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									        Volume 12, Number 2
                 December 2005

From the Editor                        2
From el Vice-Presidenté                3
AJE Needs You!                         4
Regional Reports                       5-12
Student Profiles                       12
CD of Previous Conference Abstracts    13
Funding Opportunities                  14
What’s On                              15-16
2006 Interact Conference               16
ASE Conference Melbourne 2005 Report   17
ASE Student Prize                      18
Obituary for Kayemen Bakowa            19
Chemical Fire Report                   20
National Animal Welfare Bill 2005      21-22
                                                                   Firstly I must apologise sincerely for the delay in the release of this December 2005 issue of Endpoint. A number
                                                                   of unforseen and unfortunate circumstances have contributed to this situation. I thank you all for your
                                                                   contributions which make this newsletter the informative piece that it is for our society and encourage your
                                                                   continued support so that we can all keep up to date with relevant events and with each others research priorities.

                                                                   Due to overwhelming work commitments, Greg Rippon has stepped down as Assistant Editor and at least in the
                                                                   short term (if not the long), our webpage manager, Fred Leusch will be working with me and the committee to
                                                                   develop a new format for this Newsletter to make it more consistent with the design of our website. This will take
                                                                   place over the next couple of months as ideas develop so any thoughts you have for enhancing the quality of the
                                                                   newsletter would be appreciated. I also ask for your patience in this transitional period as we move towards a new
                                                                   and improved newsletter.

                                                                   Once again, apologies for the lateness of this issue from Greg and myself.

                                                                   Catherine King
                                                                   May 2006

                                                                   ASE Sustaining Members
                                                                   ASE gratefully acknowledges support from the
                                                                   following organisations in their sustaining

                                                                   Aims of ASE
                                                                   A scientific society for biologists, chemists, engineers and other environmental scientists concerned with
                                                                   environmental protection and management. The specific aims of the ASE are:
                                                                     • to advance the science of ecotoxicology as it relates to environmental protection and management
                                                                     • to promote education, research and the application of knowledge in this field for the development of
                                                                        ecologically acceptable principles and the practice of environmental protection and management
                                                                     • to provide for the transfer and dissemination of information on these issues via workshops, conferences, the
                                                                        production of a periodical and other publications
                                                                     • to provide a forum for communication among professionals in this field in industry, government, research and
                                                                        teaching organisations, for environmental protection and the benefit of the community
                                                                     • to collaborate with other societies with similar purposes on a national and international basis, to further these

                                                                    For membership application forms and other information on ASE, see the ASE home page:


                                                                   We apologize for the delay in publication of this issue. Endpoint is now distributed to ASE members in 3 issues
                                                                   each year - April, August (or October) and December (or January). The deadline for contributions falls on the
                                                                   Friday prior to the start of the month of the issue. Editors - Catherine King, (cath.king@aad.gov.au) and Fred

                                                                    Editorial policy relating to the publication of submitted material:
                                                                    The editor will use his or her discretion on whether to publish submitted material, wholly or in part. The aim will
                                                                    always be to try to avoid heavy editing of material, but material likely to be offensive to members of ASE will be
                                                                    deleted without consultation with the author (unless it’s so bloody bad as to not leave anything meaningful, then
                                                                    the material will, possibly, be returned to the author for revision).

                     Page 2                                                                                                                          December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
                                                                                                               FROM EL VICE PRESIDENTÉ
 From El                                                   EL VICE-PRESIDENTÉ
                                                           MIKE MCLAUGHLIN

 End of the year already! Where did 2005 go to?        sectors to ensure that vibrant mix. These are also
 Are you thinking the same as I am? At the end of      the ideal targets for sustaining membership.
 the year I am looking forward to some nice relax-
 ing time with the family, and mistakenly thinking     The other area where we need to maintain activ-
 I can just finish off that important manuscript or    ity is in recruitment of young members, particu-
 job in January “when things are quiet”. Of            larly students. SETAC does this particularly well,
 course, as soon as you get back to work after the     and at their annual meetings in North America
 break, things are not so quiet and there is a con-    they have special presentation sessions for stu-
 tinuing stream of other jobs to do leaving that       dents, student breakfasts, and student/mentor din-
 manuscript forlornly on your desk another few         ners, etc. I think we need to give this some more
 weeks.                                                thought in ASE in 2006 to ensure we have a
                                                       steady stream of new young members into the
 The end of the year is also a time of reflection on   society.
 events and activities. Over the last 3 months I
 have been on the fortunate position of attending      Finally, I think a successful society makes sure it
 the national and international conference of four     is abreast of the latest developments, and raises
 different professional societies. The ASE meeting     its profile by organising and promoting outreach
 in Melbourne continued the great tradition of         activities which let the wider world know it is
 ASE conferences as a stimulating and friendly         relevant. With the myriad of new chemicals com-
 occasion, and Caroline and her team can be proud      ing onto the market, and the rise of nanotechnol-
 of their achievements. I also attended the SETAC      ogy, I think ASE is well placed to make a major
 North America meeting in Baltimore in Novem-          contribution to the debate regarding the environ-
 ber which, with several thousand delegates, is on     mental safety of these developments in our re-
 a slightly different scale to ASE meetings! Both      gion. In this regard it was pleasing to see the ex-
 ASE and SETAC were scientifically excellent,          cellent attendance at the special session at ASE
 discussion was lively, and the mix of attendees is    on endocrine disrupting chemicals. The special
 a mark of the success of these societies. By con-     sessions on nanoparticle toxicity at SETAC also
 trast, the other two meetings which I attended        attracted much interest and we need to key an
 (and I will not name the societies!) were quite       ecotoxicological “eye” on this industry as it de-
 academic and inwardly focussed, most attendees        velops.
 were academics or government researchers, there
 was a lack of young members, and there was a          So I believe that ASE and SETAC have the right
 fair degree of recycling of ideas.                    formula, and we must ensure that formula stays
                                                       active in 2006 and beyond. If any members be-
 After these experiences, I have been thinking         lieve we could be better, please let the Board
 about how to ensure a professional society re-        know your suggestions!
 mains vibrant and active, and how do ASE and
 SETAC do this? I believe it is essential for a so-    So I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy
 ciety to have a mix of membership and this is         New Year, take a break from ecotoxicology, keep
 where ASE and SETAC excel. ASE is not just an         the doses of stimulating beverages moderate, and
 academic society; we have members from indus-         drive safely! Look forward to seeing you all in
 try, private consulting firms, government regula-     2006!
 tors, state regulators, government researchers and
 universities. Likewise SETAC has a policy of
 ensuring a mix of industry, academics and gov-
 ernment in all its activities. If there is any room
 for improvement, perhaps in ASE we need to do
 more to attract members from “big” industries,
 for example the mining, petrochemical or energy

December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2                                                                           Page 3

                    Australasian Journal of Ecotoxicology

                                                NEEDS YOU

                 to submit high quality, complete research articles for forthcoming issues of the journal.
                 Support the Society’s journal by publishing your work, either as a
                    •    Original research article
                    •    Critical Review
                    •    Short Communication
                    •    Commentaries
                    •    Letter to the Editor

                 We aim to give you faster turnaround and publication in a well respected internationally-
                 read journal

                  For more information, contact the Editor-In-Chief:

                  Dr Scott Markich
                  P.O. Box 3125
                  NSW 2117
                  Email: smarkich@optusnet.com.au
                  Fax: + 61 2 9804 1085

