Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Kiwi wins top international science prize

Kiwi wins top international science prize

A New Zealand environmental scientist has won a top international science prize for her contribution to the development of a simple, inexpensive test which measures arsenic levels in drinking water, and which has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide.

Dr Mona Wells, a Senior Environmental Scientist with multidisciplinary consultancy CPG in Dunedin, is part of a team of three scientists awarded the 2010 Erwin Schrödinger Prize, a highly prestigious international science award.

Millions of people worldwide, but especially those in Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh, suffer from chronic arsenic poisoning because their drinking water is contaminated, either from natural geological conditions, or as a result of mining activity.

“Winning the Schrödinger Prize is a once in a lifetime experience, and it’s truly a tremendous honour to receive this level of recognition,” said Dr Wells.

The Schrödinger Prize is awarded annually by the Helmholtz Association, a group of German research centres of excellence in applied science. The prize recognises contributions to interdisciplinary science, in particular work which has the potential to affect the most people in the most profound way.

Dr Wells splits her time between her job at CPG, the German Centre for Environmental Research, where she is a Guest Scientist, and the University of Otago, where she is a part-time researcher. She has a long-standing interest in environmental contamination, and worked at ‘ground zero’ in Alaska following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.

“I’m fortunate to work with three organisations who together provide the support and flexibility to enable me to pursue my work in this field,” says Dr Wells. “The result is that we can translate our knowledge of applied science in the academic domain, in to solutions to thorny problems facing people in the real world.”

The portable and highly reliable arsenic testing procedure was developed over a number of years. Commercial production of the simple, quick and cost-effective kit – trademarked ARSOlux® – will commence from 2011, starting in Bangladesh.

In 2009 Dr Wells and her fellow prize winners (Professor Dr Hauke Harms of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany and Professor Dr Jan Roelof van der Meer of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland) published a 20-year retrospective study on the Exxon Valdez disaster, which incorporated the same technology as their new arsenic test.

CPG’s New Zealand Chief Executive Dr David Warburton said the business was exceptionally proud of Dr Wells and her colleagues for what they had achieved.

“Our congratulations go to Dr Wells and her team for winning this prestigious award. We are very fortunate to have this level of expertise in our business which adds value in so many ways,” he said.

The team will be presented with the Schrodinger Prize, which includes 50,000
Euros (approximately $90,000), at an award ceremony in Germany on September 16.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:


NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • NIWA: The Year's Top Science Findings

    Since 1972 NIWA has operated a Clean Air Monitoring Station at Baring Head, near Wellington... In June, Baring Head’s carbon dioxide readings officially passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level last reached more than three million years ago. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news