Australian biotechnologist wins prestigious science award

Thursday, 08 December, 2005

Professor Linda Blackall, research director at the Environmental Biotechnology CRC (EBCRC), has won an international award for significant lifetime achievement in the field of biological wastewater treatment.

The 2nd Ardern & Lockett Award was presented at a Gold Coast-based specialist conference on Biological Wastewater Treatment, organised by the International Water Association (IWA).

Linda is a pioneer in applying advances in biotechnology to environmental management. "Biotechnology is not just the domain of pharmaceuticals and agriculture," she explains. "The giant technological leaps in these sectors over the last few years can be adapted to improve Australia's environmental management and contribute to sustainability.

"This exciting new biotechnology sector covers all environmental services including pollution control, waste management and environmental clean-up. The research will also contribute to the increased reuse of water in Australia, and technologies developed could be worth billions of dollars to Australia," Blackall says.

Prof Blackall is on the editorial board of four international journals, and is highly successful in attracting funding to Queensland for research and postgraduate supervision. This award recognises the enormous contribution Linda has made to wastewater management technologies in Australia and overseas.

The EBCRC does collaborative research in environmental biotechnology with the Universities of New South Wales, Queensland, Macquarie and Murdoch, and the South Australian Research and Development Institute.

EBCRC's research includes developing biotechnologies for improving wastewater treatment, cleaning up contaminated sites, effectively detecting pathogens in water and creating new, useful products from waste.

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