Living within our ever shrinking global community, we are rapidly and collectively learning about the impact daily living has on our local, regional and global environments. Recent focus on the health care industry has surfaced concern for the contamination of our rivers and oceans with pharmaceutical medications causing widespread feminisation of male fish and contributing to antibiotic resistance, influencing the spread of global diseases.
Bottom line: Medications are a pollution problem, and the rate that medications are entering the environment is faster than the rate they are cleared from the environment. In collaboration with green chemists at Carnegie Mellon University in the USA, this studentship will research environmentally compatible ways for degrading pharmaceuticals in water and removing their biological effects so that waste streams can be cleaned in a green way before they are released into the environment. Methods used will include ecotoxicology and green chemistry.