North America in 2002, I have attended every SNA meeting as well as most SETAC Europe meetings. Also, I have been an active member of the SETAC Northern Prairie regional chapter since its inception in 2007. I currently co-chair the SNA Science Committee and I am involved with several other SETAC activities including the Global Horizon Scanning Project Steering Committee, the SETAC Global Science Committee, as well as the Science Affairs Team. Furthermore, I was a member of the 2014 SETAC Vancouver organizing committee where I chaired the student activity program. I have been a participant, organizer and chair of several SETAC Pellston Workshops including the recent “Advancing the Adverse Outcome Pathway Concept – An International Horizon Scanning Approach” workshop, which I co-chaired. I am actively involved with the ongoing coordination of science priorities within the society including the identification of priority topics for Focus Topic Meetings, Pellston Workshops and other workshops, coordination of peer review activities, and science outreach (e.g. coordination of “Hot Topics” articles in the SETAC Globe). Also, I serve as an editorial board member and editor for several environmental journals. I have published over 140 peer reviewed publications, many of which have occurred in SETAC journals.
Through my involvement in the above and other SETAC activities, I have been able to follow the direction the society has been taking over the past decade closely. As for so many of us, SETAC has played a very important role for me over my academic career, especially as a student and young researcher but equally important as a professional networking and outreach platform. If I should be elected to the board I intend to devote my energy and enthusiasm to ensure that SETAC continues to play its critical role and will be the “to-go-to” society for future and current generations of scientists in environmental toxicology and chemistry, as well as other related disciplines. I believe that for SETAC to continue being and expanding its role as the preeminent society in the field of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry we need to continuously explore new and timely opportunities and expand our scope. Areas that, in my opinion, are important to be fostered in this context are: 1) Expand public outreach beyond the traditional scientific community SETAC has been catering to since its inception to advance and cement the societal relevance of the society; 2) Considering the growing interdisciplinary/ transdisciplinary nature of the science practiced within the SETAC community we should explore expanding the society’s involvement with non-traditional SETAC disciplines such as human health through partnerships with other societies (e.g. SOT); 3) Continue to improve student and early career professional experience and foster active involvement by members, which represents the foundation for the success of the society; and 4) Given the increasingly global structure of the society as a whole I think that SETAC NA together with SETAC Europe can, and should, take on a leading role in and serve as a mentor for science and educational activities coordination globally, and especially among the younger geographic units.
Steven Levine, Monsanto, USA
Steve Levine is a Senior Science Fellow specializing in Ecotoxicology and the Environmental Assessment Strategy Lead at the Monsanto Company. Dr. Levine has B.S. degrees in Conservation and Biology and graduate degrees with post-doctoral training focused in the field Environmental Toxicology. Dr. Levine has almost 20 years of professional experience as an Ecotoxicologist primarily working in the crop protection industry. Dr. Levine’s professional experiences are in the areas of assessing the fate and effects of crop protection products. Dr. Levine’s areas of specialization include aquatic toxicology, endocrine disruption, mixture toxicology, nontarget arthropod testing including pollinators, and ecological risk assessment. Dr. Levine has over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications, 12 of which can be found in SETAC publications.
Dr. Levine has been an active member of SETAC since 1991. Over that time, he has demonstrated leadership in SETAC NA and at the regional level, Co-chairing the Student Awards Committee for Presentations and Publications from 2002-2005 and at the regional serving on the Ozark Prairie-Regional Board and as the Chapter President from 2003-2004 and 2007-2008 as well as coordinating the regional meetings in 2003 and 2008. Dr. Levine has also helped develop and taught short-courses for SETAC and has been selected for participation and supported several SETAC Pellston Conferences on a variety of topics. Dr. Levine would also provide extensive governance experience having served as an advisor to several scientific Agencies in North America and abroad. Dr. Levine served on EPA’s Endocrine Disruption Methods Validation Advisory Committee (EDMVAC), on NIEHS non-animal validation committees and OECD guideline validation committees. In addition, Dr. Levine has Chaired several technical working groups for domestic and international industry organizations in the areas of environmental testing and assessment. The combination of these experiences, and his enthusiasm and commitment to SETAC’s future, provide him with a solid basis on which to contribute to SETAC’s North American Board.
Away from work, Steve enjoys watching his kids compete in sporting events and he enjoys bicycle touring.
