Keynote speakers

Dr. Michael Berg
Head of Department; Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
Title of key note presentation:
Subcontinental to Regional Prediction Modeling of Groundwater Arsenic Contamination

Dr. Berg is an environmental scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) where he heads the Department Water Resources and Drinking Water. His research focuses on the occurrence, fate and behavior of organic and inorganic contaminants in groundwater and surface water environments, with a specific interest in biogeochemical processes. Since 1998 he is involved in environmental issues in Vietnam, Cambodia and China where groundwater arsenic and manganese contamination are of major concern. A recent interest is the geospatial modelling of geogenic contaminants at local to global scales. His research was awarded with two ES&T top paper awards and the medal of honour from the Government of Vietnam. Two of his co-authored publications on arsenic were recently published in Science (2013) and in Nature (2013).

Professor Arup K. SenGupta
Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, USA
Title of key note presentation:
Transforming global arsenic crisis into an economic enterprise: Role of hybrid anion exchange nanotechnology (HAIX-Nano)
Arup K. SenGupta is currently the P.C. Rossin Professor of the department of civil and environmental engineering and the department of chemical engineering at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, USA. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering in 1973 from Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India and PhD in Environmental Engineering in 1984 from the University of Houston, TX in the USA. In his research, SenGupta applies fundamentals of ion exchange science and physical chemistry to develop sustainable environmental processes and materials, from sorbents to hybrid materials to sensors. His research has received recognitions from national and international organizations: 2014 election to the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), 2012 Intel Environmental Tech Award from Silicon Valley in California, 2009 Astellas Foundation Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS), 2009 Lawrence K. Cecil Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and 2007 Grainger Challenge Award from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to name a few.
SenGupta is the founding president of the non-profit organization, The Tagore-SenGupta Foundation ( that is devoted to addressing critical water issues in the developing world. SenGupta has seven US patents in Water Science and Technology area and three more are pending.

Professor Catterina Ferreccio
Full Professor and Director of the Master in Epidemiology Program. University of Chile and MPH at the Johns Hopkins University. Deputy Director Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases (ACCDIS). Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
Title of key note presentation:
Arsenic levels in drinking water associated with short and long term effects in the population

Catterina Ferreccio’s major interest is in the field of research on cancers associated to environmental causes in Chile. Since 1990, CF has been studying the association between arsenic exposure and the excess of cancer in Northern Chile, receiving Grants from the Chilean National Commission for Science and Technology (CONICYT) and from the NIH/USA in collaboration with investigators from the University of California at Berkeley (Allan Smith and Craig Steinmaus). These studies identified arsenic exposure in drinking water as the main cause of the excess of lung, bladder, kidney and liver cancers in this region. This evidence influenced the decision to modify the standard for arsenic in drinking water in Chile. In 2000 CF initiated population-based studies of potentially preventable cancers associated to infectious agents. In particular, cervical cancer and HPV and stomach cancer and Helicobacter pylori in Latin America. These studies have been in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization and IARC. The evidence provided by these studies has been significant in the innovation of cervical cancer prevention programs in this area. In 2011 CF in collaboration of NCI/NIH, initiated a research program on gallbladder cancer in Chile with case only, case-control and cohort studies. Among the hypothesis under study is chemical and microbiological food contamination. In 2013, CF and colleagues received a Chilean Grant to create the Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases whose core study is the Maule Cohort (MAUCO). Mauco is a population-based cohort, of 10,000 individuals residing in an agricultural area exposed to agrochemicals. This project is initially funded for 10 years and CF is MAUCO´s Director. She has more than 130 publications out of which 28 are related to arsenic.

Professor Alexander (Lex) van Geen
Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY, USA
Title of key note presentation:
Nexus of scientific and societal issues related to Arsenic mitigation in the Bengal Basin

Lex van Geen’s research interests involve geochemical cycling of trace elements in natural and perturbed environments, particularly redox-sensitive processes affecting metals and metalloids, applications to mine tailings, coastal sediment, estuaries, and groundwater, as well reconstructions of past climate change in nearshore environments. Interest in the bridging of disciplines, including the health and social sciences, to address multi-faceted environmental problems.

