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Interview with Prof. Damià Barceló
By Jason Mitchell, Acquisitions Editor, Serials and Handbooks
Damià Barceló is Full Research Professor and Director of the Catalan institute of Water Research. In 2007 he was awarded the King Jaime I Prize for the Protection of Nature from Generalitat of Valencia, Spain, for his outstanding scientific work. In 2011 he received the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) 5th Award 2012 on Water Management & Protection, Saudi Arabia, in 2012 the Recipharm Environmental Award, Sweden. and in 2014 a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Ioannina, Greece. He was Chairman of the Scientific and Technological Board (STB) of the EU-Joint Programming Initiative on “Water challenges for a changing World” from 2011–2015.
From 2014 to 2020 he is the Coordinator of two European Union-funded projects: GLOBAQUA. Managing the effects of multiple stressors on aquatic ecosystems under water scarcity and JPI WATER-FACCE project AWARE: Assessing the fate of pesticides and water-borne contaminants in agricultural crops and their environmental risks.
Professor Barceló is Co-editor-in-Chief of Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN), and Series Editor of Comprehensive Analytical Chemistry and Advances in Chemical Pollution, Environmental Management and Protection.
- What is your current role and where are you based?
I am Full Research Professor and Director of the Catalan institute of Water Research (ICRA). I am based in Barcelona and Giron, Catalonia region, Spain.
- What is your particular area of expertise?
My expertise is in Environmental Chemistry; the fate and risk of pollutants in the aquatic environment.
- What first inspired you to study your subject matter?
My first inspiration was to know more about nature and how it functions, and also to investigate effects of pollutants in our daily life; a kind of Sherlock Holmes approach applied to environment using chemical-geological tools!
- What do you think will be the next big discovery or development in your field?
A future big future discovery will be the effects of chemical cocktails on our ecosystem, as well as the integration of environmental and human health Issues.
- What are you currently researching and where do you hope that research will lead?
I am currently interested in Omic approaches applied to the environment, to better understand the complex nature of pollutants and mixtures. To find, as well, low-cost approaches to better monitoring of pollution.
- What is the biggest challenge that your field is facing at the moment?
The biggest challenge is to understand what is really going on in the environment when biological samples are exposed daily, in rivers, to more than 100 pollutants as well as microplastics and nanomaterials. How, and to what extent, these mixtures will affect biodiversity and future reproduction is unknown at the moment.
- You’re a Serial Editor for not one but two book series, Comprehensive Analytical Chemistry and Advances in Chemical Pollution, Environmental Management and Protection (launched in 2017). What are the major benefits for readers of these book series?
These two book series, Comprehensive Analytical Chemistry and Advances in Chemical Pollution, Environmental Management and Protection are complementary. Comprehensive Analytical Chemistry develops the tools to identify and determine chemicals and materials in different matrices, i.e food, environment , forensic and clinical.
Advances in Chemical Pollution, Environmental Management and Protection is an environmental series of books describing very different environmental problems, from fracking to water and soil management, and offering solutions for an improved management of the environment.
- What advice would you give to researchers just starting out in their career? In science in general, and specifically within the Chemistry and Environmental Science worlds.
My advice to newcomers would be, first, get informed about what is really going on in your field; and to facilitate that go to serious and validated information sources like Elsevier. As soon as you discover what is going on, try to navigate your way to investigate a particular field of your interest that needs further development. There are many areas still to be investigated, it is just a question of finding out which one best fits your particular interests. Be realistic as well and look within your university if you can develop your chosen research with the available facilities.
Comprehensive Analytical Chemistry publishes 4 volumes per year. Volume 83 — Advances in Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry: Fundamentals, Instrumentation and Applications – published on 8 January 2019; Volume 84 — Analysis, Fate, and Toxicity of Engineered Nanomaterials in Plants – publishes 24 May 2019.
Advances in Chemical Pollution, Environmental Management and Protection publishes annually. Volume 3 — Advanced Tools for Integrated Water Resources Management – published 3 December 2018. Volume 4 — Soil Degradation, Restoration and Management In A Global Change Context – publishes 1 November 2019.
Save up to 30% when you order via the Elsevier store. Enter STC319 at the checkout.
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