Emerging Contaminants

Location: Macleod ,VIC

Duration: 5 months

Proposed start date: Mid December 2018 or Mid January 2019 ( negotiable)

Keywords: Emerging Contaminants, Toxicology, Environmental Chemistry, Soil Science, Aquatic Science, Literature Review, Environmental Pollution

Project Background

EPA Victoria regulates emissions of pollution and waste to reduce and prevent harm to human health and the environment. Emerging contaminants (for example, pesticides, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals) are an important focus for EPA Victoria as we seek to understand current and future environmental pollution.

EPA’s Emerging Contaminants Ambient Assessment Project involves the collection and assessment of data on the spatial distribution and concentration of a priority list of emerging contaminants in surface waters, sediments and soils across Victoria. The Ambient Assessment Project will provide evidence to inform regulatory actions and guide industry on safe levels for these emerging contaminants based on the understanding of their presence in the Victorian environment, the sources and pathways and potential for community exposure.

EPA is seeking a candidate with a background in at least one of chemistry, ecotoxicology, soil science or aquatic sciences and demonstrated experience in literature review and data analysis (preferably environmental data). The successful candidate will work on this project in collaboration with EPA scientists and may be required to be involved in field work for the collection of samples.

Research to be Conducted

The key research questions of this research project are:

  • What is the current state of knowledge on emerging contaminants globally (major sources, pathways and impacts) and how does this apply to Victoria and its environments?
  • What sampling and analytical techniques are available to quantify and characterise emerging contaminants from different sources? What are the capabilities and limitations of different measurement techniques and current challenges?
  • What do EPA Victoria’s data collected to date tell us about the risk from emerging contaminants? What changes to our monitoring program are needed to make it both relevant for Victoria and world leading?

Skills Required

  • Proficient in critically evaluating scientific literature.
  • Proficient in the analysis and management of scientific data.
  • Demonstrated ability in delivery of collaborative projects with clear and targeted outcomes.
  • Experience in field and laboratory work would be advantageous but not essential.
  • Experience in toxicology or environmental chemistry would be advantageous but not essential.

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes from the project are:

  • A literature review on the state of knowledge of global emerging contaminants testing and assessment.
  • Support the analysis of emerging contaminants data and development of a report and journal paper on Victorian work to date.
  • Support the development of an options paper for future testing.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

12 December 2018


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