Professor Jack C. Ng
Professorial Research Fellow (PhD, DABT, mACTRA, mISTEB). National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology. Faculty of Heatlh and Behavioural Sciences. The University of Queensland
Title of key note presentation:
Metal interaction on arsenic toxicity in both in vivo and in vitro biological systems including human cells
Professor Jack Ng is one of few DABT certified toxicologists in Australia. He has a PhD in Chemistry and Environmental Toxicology. Jack is the Program Group Leader for Risk Assessment and Intervention (formerly Metals and Metalloids Research). His major research themes include chemical speciation in the environmental and biological media, bioavailability in relationship to toxicity using various animal and cell models, carcinogenicity and mechanistic studies of chronic arsenic toxicity in both humans and animals. Jack and his team were the first to have demonstrated that MMAIII, a methylated trivalent arsenic metabolite, is a carcinogen in an in-vivo mouse model. This is a landmark study in arsenic research in addition to his initial proof of the carcinogenic effect of sodium arsenate in-vivo. Other research interests include toxicity of mixtures, identification of significant exposure pathways and their impact on health, and natural toxins relevant to human health. Jack is also a Program Leader for the “Minimising Uncertainty in Risk Assessment Research” of CRC-CARE (Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment). As a Program Leader he oversees numerous research projects within CRC-CARE.
Jack’s expertise in his field of environmental toxicology research and risk assessment has been recognised by World Health Organisation (WHO), International Agency for Research on Cancer, and WHO/FAO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives as demonstrated by his contribution to a number of monographs and technical reports produced by these agencies.
At national level, Jack served as a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Health Investigation Levels (HIL) Working Committee who oversaw the setting of the current National Environmental Protection Measure (NEPM) HILs. He was also a member of the CRC CARE Project Advisory Group for the setting of Health Screening Levels (HSL) for petroleum hydrocarbons which have been adopted nationally by various jurisdictions and stakeholders. Jack is the lead author of the Bioavailability/Bioaccessibility technical and guidance documents, and the latter has been adopted into the current NEPM in 2013. Jack is an assessor for Registered and Fellowship of Toxicologist and/or Risk Assessor of the Australasian College of Toxicology and Risk Assessment.

Dr. Craig Steinmaus
Associate Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

Title of key note presentation:
Arsenic Toxicity: Who Is Most Susceptible?
Dr. Craig Steinmaus is a board-certified physician in Occupational and Environmental Medicine with over 10 years of clinical experience; an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) School of Public Health; an Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine and Global Health Sciences Program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); and a Public Health Medical Officer III (Epidemiology) in the California Environmental Protection Agency’s (Cal EPA) Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). He is currently the Director of the Arsenic Health Effects Research Program at UCB. Dr. Steinmaus received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Toxicology at the University of California in 1984, Davis (UCD) and a medical degree at UCD in 1989, and completed a medical internship in internal medicine at the University of California, Irvine in 1990 and a residency in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at UCSF in 1999. His current research focus is epidemiologic investigations of the health effects of arsenic and the factors associated increased susceptibility to these health effects. He has been the principal investigator on five NIH-funded studies of drinking water contaminants and cancer and other disease, and has taught courses on occupational and environmental epidemiology and meta-analysis. He has also actively contributed to risk assessments of perchlorate, nitrate, fluoride, and other drinking water contaminants for the state of California. 
He has been the past recipient of a mentored K23 grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences involving research on arsenic. Since then he has been involved in epidemiologic research on the health effects of chemical contaminants in drinking water, including over eight years of research experience in Chile and over 45 publications on the health effects of arsenic. He has been the Project Director or Principal Investigator (PI) for six NIH-funded studies on arsenic and other contaminants with a focus on factors conferring susceptibility including diet, genetics, metabolism, and early life exposure. He currently teaches three graduate level courses on occupational and environmental epidemiology at UCB and UCSF, has served on several NIH and CDC study sections, was a panelist for US EPA’s recent Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) workshop on arsenic, and was an invited speaker at the National Academy of Science’s 2013 Inorganic Arsenic Workshop.