    Page 4                                                                     December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
                                                                                                              REGIONAL REPORTS
 Regional Reports
VIC                                                   SKM
As demonstrated at                                    At SKM, Dr Adam Cohen is involved in
the recent ASE                                        undertaking marine environmental surveys.
conference          in                                Recent projects have included the Baseline
M e l b o u r n e ,                                   Monitoring Program for the Channel Deepening
excellent work is                                     Project, environmental surveys for the 2002
being undertaken in                                   Dredging Campaign for Major Maintenance
the field of ecotox                                   Dredging and marine sediment surveys the
in Victoria. Below                                    Channel Deepening EES.
is a brief description
of some of the groups and their projects. More        Monash University
will follow in the next edition of Endpoint…          In Prof. John Beardall’s group at Monash
                                                      University (Dept. of Biology), research interests
Victorian EPA                                         include the ecophysiology and biochemistry of
At the Victorian EPA, the Freshwater Sciences         algae. Projects underway include the effects of
team (David Tiller, Clare Putt and Anne Maree         climate change on photosynthetic performance of
Westbury) has been focusing on the practical          microalgae and interactions between nutrient
application of Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA)       uptake and photosynthesis in macro- and micro-
methods in natural resource management (a risk-       algae, a range of environmental impact studies,
based approach that has been adopted for the State    and investigation of the role of benthic microalgae
Environment Protection Policy Waters of               in modulating nutrient fluxes between sediments
Victoria). The freshwater team recently conducted     and the overlying water column. Laboratory
ERAs on the Lower Wimmera and Loddon                  personnel are Dr Slobodanka Stojkovic, Dr
Rivers. Projects involved the development of          Kirsten Shelly, Dr Tara Higgins, Dr Simon
Bayesian Networks to assess risks to river            Roberts, Dr Philip Heraud, Dr Assaf Sukenik,
ecosystems from a variety of catchment threats        Sven Ihnken, Ellen Doxey, Belinda Cant, and
and hazards, and to test the effectiveness of         Jackie Myers.
different management scenarios for reducing risk.
Case studies were conducted in collaboration with     The Water Studies Centre at Monash University
the Wimmera and North Central Catchment               has had a range of ERA projects underway under
Management Authorities, Department of Primary         the guidance of Prof. Barry Hart. Colette Thomas
Industries, Water Authorities and Community           is undertaking a study investigating the impact of
Landholders, Water Studies Centre and                 catchment-derived contaminants on sea grasses
Melbourne University. Dr Alex Leonard from            and Dugongs in the Great Barrier Reef. Dr Angus
Marine Sciences at the Victorian EPA has been         Webb has undertaken a probabilistic risk
busy building a system to organise metadata           assessment to investigate salinity in the Goulburn
associated with sewage and industrial outfalls        Broken Catchment, using field data and
along the Victorian coast. He has been assessing      quantifying uncertainties as part of the
the ecotoxicological issues surrounding the Boags     assessment. Dr Terry Chan and Dr Carmel Pollino
Rocks outfall (one of Melbourne's largest             have been busy on ERA case studies in the Woori
outfalls), particularly assessing the risks to the    Yallock, Murray and Loddon Catchments. These
rock platform communities. Other investigations       studies have focussed on problem formulation,
include assessing the risks to recreational fishers   risk analysis and characterisation, and adoption of
who consume fish caught from the Maribyrnong-         ERA into risk management.
Yarra estuary (project involving the Port of
Melbourne Corporation, Parks Victoria, Fisheries,     Carmel Pollino
Department of Human Services and Melbourne            Monash University

December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2                                                                          Page 5
         QLD                                                   enjoyable Christmas and New Year period, and
         Hydrobiology                                          we hope you all come back to work/studies next
         With Christmas and                                    year with renewed vigour.
         the new year fast
         approaching, and if                                   Dustin Hobbs
         you are anything
         like myself, you
         will be scratching                                    CEM, Central Queensland University.
         your head and                                         The Gladstone contingent of the Queensland
         saying ‘Good Lord,                                    Chapter based at the Centre for Environmental
         where has the year gone’. This year has seen          Management at Central Queensland University,
         some interesting work being undertaken in all         has undergone some expansion. The permanent
         parts of the world by Hydrobiology, including         staff in the ecotox team (Clayton Plummer,
         PNG, Laos, Suriname, Tanzania and Indonesia,          Larelle Fabbro and I) have been boosted by new
         coupled with the jobs that have been tackled          additions Lindsay Boyd and Felicity Melville.
         locally, there has been no rest for the wicked.       Felicity has just been awarded her PhD in the use
         Some of this work has been routine biological         of mangrove algae in the assessment of estuarine
         monitoring of mine sites which incorporates the       pollution and will bring another dimension to the
         use of fish tissue metals analysis and a prawn        research of the team. Felicity using her knowledge
         enzyme assay. These analyses are also being used      garnered from working in Ecotox labs wasted no
         for the development of baseline data for new          time in setting up a pilot toxicity test looking at
         mining projects. Ross Smith recently completed a      the effects of fluoride on oysters for some of our
         4 week biodiversity study of the Fly River in         industry clients. Lindsay is busy seven days a
         PNG, which has yielded some interesting results.      week taking samples for harbour dredge
         The results from this biodiversity study has led to   monitoring for the CQ Ports Authority expansion
         follow up ecotoxicology work, which is to be          projects.
         undertaken in the new year. This will be looking
         at the sensitivity of ecologically important fish     In January next year I will be moving sideways
         species to some of the elevated metals associated     into a new role as Port Curtis Integrated
         with the river.                                       Monitoring Program (PCIMP) Coordinator. The
                                                               group is made up of 14 industries and
         Ecotox work locally has seen the continued            management advisors interested in an integrated
         collection and testing of WWTP effluent from SE       approach to whole of port monitoring of the
         Queensland, with this work set to encompass a         harbour. Although some projects have already
         few more municipalities and their waste water         begun, next year will be the launch of the first
         treatment operations. Work has also continued on      official PCIMP projects. Themes to be covered
         the development of a TBT whole sediment test          include biomonitoring, sediments, mangroves and
         using the marine snail, Nassarius pullus. To data,    seagrass. The projects involve collaboration with
         aqueous phase tests have been conducted to assess     other institutions including Peter Teasdale form
         the sensitivity of this snail to concentrations of    GU and Di Jolly form UoW. The projects should
         TBT, with results indicating that early signs of      keep the whole team pretty busy with annual
         imposex are developing. A longer exposure             monitoring planned for a number of years.
         period has been employed in the hope that more
         pronounced effects of the exposure to TBT will be     Leonie Anderson
         evident, giving a better indication of possible
         imposex in the snails. We have also been
         investigating methods to develop site specific        National        Research        Centre      for
         water quality objectives for a Bowen Basin coal       Environmental Toxicology
         mine for difficult stressors, like salinity and       The anthropogenic pollutants group at EnTox
         turbidity. We are making use mostly of existing       have been working in a range of research areas
         State government databases for laboratory             and the activity was supported by overseas guest
         sensitivity to salinity, and concurrent water         on sabbatical such as Dr Gesine Witt from the
         quality and distributional data.                      Baltic Research Institute and Dr Beate Escher
                                                               from the Swiss Water Research Institute. Beate
         To all in the ecotox family, have a safe and          and Gesine both worked with us on the use of
                                                               passive samplers and bioanalytical tools for