SETAC needs to continue to be the leading Scientific Society in the areas of Environmental Toxicology and Environmental Chemistry. As such, my focus and advocacy for our membership will be in several important areas: establishing programs to further support and develop earlier in career environmental scientists, finding mechanisms to sustain and growing SNA’s membership and to help SNA take on a more active role in training to support to new and emerging technologies. Approximately one-third of SETAC’s membership are students and another large portion of the membership includes early in career environmental scientists. I am committed to gain support and drive the development and implementation of a certification program for Environmental Risk Assessment for our NA members along the lines of what has already become available for our European colleagues. This program will include a comprehensive training program and an opportunity to build proficiency, networking and a professional profile. SETAC is uniquely qualified to further develop this program because it has a long successful track record facilitating a common understanding between risk assessors working in government, industry, consultancy and academia. In addition, I will work with the Board of Directors to drive additional impactful initiatives (like the certification program) that will sustain and grow SNA. To realize this goal, I am committed to work with our membership to create additional opportunities for extended education (e.g., webinars, workshops, etc), particularly for new and emerging technologies that will require environmental risk assessments. By addressing these areas, we can sustain and re-energize our Society and realize our potential and continue become the global leader in Environmental Toxicology and Environmental Chemistry. Thank you for your consideration.
Lisa Ortego, Bayer Crop Science, USA
Lisa Ortego is a Senior Principal Scientist in Bayer’s Environmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment Team in Research Triangle Park, NC. Dr. Ortego received her B.S. from Louisiana State University in environmental health and her Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Mississippi. She has been a diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology since 2001. Lisa has over 20 years of experience as an ecotoxicologist in the private sector since 1995, starting with Rhone-Poulenc. She left the pesticide/chemicals sector to work for the Nickel Producers Environmental Research Association (NiPERA) before coming to Bayer in 2003.
Lisa is very active outside of Bayer serving as Technical Chair of the Endocrine Policy Forum (industry task force) for 4 years, a group where she is still very active. During her years working for the nickel industry, she was also on the science review board of the Metals in the Environmental Research Network. Currently, she is the vice-chair of CropLife America’s Environmental Risk Assessment Committee and serves on CropLife International’s Endocrine Team.
Lisa has been a member of SETAC since the late 1980s, and during this time she has served SETAC in various capacities. She has previously served on the SETAC World Council Finance Committee, as president of the Carolinas Chapter, on a North America meeting organizing committee, and on a past nominations committee. More recently, she served on the organizing committees of the Endocrine Focused Topic Meeting and Endocrine Pellston where, in addition to general committee activities, she was also responsible for fund raising. She helped develop and is an instructor of the long-running SETAC endocrine short-course. Currently she serves on SETAC’s Scientific Integrity Subcommittee and the SNA Certification ad-hoc Committee. Lisa participates in student development and early career mentoring activities via SETAC. She has a long history of service to SETAC, and would like to continue to serve SETAC’s members on the Board of Directors.
In her free time, Lisa is an avid cyclist, enjoys cooking and spending time with her family including two young grand-daughters, Sophie and Addy.
I have been a member of SETAC since I was a student, and interactions with the SETAC network of scientists have been invaluable to me from a professional and personal perspective. In particular I value the opportunities SETAC provides to get to know perspectives of scientists from across the government, academic, and industry sectors. SETAC is a rare organization that values contributions from all of its sectors equally. I would like to work promoting and further developing the SETAC tripartite vision example, especially during this, more polarized, time in our culture. I believe that by working across sectors we can leverage our knowledge and develop more innovative solutions to environmental challenges.
Another area of interest to me has developed from my time on SETAC’s Scientific Integrity Subcommittee. I believe SETAC needs to continue to evolve and develop public awareness regarding its position on ethical scientific behavior and publication practices. SETAC clear principles/standards need to be well communicated, and thereby become a model for other scientific organizations that may have more challenges in this area.
It is satisfying to “give back” to an organization that has provided so much to its members. If elected to the Board, I would welcome the opportunity to serve SETAC in this new capacity.