Professor Barry P. Rosen
Associate Dean for Basic Research and Graduate Programs and Distinguished Professor, Department of Cellular Biology and Pharmacology, Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, USA
Title of key note presentation:
AS3MT:  mechanism and modulators
For nearly four decades Prof Rosen’s laboratory has investigated the mechanisms of transport and detoxification of transition metals, heavy metals and metalloids in bacteria, yeast, protozoans, mammals and plants. During that time they identified the pathways of arsenic uptake, efflux, biotransformation and regulation in organisms from E. coli to humans. Prof Rosen’s experimental approach is to ask biological questions and then apply any method that can provide answers. These include a combination of classical and molecular genetics; analysis of physiological roles; and in vitro structure/function analysis using biochemical and biophysical methods. In recent years Prof Rosen used a structural proteomics approach, identifying arsenic detoxification genes and characterizing their gene products at the biochemical and structural level. The group have solved the crystal structure of the ArsA As(III)-translocating ATPase, the ArsR repressor orthologue CadC, the ArsC and LmAcr2 arsenate reductases, the ArsH NADPH-FMN oxidoreductase, the ArsD As(III) metallochaperone, the ArsM As(III)-SAM methyltransferases from Cyanidioschyzon merolae and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and most recently the ArsI C-As lyase. Prof Rosen’s group is currently elucidating the pathways of arsenic transport and biotransformations by characterizing the enzymes and transporters of the arsenic biomethylation and organoarsenical redox cycles.
Prof Rosen have trained several dozen graduate students and about fifty postdocs. Many have gone on to successful careers in academia, industry and research institutes. To name only a few, Harry L.T. Mobley is now Chair of Microbiology at University of Michigan School of Medicine. Tomofusa Tsuchiya was Chair of Microbiology and Director of the Institute of Biotechnology at Okayama University, Japan, until his retirement. Cyrus Karkaria is now Vice President of Biotechnology at Lupin Pharmaceuticals. Michael San Francisco is Vice President for Research at Texas Tech University. Kan-Jen Tsai is Dean of the School of Medical Laboratory and Biotechnology at Chun Shan Medical University, Taiwan. Tongqing Zhou’s (NIH) crystal structures of HIV proteins in complex with antibiodies have adorned the covers of Science and Nature.

Dr. Darrel Kirk Nordstrom
Senior Hydrogeochemist, US Geological Survey, Boulder, CO, USA
Title of key note presentation:
Geochemical modeling and thermodynamic properties of arsenic species

Dr. D. Kirk Nordstrom is a Senior Hydrogeochemist of 40 years experience with the US Geological Survey. He has a B.A. in Chemistry, an M.S. in Geology, and a Ph.D. in Geochemistry (Stanford University, 1977). Dr. Nordstrom is recognized internationally for his research on acid mine drainage, radioactive waste disposal, geothermal chemistry, geomicrobiology, analytical chemistry, and geochemical modeling and has published more than 250 papers in these fields.  He is perhaps best known for measuring negative pH in mine waters, arsenic geochemistry in geothermal waters and at mine sites, evaluation and compilation of thermodynamic properties for speciation computations, and inferring natural-background water quality at mined sites.

Professor David A. Polya
Professor of Environmental Geochemistry, School of Earth, Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Title of key note presentation:
People eat rice not soil - so why is arsenic in rice so under-regulated compared to arsenic in soil?

David Polya is Professor of Environmental Geochemistry and Director of Postgraduate Research in the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Science (SEAES) at the University of Manchester. He is Head of the Manchester Analytical Geochemistry Unit (MAGU) and an Associate Director of the Williamson Research Centre for Molecular Environmental Science at the same institution. Polya has over 30 years' experience in research and postgraduate/undergraduate training in the areas of environmental geochemistry, analytical geochemistry, geochemical thermodynamics and economic geology/ore genesis. Polya's experience includes as a Senior Geochemist at GeoScience Ltd (Cornwall, UK), a visiting researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (TN, USA) and as a (Groundwater) Geologist for the Tasmanian Mines Department (Australia). Over the last 15 years he has led RCUK (NERC, EPSRC, STFC/CCLRC), European Commission and British Council funded field, laboratory and theoretical studies of arsenic occurrence in groundwater, human exposure routes and implications for risk assessment and protection of public health.