Page 6                                                                           December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
assessing toxicity for a range of endpoints.           tour around Australia, and we were very fortunate
Calibrations studies continue for passive sampling     to be joined by Felicity Melville over that period.
techniques in air and water. At present passive        We were always going to miss Chris and his many
samplers are used in a range of studies around         talents, but having Felicity made the time pass
Australia including the Great Barrier Reef             seamlessly. We wish Felicity the very best with
Protection Plan. Work is also underway on a time       her new research position at the University of
integrated sampling/monitoring technique for           Central Queensland.
nutrients including nitrate. In the bioanalysis
area, Susan Bengtson has submitted her PhD on          A warm thank you to all our ASE colleagues who
the development of the ToxY-PAM assay. Based           worked with us over the year, and very Merry
on this work is continuing on a 96 well plate          Christmas from Chris, Liz, Ben and I.
phytotoxicity assay using the Maxi-Imaging
PAM. Other assays that are now used to assess          Rick Krassoi
toxicity in extracts include the umuC assay
(mutagenicity) using a range of strains, Microtox,
the endocrine receptor binding assay and an acetyl     CSIRO        Centre       for    Environmental
cholin esterase assay.      Other work that is         Contaminants Research, Sydney
underway include studies on the emission of            With the end of the year rapidly approaching,
dioxins from bushfires and a study on sources,         deadlines are drawing near for some, while for
pathways and accumulation of flameretardants in        others it’s become the time to wind down for the
humans.                                                silly season. Our resident PhD and honours
                                                       students are still ploughing through their
Jochen Mueller
                                                       experimental work, including plenty of weekend
                                                       work into their schedules. Brad Angel and Jacqui
                                                       Levy have been working together on large
NSW                                                    collaborative experiments investigating copper
Ecotox Services                                        uptake in microalgae. Brad has been looking more
Australasia                                            specifically at the effects of fluctuating copper
This has been our                                      exposure on a marine alga, while Jacqui has been
second year in our                                     investigating biotic influences on copper toxicity
new Lane Cove                                          to microalgae. Both Brad and Jacqui presented
laboratory,      and                                   their recent findings at the Wollongong University
despite increasing                                     Chemistry Conference at Jervis Bay. David
in floor space by                                      Strom, who also attended the conference,
five times, it didn’t                                  presented his work on the development of robust
take us long to fill it all. We have been working      guidelines and assessment procedures for
on expanding our test capability to meet new           contaminated sediments. Tina Micevska has been
needs, and now offer a range of tests to meet          continuing her work on developing whole-
Western Australian marine toxicity testing             sediment TIE procedures, working most recently
requirements. In addition we have been expanding       with a benthic marine alga. Kay Ho, from the
our capability to a range of terrestrial assays.       USEPA, will be visiting our lab for 6 weeks from
Apart from taking on the routine OECD terrestrial      early January to link with Tina, Stuart, Graeme
tests (crop plants, earthworms), we have been          and Jenny on sediment TIE procedures.
assessing a number of native plant species for use
with these OECD protocols and have identified          Jacqui returned from her successful meeting in the
several suitable species. Trials have been initiated   UK at QUEST ES4, Quantifying and
with soils from a range of contaminated sites          Understanding the Earth System, Earth Systems
provided by several environmental consultants          Science Summer School, at the University of
across Australia, to whom we owe many thanks.          Bristol, where she was given the opportunity to
Felicity and I hope to submit a manuscript on the      gain a better understanding of key environmental
native plant development work to AJE shortly.          issues and to integrate her specialised research
We are also working toward adding other marine         interests into this wider context. She arrived back
tests to our list of tests covered by our NATA         in the country, just in time, to join Jenny, Merrin,
endorsement.                                           Felicity, Tina and David Spadaro the very next
                                                       day for the ASE conference in Melbourne. Jacqui,
This year saw Chris Doyle leave for a 6-month          while slightly jetlagged, presented a poster that

Page 7                                                                            December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
         she also showcased at QUEST ES4, on the role           Vicky was awarded Second class 1st division
         that biotic factors play in the uptake and toxicity    honours for her work on the application of
         of copper in marine microalgae. Jenny presented        surrogate methods for assessing the bioavailability
         results from a collaborative project between           and bioaccumulation of PAHs in contaminated
         CSIRO, CET and ANSTO, which found that                 sediments. Well done guys!
         commonly used hardness correction factors are
         under-protective for copper toxicity to freshwater     Sarah, Merrin, Janine and Margaux have been
         biota. Tina presented her findings so far in           busy in the lab developing water quality guideline
         developing whole sediment TIE methods for              values for two volatile organic chemicals and
         benthic algae and invertebrates. Felicity gave a       testing effluents from various water authorities in
         talk on the use of mangrove macroalgae for             NSW. With Monique’s return from “the outback”,
         toxicity testing, which she developed as part of       Margaux has now taken up her position at
         her PhD. David Spadaro presented a poster on the       Hurstville City Council in their waste
         effect of amphipod age and feeding on copper           management department. Thanks to Margaux for
         toxicity to a marine amphipod. Merrin gave a talk      all your help while Monique was away!
         on the use of species sensitivity distributions to
         derive water quality guideline trigger values for      Welcome back to Nicola Rogers who has returned
         volatile organic compounds, which emanated as          to work part time after seven months maternity
         part of a current groundwater study.                   leave. Although she leaves little Archie behind
                                                                three days a week, he never leaves her sight, with
         The use of flow cytometry in ecotoxicology has         baby pictures proudly displayed on her computer
         received wider attention in the past few months,       screen savers!
         as our work using flow cytometry was presented
         to several different scientific audiences. Merrin      Jenny and Graeme have been busy writing
         presented a one-hour lecture on the applications of    literature reviews for several different projects.
         flow cytometry to ecotoxicology at the Australian      These include reviews on predicting metal toxicity
         Institute of Laboratory Medical Scientists             in sediments; investigating the best ecotoxicology
         Conference in Sydney. Jenny gave a talk on the         methods and protocols to be used to test bauxite
         development and application of aquatic and             residue-leachates; and investigating the most
         sediment bioassays using flow cytometry at the         appropriate toxicity tests for use in tropical marine
         12th International Symposium on Toxicity               sediments.
         Assessment in Skiathos, Greece. Monique was
         invited to speak at the Australasian Flow              Jenny has been busy travelling again, both
         Cytometry Group Conference on the Gold Coast           interstate to Coolangatta, Canberra, Darwin, Gold
         in November. She presented the group’s work in         Coast, Perth and Melbourne and internationally to
         applying flow cytometry to marine ecotoxicology        Nagpur, India to chair the World Health
         and ballast water studies.                             Organisation’s 13 th Final Review Board as part
                                                                of their International Program on Chemical
         Anthony Chariton has been showing his face             Safety.
         around the place as well, giving lectures at the
         University of New South Wales and Wollongong           Have a safe and happy new year everyone from
         University on “Environmental chemistry: an             all at the Centre, and above all Enjoy the Silly
         ecologist’s point of view”.                            Season!

         It’s good news for our honours students, Hilary        Monique Binet
         Johnson, Matt Misdale and Vicky Burston, who
         all breathed a sigh of relief as they handed their
         theses over in October. The students’ hard work        Institute for Water and Environmental
         paid off, with excellent results for their projects.   Resource Management (IWERM)
         Hilary was awarded a First class honours for his       Refreshed and enthused by the Melbourne
         work on the adaptation of marine and freshwater        conference, ecotox is moving ahead leaps and
         microalgae to metals, before and after being           bounds at UTS.
         cultured in copper-enriched medium. Matt was
         also awarded First class honours for his work          An exciting development has been the launch of
         studying the effects of contaminated sediments on      the Sydney Harbour Institute of Marine Sciences
         pigment expression of marine benthic algae.            (SHIMS) of which UTS is a lead partner. The

Page 8                                                                             December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
Institute is based in Chowder Bay, over looking        Peter Marshman has finished his lab tox tests and
the Harbour. Ecotoxicology is an important             is getting stuck in to writing up his thesis on the
component of the SHIMS’ Research Program and           water quality impacts of golf courses. Peter is
will provide some excellent opportunities for          supervised by Grant Hose & Richard Lim. Grant
collaborative research in marine and catchment-        continues to look for and play with groundwater
based ecotoxicology, although researchers will         bugs, comparing their sensitivities with their
have to put up with clear blue waters, harbour         surface dwelling relatives. He is also working on
views and excellent swimming and snorkelling           approaches to stream biomonitoring and detecting
opportunities.                                         urban impacts in streams.