Aaron Roberts, University of North Texas, USA
I am an associate professor of environmental science at the University of North Texas (UNT). I received a B.S. in biology from the University of Missouri (1999), M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2005) in zoology from Miami University, and conducted my postdoctoral research in environmental toxicology at Clemson University. I have been a faculty member at UNT since 2006. My research program has primarily focused on the fate and effects of chemical contaminants in aquatic systems. Our current projects include studies on the photo-induced toxicity of PAH/oil, developmental effects of methylmercury, and accumulation/toxicity of emerging contaminants. I have been a member of SETAC since 1999 when I joined as a master’s student and attended my first SETAC in Philadelphia. Much of our research involves collaborations with colleagues in government, industry, and academia and so my group, in a sense, has mirrored the tri-partite model of SETAC. I have served SETAC as past member and co-chair of the SNA Technical Committee, member of the organizing/science committee for the Salt Lake City SNA meeting, participant in several of the student mentoring activities at various SETAC-NA meetings, and host of a regional SETAC South Central chapter meeting. I am also a member of the editorial board of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2014–Present). I have benefitted tremendously from my SETAC membership and am excited to be able to give back to the society in these capacities.
I have been involved with SETAC since my first year as a graduate student and am fully supportive of the society’s efforts in development and opportunities for students and early career professionals. Continuing to support the training of the next generation should be a core commitment and will enable the society to maintain a sustainable membership. We are also at a time when the promotion and communication of sound science, a core SETAC value, is critical. SETAC already promotes sound science within the field and provides a venue for scientists from academia, government, and industry to discuss ideas and develop solutions to environmental problems. Along those same lines, I believe SETAC should expand its efforts for outreach/scientific communication to the general public. Communicating fundamental principles of sound science to those outside the field is necessary if we expect the public to support the efforts and recognize the value of the work being done by the society’s membership. SETAC’s unique tri-partite structure and collaborative environment between academic, government, and industry scientists provides the society a great degree of credibility for leadership in this area. There are SETACers doing amazing research all over the world and highlighting that work to the public would benefit both the society and it’s members. I also support the society’s efforts in developing countries. I recently had the opportunity to serve on an advisory board for a SETAC-sponsored conference in Vietnam and came away with a great deal of enthusiasm for the role that SETAC could play through workshops, facilitating travel for scientists from developing countries, and implementing online resources/networking opportunities. Finally, I hope to bring enthusiasm and commitment to this position if elected. Thank you for your consideration.
Sue Robinson, INTERA Incorporated, USA
I am a consulting Environmental Toxicologist and have worked with private and public-sector clients as a consultant for the past 32 years. Currently, I am a Senior Project Manager and Principal Ecotoxicologist at INTERA, Inc., a science and engineering consulting firm. Technically, my work involves evaluating ecological and human health impacts from environmental stressors in soil, water, sediment, air, and biotic tissue. I have designed, conducted and/or managed these types of client projects in the United States (many at Superfund Sites) and internationally, developing strategies for environmental characterizations, laboratory/field stressor evaluations, environmental risk assessments and cleanups. Currently, I manage the design of environmental studies and projects supporting remedial activities at the Hanford Nuclear Site. I love working and interacting with people! Working professionally with colleagues as a consultant, and with members and leaders within SETAC over more than three decades has taught valuable personal lessons and been rich and rewarding. Mentoring young scientists has been a delightful and fulfilling aspect of my career that I wish to continue. I am very active in SETAC, including many Interest Groups, roles as the past Chair and current Co-Chair of the North American Science Committee, and as past Chair of the Career Development Committee. I have served on the Program Committees for SETAC annual North America meetings (Boston, Minnesota) and the 2016 Orlando World Congress meeting. This nomination to the SETAC North American Board of Directors (SNA BoD) is truly an honor providing yet another opportunity to support SETAC.
A technically robust and vibrant Society as described by our membership 5–10 years in the future:
- New members join annually, including from complimentary societies. Enhanced outreach is a key contributor to SETAC’s membership and to its overall growth.
- Active, technically robust Interest Groups. They represent platforms for young members to grow technically, connect and take on a leadership mantel.
- Mentoring is the currency of the Society that is actively paid forward at all levels.
- A growing list of Society publications.
- Government, business and university (tripartite) members point to enhancement within their organizations from the inclusion of SETAC-Certified Environmental Toxicology professionals.
- Enhanced SETAC financial growth yields enhanced member opportunities. SETAC’s growing and diverse membership, broadened base of Global Environmental Partners and meeting / development course Sponsors, and key involvement in invited extramural technical projects are all key contributors to this financial success.
