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Health and Environmental Effects Research

WED Scientist Invited Speaker at Several International Symposia

Don Phillips, a research biologist at the NHEERL Western Ecology Division (WED) Ecological Effects Branch in Corvallis, OR, has been invited to several international symposia to present his research on models that use isotopic data to address a variety of ecological questions. His work focuses on development of mathematical mixing models that use variations in the isotopic composition of different chemical sources to estimate their contributions to multisource mixtures. For example, the models could be applied to estimate the importance of fertilizer, animal waste or sewage, and atmospheric deposition to nitrate levels in drinking water or to define “who eats who” in food webs. The Australian government is sponsoring Dr. Phillips’ travel to Western Australia in May 2011 to (1) present a plenary talk at a Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation symposium on “How can stable isotopes inform ecosystem based management?” (b) participate in a follow-on workshop to discuss the state of the science and future directions, (c) present a seminar at Edith Cowan University, and (d) present a seminar at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation in Sydney. Similarly, Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, is sponsoring Dr. Phillips’ travel to give a plenary talk and participate in a three-day Stable Isotope Workshop in June 2011. These invited presentations are international recognition of the value of these EPA models but also outreach and technology transfer opportunities for helping international partners apply these methods to their own environmental problems.

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