While on Marine stuff, Ralph Alquezar has given        The Aquatic Photosynthesis news, Cliff Seery is
his final PhD seminar on the trials and tribulations   biting nails awaiting the reports of his thesis
of being a toadfish in a contaminated estuary. Our     assessors. Rachael Smith is winding up her
congratulations to Ralph on taking out the student     experimental work and is continuing to write up
prize at the Melbourne Conference. Ralph, and          her thesis.
Felicity Melville will be leaving the temperate
climes of Sydney to take up research and               Grant Hose
consulting positions in the Centre for
Environmental Management at Central
Queensland University in Gladstone.                    TAS
Elsewhere in IWERM, Richard Lim’s EDC team             A n t a r c t i c
are chugging along. Heather Brown completed an         Division
excellent Honours thesis and will soon starting a      Well it’s a busy time
PhD to continue her great work. Chris Rawson is        here at the Division
still testing EDCs in and around Sydney Olympic        as most people in
Park as part of his PhD. Anne Colville is testing      our group, Impact of
for EDCs around sewage treatment plants (STPs)         Human Activities in
near Sydney using the Estrogen Receptor Binding        Antarctica, are either
Assay and the Yeast Estrogen Screen. Yin Latt          in Antarctica working on projects or are in the
Phyu is working on a postdoc on the Endocrine          final stage of preparations before heading south
Disruptor effects of atrazine using the                (including myself). Martin Riddle is currently
mosquitofish. Yin will soon be a ‘gun for hire’        coordinating research activities at Casey Station
and is on the look out for postdoc opportunities in    which includes both terrestrial and marine
Australia and abroad. Adam McSorley’s hot off          programs as part of the ongoing monitoring, clean
the press Honours thesis reported at the Endocrine     up and remediation of the station’s rubbish tip
Disruptor effects of atrazine on cladocerans.          site.
Adam showed that test conditions were critical in
determining the impacts of Atrazine on the fleas.      The terrestrial group led by Ian Snape is working
Hemanthe Dassanayake continues writing up his          on a fuel spill remediation project, and have
PhD thesis and is moonlighting as an                   finished the main excavation phase and are now in
ecotoxicologist at the NSW DEC Centre for              the process of burying absorption/remediation
Ecotoxicology.                                         materials across the line of a six year old fuel spill
                                                       to prevent further spread of contamination into the
Megan Muir completed her honours project on the        surrounding areas. Steven Siciliano and Alexis
toxicity of coal ash in soil to earthworms. Her        Schafer from the University of Saskatchewan in
study has direct application to the coal industry      Canada, are also working in collaboration with the
and is an important step toward utilisation of         terrrestrial group to examine the effects of diesel
power station waste as a soil amendment. Still on      fuels on soil microbes and to develop soil toxicity
soils, Phanchai Menchai is continuing his PhD          tests using carbohydrate utilisation, nitrification
research on EDCs in soil with Lukas van Zweiten        and denitrification as end points, as indicators of
(NSW DPI). Phanchai is co-supervised by Grant          soil health.     This work coupled with their
Hose and Michael Warne. Phanchai will be               investigations of microbial community changes
presenting his research to the international           across contamination gradiants will be used to
Pacifichem Conference in Hawaii in December.           develop remediation targets for the clean up of
                                                       fuel contaminated sites in the Antarctic.

Page 9                                                                             December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
          The marine and diving program led by Martin            from these rapid tests will be compared to
          Riddle is also well underway with sediment traps       estimates using traditional toxicity test methods
          being deployed under the sea ice adjacent to the       which are more precise, yet use only a limited
          tip site to measure the flux of contaminants           number of test species to represent complex
          associated with particulate matter into nearshore      biological communities. This research will be
          marine environments. Sediment cores are                used to direct ecotoxicological research in future
          currently being collected and analysed back at the     years as we work towards the development of
          Division by Anne Palmer to examine sediment            Antarctic water quality guidelines.
          characteristics including the distribution and
          concentrations of contaminants using acid              Nicole Hill, a PhD student co supervised by
          digestion techniques, AVS, pH, redox and organic       Emma Johnstone from the UNSW, Stuart
          content within the sediment profile. Anne is also      Simpson from CSIRO, and Cath King from the
          investigating copper speciation in marine waters       Antarctic Division, will spend her first season in
          using an ion selective electrode to examine            Antarctica, looking at recruitment on natural and
          changes in bioavailability over a 3 month time         artificial hard substrates overlying contaminated
          period during the Antarctic summer melt. Jonny         sediments. Cath and Nicole will also be working
          Stark is continuing monitoring infaunal and            to identifying species that may be useful as test
          epibenthic communities adjacent to the tip and at      species for both pore water and whole sediment
          control sites as part of a long term study to          toxicity tests to assess contaminated sediments in
          examine effects of contaminated sediments on           the Antarctic.
          Antarctic ecological processes.
                                                                 Wishing everyone a wonderful (and warm)
          John Runcie is working with Martin using the           Christmas and New Year from Antarctica!
          PAM technique for measuring fluorescence in
          macroalgae. They are currently developing a            Catherine King
          fluorometer device known as the Octopam that
          can simultaneously measure chlorophyll
          fluorescence of eight separate plants underwater,      NT
          24 hours a day, without user intervention. The         ERISS staff were
          device is being set up in different combinations       sad to say farewell
          and at different depths in both open waters and in     to     Tida      Nou
          areas covered with ice to examine the effect of        (affectionately
          water quality on key macro-algae species. Chris        known as ‘Wormy’,
          Golding, fresh from finishing his PhD thesis at the    for the great care she
          University of Sydney, will be continuing this          took in maintaining
          work the second half of the season, concentrating      our lab worm farms)
          on laboratory based tests to complement this field     who transferred to
          work. Also working with macroalgae, Paul               Parks Australia North (Kakadu) as a seasonal
          Goldsworthy will be completing field work for his      ranger earlier this year. She has since decided not
          PhD this year, finishing off his investigations into   to return to ERISS and is currently working as a
          the germination of macroalgae following exposure       Project Officer in the Natural Resource
          to a range of metals and sedimentation regimes.        Management section out in Kakadu. We wish her
                                                                 all the best.
          Several other environmental and ecotoxicological
          projects are also commencing this season. In a         Melanie Houston has taken on Tida’s role as
          collaborative project under an ASAC grant with         Technical Officer in the ecotoxicology lab and is
          Dayanthi Nugegoda and Ben Kefford from RMIT            known around the traps as ‘Blermy’ (Blonde
          University, Ben and Cath King will be using rapid      Wormy). Melanie studied Zoology at the
          toxicity tests to assess the toxicity of a range of    University of Adelaide and has an honours in
          metals including copper, zinc, lead, cadmium and       ecotoxicology (under the supervision of Joe
          tin in waters to Antarctic marine invertebrates.       Bidwell, Anu Kumar and Margaret Davies). She
          This work is aimed at giving us approximate            has extensive experience in the large-scale
          estimates of the tolerance of a wide range of          maintenance of marine organisms through her
          Antarctic species (as many as we can find!) from       work at the Charles Darwin University
          a range of environments (planktonic, epiphytic         Aquaculture Centre. It is great to have her in the
          and benthic) to common contaminants. Results           lab.