If elected, I’d like to work with SETAC leadership on further fleshing out two of these success factors: (1) crafting a vision and implementation plan for the recently Board-approved SETAC Environmental Toxicologist Certification program. Why? Because it will put steps in place for providing a tangible career enhancement opportunity for our young members, be a huge positive for the Society and set the stage for the future. (2) crafting a vision and plan for obtaining extramural technical project opportunities for SETAC participation. Why? To further enhance our Society’s financial growth and provide member technical support on SETAC-identified opportunities. These two success factors both revolve around providing professional development for our members and on increased visibility and success for SETAC. I welcome your input on success factors supporting a vision of SETAC in the next decade (email@example.com). I also welcome this opportunity to serve on the tripartite SNA BoD as a representative of the business sector.
Daniel Salvito, RIFM, USA
Daniel Salvito is the RIFM Science Fellow, Environmental Sciences for The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc. (RIFM). Dan is responsible for overseeing the planning, conduct and completion of the environmental research and testing program at RIFM. He has authored over 40 scientific publications and presentations. Dan received his Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Rutgers University.
Dan has been a member of SETAC for over 20 years. Dan is a member of the Editorial Board for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. I have served on the Bioaccumulation Science Interest Group (Steering Committee and Co-Chair (2007–2010), the Animal Alternatives Science Interest Group, and previously on the UNEP-SAICM EMERCHEM Steering Committee. I have chaired and co-chaired multiple platform and poster sessions at regional SETAC meetings. I have established RIFM as a SETAC Global Affiliate.
In addition to his SETAC experience, he has served on a number of committees including the European Chemical Bureau’s REACH Implementation Project on Chemical Categories, the USEPA’s Science Advisory Board’s Expert Panel on EPISuite, and the European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals Scientific Committee.
I have been a member of SETAC for over 20 years and believe it plays a unique role; not only as the major professional society for environmental risk assessment, but also in providing a forum where each sector, industry, academia, and government, can freely discuss challenges we collectively face in preserving and managing the environment. While these things are never easy, I have seen the positive role SETAC can and does play in advancing science and policy in water quality criteria, bioaccumulation science, and the use of animal alternatives; to name just a few.
The structure of SETAC clearly embraces the global nature of environmental science. The strength of the organization as a whole, especially one that continues to grow in new, previously undersupported regions, relies on the historic strengths of the geographic units. It can be a challenge to maintain an active GU in the context of a growing, global society.
I would like the opportunity to use my experience in supporting SETAC at the Board of Directors to face the challenges in maintaining its strengths in an ever-growing organization.
Eric Van Genderen, International Zinc Association, USA
Dr. Eric Van Genderen is the Associate Director of Environment & Sustainability for the International Zinc Association. His responsibilities include oversight of their environmental research portfolio, regulatory affairs, and sustainability programs. His doctoral research (Clemson University, Environmental Toxicology) focused on assessing the fate and effects of metals in natural waters, which dove-tailed into his early risk assessment work as a laboratory manager and consultant. As a result, his areas of expertise include aquatic toxicology, environmental risk assessment, sustainability initiatives, Life Cycle Assessment, and environmental regulations.
Eric has been an active SETAC member for nearly 20 years, starting as a student member in 1999. During this tenure, he has served SETAC in various capacities. At the local level, he has served on the Board of Directors for three regional chapters – Pacific Northwest, Carolinas, and currently with NorCal. Within SETAC North America, Eric currently serves as co-chair for the SNA 2018 Program Committee (Sacramento, CA), member of the SNA Development Committee, and steering committee member for Focus Topic Meetings and technical workshops. In addition, Eric supports the broader SETAC mission through Global Affiliate representation and serving on the steering committee of the global Metals Interest Group. Eric has also served on the ET&C Editorial Review Board and continues to provide technical review for ET&C and IEAM journals.
Let’s face it, SETAC is family! I believe that SETAC’s global success and positive reputation rests squarely on its balanced representation and science-based objectivity when addressing challenges. I also believe that SETAC’s future as a premier professional organization will depend on its ability to respond to society’s demands for building a participatory culture around balanced environmental stewardship and economic development. Fortunately, SETAC has always represented a platform equally dedicated to social inclusion and problem solving. From such a foundation, I will continue to promote Environmental Quality Through Science® by reinforcing support for professional training, technical workshops, interest groups, publications, awards and certification programs. I will work to ensure long-term financial sustainability of SETAC through continued involvement on the Development Committee to promote opportunities for growing SETAC Funds, increasing membership (Global/Sustaining/general), and improving mechanisms for general fundraising. Most importantly, I will strive for social awareness in each of SETAC’s activities, through diversity and inclusion initiatives, volunteerism, community outreach, student/young professional development, and communications (not just the journals).