Dr. Faruque Parvez
Research Scientist, Environment Health Sciences Department, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA.
Title of key note presentation:
Arsenic exposure, non-malignant respiratory outcomes and immune modulation in the health effects of arsenic longitudinal study (HEALS) cohort.
Dr. Faruque Parvez is an environmental epidemiologist engaged in health research related to arsenic in drinking water. He is currently a Research Scientist at Environment Health Sciences Department, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University in New York. Dr. Parvez has been actively involved in establishing and directing the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS), a cohort of ~35,000 adults and their children in Bangladesh, since2000. He has published over 100 scientific papers on health outcomes of arsenic in drinking water. His primary research interests are the effects of arsenic on non-malignant lung diseases and neurotoxicity in adults and children. Dr. Parvez is also a Principal Investigator of two ongoing epidemiological and mechanistic studies that aim to examine the role of arsenic on immune functions. A former graduate of the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, Faruque holds a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) in International Health from Yale University and a Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) from Columbia University.

Professor Virginia S. T. Ciminelli
Professor, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brazil and Director, National Institute of Science and Technology on Minerals, Water and Biodiversity, INCT-Acqua, Brazil.
Title of key note presentation:
New insights in the mechanisms of arsenic association with iron oxides in the environment
Virginia S. T. Ciminelli is Professor of the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais – UFMG and Director of the National Institute of Science and Technology on Minerals, Water and Biodiversity, INCT-Acqua. Elected member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering (Brazil), and foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering (USA). Her research interests are reaction mechanisms of mineral-water systems, with emphasis on metal sulfide oxidation, arsenic fixation and electrowinning of base metals.

Martijn Groenendijk MSc
Member of the Executive Management Team and Manager Production Drinking Water, Evides Water Supply Company, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Title of key note presentation:
Removing arsenic to < 1 ug/L in conventional groundwater treatment plants: Practical tips and tricks
Martijn Groenendijk is the General Manager of Drinking Water Production and Member of the Executive Management Team at the Public Water Supply Company Evides, in the Netherlands. He has been holding several key positions in the Dutch drinking water industry prior to joining Evides, including Head of the Engineering Department at Brabant Water and Head of the Process Technology Department at Brabant Water. Brabant Water is a leading Dutch water supply company in groundwater treatment.
Martijn has 25 years of experience in research and development of drinking water technologies. His research interests can be best described by key words like filtration, central softening and treatment of brackish groundwater. A more recent research topic is the optimization of arsenic removal in conventional groundwater treatment plants. The results of this research are currently being implemented at several treatment plants in the Netherlands. In the AS2016 conference Martijn will be speaking about removing arsenic to < 1 ug/L in conventional groundwater treatment plants.

Dr. Dragana Jovanovic, MD, PhD
Medical Doctor and Hygiene Specialist and Head of the Department on Drinking and bathing Water Quality, Center for Hygiene and Human Ecology, Institute of Public Health of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.
Title of key note presentation:
Epidemiological evidences on drinking water arsenic and type 2 diabetes in Serbia
Dr. Dragana Jovanovic is a medical doctor and hygiene specialist in the Institute of Public Health of Serbia. She is currently a Head of the Department on drinking and bathing water quality and engaged as National Focal Point for water and sanitation and Global Analysis and Assessment on Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS) with World Health Organization. Her PhD thesis was aimed on arsenic in drinking water and type 2 diabetes and its complications. She participated in EU COST Action 637 "Metals and related substances in drinking water" as the member of the Working Group focused on arsenic in drinking water and its health impact assessment.