Page 10                                                                            December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
Our newest recruit is Sarah Gooding who has            Thailand
recently started an 8 month, part-time contract        Sawasdee everyone
with us as a Technical Assistant. After only a         ( Gr e e t i n g fr o m
week on the job Sarah is already known as              Thailand).
‘Kermie’ (Curly Wormy) in the ERISS staff room.
Sarah did some volunteer work with us last year        The       mid     of
after graduating from her Environmental Science        November,           I
degree and made a timely return from her               attended the “ICS-
overseas travels just as we advertised the position.   UNIDO Workshop
We welcome her to the group.                           on Water and Soil
                                                       Remediation Technologies” 16-17 November
Our lab has been keeping busy over the past six        2005 Bangkok Thailand which was organized by
months with a couple of commercial jobs on top         International Centre for Science and High
of our usual research relating to Ranger Uranium       Technology United Nations Industrial
Mine. We have completed screening tests on             Development Organization, Italy, and National
waste waters from Argyle Diamond Mine and are          Science and Technology Development Agency
planning to collect local species from Kununurra       Ministry of Science and Technology, Thailand.
in January for a full assessment of waste rock
seepage in March next year. One of Sarah’s roles       It was a very interesting workshop. There were
will be to maintain several Kimberley species and      many representatives from different countries.
assess their suitability as test organisms. Another    The workshop involved issues about National and
commercial job, in collaboration with Jenny            International Initiatives and programs in the field
Stauber’s group from the CSIRO Centre for              of environmental pollution reduction and
Environmental Contaminants Research, has just          remediation and Open Problems and Initiatives in
been completed.                                        the field of environmental pollution reduction and
                                                       remediation (Environmental situation, open
We are aiming to complete the assessment of            problems, ongoing and planned initiatives and
magnesium (Mg) toxicity in the presence of             possible follow- up action in Thailand and other
calcium very early in the new year, after which        South East Asia (SEA) countries), and follow-up
Rick can derive the Trigger Value for Mg in            activities, common initiatives recommendations
Magela Creek and we can draft the long-awaited         and conclusions.
paper. In the meantime, we will be assessing the
toxicity of Ranger Mine process and retention          This month, we also welcome Ms. Amanda
pond waters that have been treated by the mine’s       Hasthorpe, Master student under the supervision
new water treatment plant, using five local test       of Prof. Barry Noller from Entox, University of
organisms. The treatment plant will allow Ranger       Queensland, Australia. She will be with us at
mine to release larger volumes of higher quality       Khon Kaen University for one month. Her project
water into the Magela. The plant is to be              title is “The Study of the Environmental Fate and
commissioned in early December and testing will        Migration of Pyrethroid Termiticides in Soil”.
take place soon after. Claire Jones from Earth
Water & Life Sciences (EWLS) is co-ordinating          As I told you in the last newsletter, the
this work and will be assisting us in the laboratory   International Conference on Hazardous Waste
during the testing.                                    Management for a Sustainable Future, is to be
                                                       held on 10-12 January 2006 at the Century Park
Finally, laboratory staff (Alicia in particular) are   Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. I have more
very excited at the arrival of our new Coulter         information from the organizer of this conference
Multisizer 3. After 12 months of microscope            as follows.
counting all our algal tests, relief is nigh! ERISS
staff have been queueing at the ecotox lab door        To further make the conference a forum for
after Rick spread the news that it also makes a        knowledge exchange and update, we
good latte!                                            havearranged two pre-conference workshops to be
                                                       given by experts in the areas from industry and
Alicia Hogan                                           academic institutions, on 9 January 2006 (8.00-
                                                       16.00) at the conference venue. The workshop
                                                       attendance is limited to 50 persons and works on a

Page 11                                                                          December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
                   first come first serve basis, with minimal
                   registration fee.                                     For those who have not yet submitted the full
                                                                         papers, we hope to receive your prompt
                   Workshop I: Nanotechnology for the                    cooperation to ensure the inclusion of full paper in
                   Environment: Fundamentals and Applications            the conference proceeding. Please note that the
                   (Prof. Krishnan Rajeshwar, University of Texas at     submission of the abstract and full paper does not
                   Arlington, USA; Prof. Supapan Seraphin,               constitute the registration.     All authors are
                   University of Arizona, USA).                          requested to complete the registration and full
                                                                         payment of all fees by 16 December 2005 in order
                   Workshop II: Biodegradation of Chlorinated            to keep their papers on the program and
                   Solvents: Theory and Practice (Dr. David E. Ellis,    proceeding.
                   DuPonts Corporate Remediation Group, USA).
                                                                         Please visit the conference website for more
                   In facilitating a productive conference and a         update information. Online registration is
                   comfortable stay in Bangkok for the participants,     presently open at http://www.nrc-
                   we have reserved a block of rooms at the Century      ehwm.chula.ac.th/conference.
                   Park Hotel at the special rate which will be
                   available for reservation until 9 December 2005       We look forward to welcoming you at the
                   after which the room availability cannot be           conference in January 2006.
                   guaranteed. Since January is considered a high
                   season period, it is advisable that the               ChuleemasBoonthai Iwai
                   accommodation be reserved at soon as possible.        Khon Kaen University

                   Student Profiles
                                                                         Brief outline of results so far: Sources of metals
                                                                         at Port Curtis, Queensland have been investigated
                                                                         in two surveys. Metals were elevated in the Port
                                                                         relative to coastal sites, although they were not
                                                                         above ANZECC/ARMCANZ guidelines. Studies
                                                                         investigating and comparing the effects of
                                                                         fluctuating and continuous copper exposures on
                                                                         growth inhibition of the marine alga,
                                                                         Phaeodactylum tricornutum have indicated
                                                                         continuous exposure as the more toxic. Studies
                                                                         investigating the uptake of copper during
                                                                         exposure have been conducted, rates of uptake
                                                                         calculated, and incorporated into growth
                   Name: Brad Angel                                      inhibition models to predict the effects of
                                                                         fluctuating copper exposures. TEM has been used
                   Institution: University of Wollongong and             to investigate the swelling of P. tricornutum in the
                   CSIRO Centre for Environmental Contaminants           presence of copper and the mechanisms of
                   Research                                              toxicity.

                   Degree: Doctor of Philosophy                          In the future, I hope to continue research in the
                                                                         BLM area, whilst still getting out into the field to
                   Estimated time of completion: January 2007            do survey work.

                   Thesis title: Processes affecting metal toxicity in   If I wasn’t an ecotoxicologist, I would be a
                   estuarine systems                                     marine biologist or an astronaut

     Page 12                                                                               December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
                                                                                              HOW TO USE YOUR CREDIT CARD

          All ASE Conference Abstracts 1994 to 2005 and including
                             Melbourne 2005

                                    Xmas special:
                                     For registered purchasers of the original
                                        issue, or a previous update, the update is
                                        available for $AU5 (ASE members) or
                                        $AU10 (non-ASE members) + GST.
                                     For new purchasers, $AU20 (ASE members)
                                        or $50 (non-ASE members) + GST.

Page 13                                                          December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2

                        Funding Opportunities
                        Australian Government Funding Guide                   The Institutional Grants Scheme (IGS),
                        A new guide to the Australian Government's            Department of Education, Science & Training
                        Funding Programmes for Environment and                (DEST) - www.dest.gov.au
                        Heritage has been produced. The guide provides        Available to higher education institutions only.
                        an overview of the grants available through the       Supports the higher education institutions research
                        Department of Environment and Heritage. http://       and research training activities, and allows them
                        www.deh.gov.au/programs/publications/guide/           to fund their activities in accordance with their
                        index.html                                            own strategic judgements.

                        Periodic & on-going grants for continuous             German Research Council (DFG)
                        assessment:                                           www.dfg.de/en/index.html
                        DEH Commonwealth Environment Research                 Cooperative Research Grants for short-term
                        Facilities (CERF)                                     research visits, workshops, post-doctoral
                        http://www.deh.gov.au/programs/cerf/                  fellowships
                        Award: $100million total over 4 and 5 years.
                        No closing date published – see website.              International Science Linkages; Strategic
                        The fund will support research on the significant     Policy and International Science and
                        environmental challenges Australia faces, drawing     Technology Networks
                        on multiple disciplines, collaboration and existing   https://sciencegrants.dest.gov.au/isl/Pages/
                        research strengths. The CERF is aimed at creating     Home.aspx
                        national research hubs and building critical mass
                        in areas of Australia's environmental strengths and   Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
                        national research priorities.                         Council of Canada; Visiting Fellowships in
                                                                              Canadian Government Laboratories
                        Australian Geographic sponsorship:                    www.nserc.ca/sf_e.asp?nav=vfnav&lbi=3d
                        fuseaction=sponsorship                                Humboldt (Alexander von) Foundation:
                                                                              Humboldt Research Fellowships for Foreign
                        ARC, Linkage - International Awards                   Post-Docs
                        www.arc.gov.au/apply_grants/                          www.avh.de
                        linkage_international.htm                             Award: EUR 2,100 -3,000, 6-12 months (up to
                        Award: $5000+ up to 3 years. Awards are to build      600 fellowships per annum). Enables highly
                        links between centres of excellence in Australia      qualified foreign scholars holding PhD under 40
                        and overseas by funding extended collaborations.      years of age from all nations and all disciplines to
                        To build strong ongoing collaborations between        carry out research projects of their own choice in
                        research groupings or centres of excellence in        Germany. Research awards are offered on a
                        Australia and overseas, involving the exchange of     worldwide competitive basis
                        researchers at both senior and junior levels;
                        strengthen international research experience for      Australian Centre for International
                        junior researchers at both postdoctoral and           Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
                        postgraduate levels; and enhance existing, and        www.aciar.gov.au
                        develop new, collaborations among senior              Award: $50,000 to over 1m. R&D Development
                        researchers; i.e. for Australian-based researchers    Projects: Supports bilateral research and
                        towards the direct costs of the collaboration         development in a broad range of agricultural
                        (travel, subsistence and consumables).                areas, including crop production and protection,
                                                                              animal health and animal production, fisheries,
                        Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds: Travel                    forestry, land and water resources management
                        allowances to PhD students and post-doctoral          and post-harvest technology and also economic
                        scientists                                            and policy issues concerned with the management
                        www.bifonds.de/travel/inhaltr.htm                     of agricultural systems and natural resources.

       Page 14                                                                                  December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
                                                                                                              WHAT’S ON
What’s On
3rd Asian Pacific International Conference             SETAC Europe 16th Annual Meeting
on Pollutants Analysis and Control                     7 - 11 May 2006
(APICPAC)                                              The Hague, The Netherlands
12 - 15 December 2005                                  The meeting will focus on Controversies and
Bangkok, Thailand                                      Solutions in Environmental Sciences, in an
For further information please visit the conference    attempt to bridge the gaps between laboratory and
official website:                                      field, as well as between science and policy.
http://www.sci.ku.ac.th/News&Pr/new/website%           For more information, please visit the conference
20of%20the%203rd%20APICPAC%                            website: www.setaceumeeting.org/thehague/
                                                       Catchments to Coasts
Pacifichem 2005                                        9 - 14 July 2006
15 - 20 December 2005                                  Society of Wetland Scientists and Australian
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA                                  Marine Sciences Association joint annual
This symposium will focus on the behaviour in          meeting
the environment of organic agrochemicals, such         Cairns, Queensland
as insecticides, herbicides and pharmaceuticals        Catchments to Coast is an international
and the development of rational methods aimed at       conference, the major focus of which will be the
reducing their overall impacts on trade and human      vital role and value of wetlands within the
and environmental health, whilst promoting their       terrestrial and marine environments. Importantly,
efficacy. The symposium will involve three half-       the joint conference provides an international
day sessions of oral presentations as well as two      platform for showcasing the need for and benefits
evening discussion and poster sessions.                of a multidisciplinary approach to the complex
The overall aim of the symposium will be to help       issues associated with the land-sea interface.
generate a set of rational principles that can be      The conference will also be supplemented by a
used to select the best agrochemicals to use in        range of more specific wetland and marine
particular scenarios (soils, water, crops, potential   science topics of current interest; some examples
ecotoxicology) and to encourage the registration       include: estuaries, aquaculture, migratory species,
of new chemicals with reduced risk of all kinds.       hydrological/geological               processes,
Each session will begin with an invited keynote        biogeochemistry, ecotoxicology, ecosystem-based
speaker and subsequent papers will develop the         management, protected areas
main theme, ranging from research chemistry,           For more information, please visit the conference
regulatory methods and the role of better methods      website: www.catchments.org.au
in improving commerce and trade.
Keynote Speakers include Don Mackay (CA);              SETAC Asia Pacific
Bruce Hammock (USA); Keith Solomon (CA)                18 -20 September 2006
For more information, please visit the conference      Peking University, Beijing, China
website: www.pacifichem.org                            The theme for this conference is Growth with a
                                                       Limit: The Integration of Ecosystem Protection
International Conference on Hazardous                  for Human Health Benefits.
Waste Management for a Sustainable                     For more information, please visit the conference
Future                                                 website: oec.pku.edu.cn/setac/
10 - 12 January 2006
Bangkok Thailand                                       INTERACT 2006
For more information, please refer to the regional     24 - 26 September 2006
report from our Thailand ASE representative,           Perth,        Western      Australia.
ChuleemasBoonthai Iwai and visit the conference        Incorporating Australasian Society of
website:                                               Ecotoxicology, Analytical Chemistry RACI
www.nrc-ehwm.chula.ac.th/conference/                   Division, Environmental Chemistry RACI

Page 15                                                                          December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
                Division Electrochemistry RACI Division,               SETAC North America               28th    Annual
                Metrology, Clean Air Society of Australia and          Meeting
                New Zealand.                                           11 - 15 November 2007
                Keynote speakers include: Dr Robin Batterham,          Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
                Professor Kevin Francesconi, Dr Jerry Neff,
                Professor Philip Rainbow, Dr Joe Tietge, Robyn         5th SETAC World Congress
                Williams, Professor Yury Zolotov                       August 2008
                For more information, please visit the conference      Sydney, Australia.
                website: www.promaco.com.au/conference/2006/           Keep watching this space!!!!

                SETAC North America               27th     Annual
                5 - 9 November 2006
                Montreal, Quebec, Canada

                Interact 2006
                            The first call for abstracts has been      March 2006 and further information can be found
                            sent to all ASE members for                at the conference web site www.promaco.com.au.
                            INTERACT 2006 to be held on the
                            24th - 26th September 2006 at the          For further information, please go to the web site
                            Burswood Convention Centre in              or contact:
                Perth, Western Australia. INTERACT 2006                Oana Chirila
                Incorporates the Australasian Society for              Chair of the Organising Committee
                Ecotoxicology, the Analytical Chemistry,               oana.chirila@measurement.gov.au
                Environmental Chemistry and Electrochemistry           Tel: (08) 9384 1511
                Divisions of RACI and, for the first time, the         Fax: (08) 9384 1132
                Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand.
                We have a wide range of international and
                national experts as Keynote speakers, including:
                Kevin Francesconi (Austria) Jerry Neff (USA),          IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware that as
                Phil Rainbow (UK), Joe Tietge (USA), Robin             Western Australia is renowned for its good food
                Batterham, Robyn Williams, Barry Hart, John            and fine wines you will be expected to sample
                Watling, Paul Haddad, Graeme Batley and Pamela         huge amounts of both!
                Sanders. The subject areas being discussed at the
                conference include many topical issues for
                Australia and these include: effects of offshore oil
                and gas, acid sulphate soils, bioavailability of
                metals, chemicals of concern (EDCs,
                pharmaceuticals, dioxins etc), contaminated sites
                and new analytical techniques.

                The session themes will be directed according to
                the subject and number of papers. Therefore, the
                topics listed above are just a general guide so
                please submit an abstract on your research and the
                committee endeavour to place it into an
                interesting session. Abstracts are due on the 3rd

    Page 16                                                                              December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
                                                                                                            ASE 2005 MELBOURNE CONFERENCE REPORT
2005 ASE Conference
REPORT ON THE 2005 ASE CONFERENCE                    for his "awards" ceremony during the conference
                           The      2005     ASE     dinner.
                           Conference at the
                           University          of
                           Melbourne on 25-28
                           September was a great
                           success. We had over
                           160       delegates,
                           comprising both full
                           registrants and day
                           registrants,      and
                           including 19 members
                           from the Australian
                           Water Association,
who came for the special session on Endocrine
Disrupting Chemicals on the last day. The
plenary and keynote presentations by Professor       The conference organising committee of Carolyn
Allen Burton, Dr Chris Hickey, Dr Steve              Brumley, Kirsten Broadgate, Carmel Pollino, Vin
Sheppard, Professor Mark Burgman and Dr Susan        Pettigrove, Dayanthi Nugegoda, Jackie Myers and
Jobling provided excellent background and new        Alex Leonard worked really hard to raise nearly
development information for the technical            $20K in sponsorship and our preliminary
sessions. The conference opening by Mr Chris         understanding of the conference bottom line
Bell from the Environment Protection Authority,      indicates that we're in the black. This is great
Victoria, was also interesting and informative for   news.
those of us working within the Victorian
environment.                                         Many thanks to all who participated in the
                                                     conference - in particular the organising
                                                     committee, ASE Council, Cath, Jen and Callum
                                                     (our conference organisers), the plenary and
                                                     keynote speakers, the sessions chairs, the oral and
                                                     poster presenters, our sponsors, suppliers and of
                                                     course the delegates who made the conference a
                                                     success. We look forward to seeing you all again
                                                     in Perth in 2006.

                                                     The ASE Conference Organising Committee

Many positive comments were received on the
catering - both the day-time conference food and
the evening catering for the functions (poster-
mixer, student night and conference dinner). And
speaking of the conference dinner, we were all
really happy with the aquatic venue and location
next to the city. There are some fine photos of
delegates doing some funky moves on the dance
floor and enjoying the beverages of the evening.
Many thanks to our President Dr John Chapman

Page 17                                                                        December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2

                             Attention All Students!!

                                     ASE Student Prize
                                      Applications Close March 31, 2006

                    ASE is now calling for nominations for the annual student prize for the best Honours thesis submitted at an
                    Australasian University in 2005. If you are a member of ASE and have submitted an Honours thesis
                    anytime in 2005, you are eligible for the prize, which consists of a trophy, a cash prize of $500 and a travel
                    grant of $500 to give an oral presentation at the INTERACT conference in Perth in September, 2006.

                    Details of what is required are given below.

                    1.     The prize is offered for the best Honours thesis submitted at an Australasian University in 2005.
                    2.     The criteria will be excellence in the field of ecotoxicology
                    3.     The Nomination should include:
                              •   three copies of the thesis
                              •   name and brief CV of the nominee (no more than 2 pages)
                              •   official statement of Honours result
                              •    a letter of support from the supervisor(s) and a statement that the thesis is in its originally
                                  submitted form
                    4.     The ASE Council will appoint a judging panel of ASE members to make a recommendation for the
                           award if nominations are of an appropriate standard.
                    5.     Applications should be submitted to:

                            Dr Jenny Stauber
                            CSIRO Energy Technology
                            PMB7, Bangor NSW 2234

                         By March 31, 2006.

                         For further information contact Jenny Stauber (02) 9710 6808 or jenny.stauber@csiro.au

     Page 18                                                                                       December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
                                                                                                              OBITUARY FOR KAYEMEN BAKOWA
Obituary for Kayemen Bakowa
It is with great sadness that I am writing to inform   tragically died of breast cancer only two years
ASE members of the death of one of our regional        ago. Their children remained with family in Fiji,
representatives, Kayemen Bakowa. As he lived in        while Kayemen continued to provide for them by
Papua New Guinea and was not able to regularly         working at Porgera. The hours of care he
attend ASE meetings, not everyone would have           provided to his ailing wife and the care he gave to
had the opportunity to meet Kayemen, but those         providing for and planning for his children under
who did were enriched by the experience.               very difficult circumstances showed how great his
Kayemen was a gentle and thoughtful soul who           heart was. When his own health problems
had achieved much from beginnings that most            developed, he attended to them with remarkable
members could only imagine. He was born at the         stoicism, while still finding time to attend to the
very remote Buseki Village, on PNG’s largest           care of his family and managing his
inland waterbody, Lake Murray. As a young boy          responsibilities at work. The improvement to the
he had to paddle a dugout canoe for two days to        biological monitoring programs at Porgera that
reach his school, where he received a western          occurred while this was all transpiring is
education, while treasuring the times spent at         testament to his remarkable abilities.
home learning the traditions of his people. His
achievements at primary school were well above         Kayemen’s health improved during 2005 when a
the norm, and he earned a place at the National        combination of malaria and tuberculosis was
High School in Daru, a long river and sea journey      successfully treated. However, on the 10th of
from Lake Murray. Again he did well and he was         October he collapsed at work, and passed away
accepted into the University of Papua New              shortly afterwards at the company clinic. He did
Guinea.                                                not regain consciousness. He has been laid to rest
                                                       at Buseki - the boy from the bush has returned.
Kayemen’s success at university was such that he       Kayemen will be sadly missed by many. He was
received a place in the second round of graduate       not only a leading practitioner of scientific
placements by Ok Tedi Mining Limited. That             principles in environmental monitoring in his
place was as a graduate biologist in the               country, and the representative of our society in
Environment Department, where I had the                PNG, but he was above all a loving husband,
pleasure of being his boss. Kayemen was a rare         father and friend.
mix of a man with a deep knowledge of his
traditional Melanesian culture, and an innate          Ross Smith
scientific mindset. Because of his ability to think    Hydrobiology
outside the box, I asked him to work in the special
projects team, developing new monitoring
techniques, which he had a natural flair for. At
Ok Tedi he rose to the position of Acting
Principal Biologist, before moving to Porgera
Joint Venture, initially as Senior Biologist and
EMS Administrator, and then as Principal
Biologist. In those roles he did much to improve
the quality control of the monitoring programs,
while always being free with the help and advice
to his colleagues that solved myriad day to day

While studying for a post graduate diploma in
tropical ecology at James Cook University as an
extension of his graduate traineeship, Kayemen
met his wife Tenni through a Fijian friend. This
led to a life split between Papua New Guinea and
Fiji, which became further torn when Tenni

Page 19                                                                          December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2

                       Chemical fire report
                       Explosions, fire rip through
                       chemical factory in Queensland
                       On the night of 26 August 2005, a pesticide
                       reformulation plant north of Brisbane was gutted
                       by fire.
                       As reported by the Queensland Fire and Rescue
                       Service – “It involved two buildings, both over 70
                       metres in length and 40 metres wide, and
                       completely involved in fire,"
                       "And those buildings have been full of 200-litre
                       drums of various herbicides and pesticides that
                       have periodically been exploding through the
                                                                              would not pick up contamination an carry it
                       "So quite spectacular fireballs and, at times, quite   further downstream.
                       dangerous conditions."
                                                                              The Queensland EPA has been involved in
                       There was of course an environmental aftermath         ongoing monitoring both with grab sampling and
                       to this incident. A large volume of formulated         passive samplers downstream towards Moreton
                       products and raw materials including active            Bay (a distance of about 10 kilometres). There is
                       ingredients covering a wide range of herbicides,       concern for the Ramsar site in the lower reaches
                       fungicides and insecticides escaped from the site      of the affected creek system. At the same time site
                       with water used for fire fighting. Much of this        clean up and remediation and disposal/destruction
                       ended up in adjacent waterways. Fortunately these      of contaminated waters from the holding ponds is
                       were not flowing due to the dry season conditions,     underway.
                       but they comprise valued permanent freshwater
                       wetland ecosystems.                                    It is likely that a fuller description of the
                                                                              contamination plume and the long term fate of its
                       At least the first kilometre of these wetlands was     components alongwith ecosystem impacts and
                       totally destroyed by the flood of 2,4-D,               recovery will be presented at future ASE
                       chlorpyrifos, dicamba, MCPA, picloram,                 conferences.
                       glyphosate . . . to mention but a few. Tree death
                       (and of course the death of less obvious flora and     Munro Mortimer
                       fauna) was complete within days in the most            Queensland Environmental Protection Agency
                       impacted downstream locations. As illustration of
                       concentrations in the immediate downstream area,
                       glyphosate approached 10 grams per litre (no that
                       is not a typo), and chlorpyrifos 10 milligrams per

                       Immediate actions after the fire was brought under
                       control involved constructing earthen barriers
                       downstream to halt the spread, followed by pump-
                       out and tankering contaminated water back to
                       newly constructed lined ponds located within an
                       off-stream contaminated area. The watercourse
                       past the site was diverted around the contaminated
                       area so that when rain eventually fell, clean water

      Page 20                                                                                   December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2
                                                                                                                  NATIONAL ANIMAL WELFARE BILL 2005
                            National Animal Welfare Bill 2005
Some members may recall the flurry of activity in 1999 when the NSW Animal Research Act was under
review. Well it was on again – but this time it was a National Animal Welfare draft Bill. The Senate
referred the provisions of the bill to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation
Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting date in June 2006. The Committee will consider
whether a more consistent and enforceable national framework for animal welfare issues is required and
the adequacy of the legislation.
The Bill, Explanatory Memorandum and the Second Reading Speeches may be accessed through the
Parliamentary website: http:/parlinfoweb.aph.gov.au/parlinfo/Repository – but if you have trouble
accessing it, I can send you the link.

The Committee invited submissions on the Bill, and ASE made a submission, with the assistance of a
number of Council members. Please note that “Submissions become Committee documents and are made
public only after a decision by the Committee. Persons making submissions must not release them without
the approval of the Committee.” As this was a joint ASE submission, an outline of it for members is given

Following consideration of submissions, the Committee will hold public hearings. The Committee will
consider all submissions and may invite individuals and organisations to give evidence at the public

ASE’s main concerns were:
  • The prohibition of the LD50 test or equivalent (without high-level approval);
  • The selection of cosmetics or sunscreens for prohibition;
  • An all-encompassing definition of “animal” in Section 96 (ie. “a vertebrate and invertebrate”) and
    conflicting definitions with Schedule 2;
  • Inclusion of Malacostraca in the definition of “Animal” in Schedule 2 (cephalopods are also
    included); and
  • Problems for supply of animals, particularly for small ecotoxicology facilities.

Most members recognise that testing of a small number of fish or invertebrates to protect ecosystems is
quite different from that used to protect humans or veterinary animals. The latter extrapolate from just a
few test species to protect, usually, one species. Ecosystem testing, on the other hand, involves
extrapolating from a few species that best represent the different trophic levels in the environment, to
complex ecosystems. There is no substitute for ecotoxicological data on a range of animals from different
groups; and in cases where the exposure is high or the risk unknown, data from local organisms under local
conditions are required.

In the past there have been problems with lack of recognition of environment protection priorities in the
context of animal research and continued attempts to limit testing on fish, and now as proposed –
crustaceans, in favour of alternatives that don’t meet accepted scientific practice.

The inclusion of Malacostracans has the potential to affect prawn tests, halt sediment tests with amphipods
(where no suitable alternative), affect tests with soil isopods and impact field surveys of invertebrates. The
inclusion of malacostracans is likely to have been a response to mistreatment of large lobsters, crayfish and
crabs in some areas of the restaurant trade.

Although ASE argued strongly against inclusion of Malacostracans, on the basis of the extremely serious
consequences for protection of water, sediment and soil ecosystems against hazardous chemicals if
included, a fallback position could be limiting the Bill to ”Decapoda of the clade Reptantia (ie. lobsters,
crabs and crayfish”. This would, however, not satisfy protection concerns for crayfish and crabs in
freshwaters, which can be the dominant macrocrustaceans in freshwaters.

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          There were contradictory definitions of an animal within the Bill:
          Section 96 said: An “Animal means an invertebrate or vertebrate animal other than a human being”, while
          schedule 2 said An “animal is any of the following:
             (a) a live member of a vertebrate animal taxon;
             (b) if it is in the last half of gestation or development a live pre-natal or pre-hatched creature that is:
             (i) a mammalian or reptilian foetus;
             (ii) an avian, mammalian or reptilian pre-hatched young;
             (c) a live marsupial young;
             (d) a live invertebrate creature of a species, or a stage of the life cycle of a species, from the class
                  Cephalopoda or Malacostraca prescribed under a regulation for this paragraph.

          However, a human being or human foetus is not an animal. To remove any doubt, it is declared that the
          following are not animals:
             (e) the eggs, spat or spawn of a fish;
             (f) a pre-natal, larval or pre-hatched creature, other than a creature mentioned in paragraph (b);
             (g) another immature form of a creature, other than a creature mentioned in paragraph (b).

          Also in Section “81 Use for certain scientific purposes unlawful
          A person must not, without the Authority’s written approval:
                     (b) conduct the test commonly known as the classical LD50 test, or a similar test; or
                     (c) use an animal for a scientific purpose if the use involves testing:
                         (i)     a cosmetic; or
                         (ii)    a sunscreen product; or
                         (iii)   an ingredient of a cosmetic or sunscreen product

          Many members will recognise that some LC50 testing on fish and invertebrates is essential to determine if
          chemical wastes or complex mixtures are having an adverse acute effect on these taxa in the wider
          environment. The prohibition stems from the issue of animals feeling pain, which is still a very
          controversial issue. Members may wish to view some of the scientific arguments on this issue on a
          Norwegian website http://oslovet.veths.no/dokument.aspx?dokument=175 and scientific references cited
          within; (eg Rose et al 2002) and it is even more uncertain when applied to small crustaceans used for the
          relatively few ecotoxicology tests.

          Commonwealth funding of research that doesn’t comply is proscribed in Section 117 “Prohibition on
          research funding
             (1) The Commonwealth must not provide funding to any organisation that uses animals for research
                   & development
             Unless the Minister is satisfied that the organisation’s use of animals is consistent with the objects of
             this Act and does not contravene any code of practice established under the regulations”

          The need for suppliers of animals to obtain a “Supply unit licence” could potentially cut off the supply of
          animals covered by this Bill. Further, using animals by any of us from a supplier without a license would
          be in breach of the Act.

          Also on the Animal ethics front (although I haven’t yet reviewed its implications) is the Australian Animal
          Welfare Strategy. ANZCCART informs us that this will shortly be ratified by the Australian Government
          with a view to getting the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) up and running as quickly and
          efficiently as possible. If you wish to see a copy of the AAWS or get more information about it, please
          follow the links at:

          John C Chapman
          President, Australasian Society for Ecotoxicology

Page 22                                                                               December 2005, Volume 12, Number 2

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