Professor Dr. Maria Aurora Armienta
Dr. Maria Aurora Armienta is a research-professor at the Geophysics Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), in Mexico City, Mexico.
Title of key note presentation:
Removal of arsenic from acid mine drainage by indigenous limestones
Dr. Maria Aurora Armienta is a research-professor at the Geophysics Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), in Mexico City. She has a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering, a M. Sc. in Analytical Chemistry and a PhD in Hydrology. Her research is focused on environmental geochemistry, hydrogeochemistry, medical geology and geochemical processes related to volcanic activity. She has studied contamination sources and the chemistry of arsenic, metals and nitrates in groundwater, rivers and soils. Results of her studies have been used by the authorities to solve contamination problems in various zones of Mexico using innovative methods. She has published more than 95 peer-reviewed articles in international journals, 31 book chapters, 70 extended abstracts, and has co-edited 2 books. From 1998 to 2000 she was President of the Mexican Geochemistry Association. Currently, she is Vice-Chair for Geosciences of the International Medical Geology Association. Dr. Armienta is professor of the Earth Science Graduate program at UNAM, and has supervised 9 PhD, 16 M.Sc. and 22 bachelor thesis. She obtained the “Juana Ramírez de Asbaje” award in recognition of her academic achievements at the University of Mexico. In 2012, 2013 and 2014 was recognized as one of ten most cited UNAM researchers in Earth Sciences. Dr. Armienta was the Mexican coordinator of the Iberoarsen international network aimed to contribute to the solution of arsenic problems in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula: “El arsénico en Iberoamérica. Distribución, Metodologías Analíticas y Tecnologías de Remoción”. She has been awarded a National Research Level III recognition (the highest level) by the National Science Council of Mexico. In 2006, she organized with Ramiro Rodríguez, Prosun Bhattacharya  and Jochen Bundschuh, the First International  Congress of the Series “Arsenic in the Environment” that was held in Mexico City. 

Dr. Barbro Kollander
Dr. Barbro Kollander is a Senior analytical chemist at National Food Agency, Uppsala, Sweden
Title of key note presentation:
Inorganic arsenic in rice and rice products on the Swedish market 2015 Part 1: Survey

Dr. Barbro Kollander holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Uppsala University, Sweden. She is a senior analytical chemist at National Food Agency (NFA) in Uppsala, Sweden, since 2011. Her main expertise is analysis of elements and their chemical species in biological materials by ICP-MS and HPLC-ICP-MS, and she is responsible for the NFA analytical methods for the determination of toxic elements and inorganic arsenic in food. Her work includes accredited methods as well as close collaboration with toxicologists and nutritionists. She is a member of the AOAC International expert review panel on heavy metals, including methods for the speciation of arsenic, and also a member of the European Commission technical committee for food analysis and the working group for elements and their chemical species (CEN/TC275/WG10). She is the convenor of the Swedish national network “Kadmiumforum” where participants from academia, authorities, health care, producers, retailers and industry meet to discuss and exchange the latest research on cadmium and recently also arsenic in cereals and vegetables, regarding methods of analysis, food production, uptake in plants, human intake, health effects etc., with the focus of lowering the intake of cadmium. She has participated in several NFA projects concerning elements in food including contaminants and minerals in baby food, and lead residues from ammunition in game. Recent activities are; project leader of NFA’s extended analysis of cadmium in cereal products, vegetables and potatoes, and of the project Inorganic arsenic in rice and rice products on the Swedish market 2015. She is an appreciated and often invited lecturer at scientific meetings concerning analysis of elements in food, and she has a long experience of ICP-techniques and analytical chemistry from her time at Uppsala University and Mälardalen University in Sweden.

Jonathan Lloyd

Jon Lloyd is Professor of Geomicrobiology and Director of the Williamson Research Centre for Molecular Environmental Science, and is based in the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester. He has published more than 200 papers addressing the mechanism of microbial redox transformations of iron, and other metals, metalloids and radionuclides in a range of environmental and biotechnological contexts. A particular focus of the Manchester Geomicrobiology Group over the last decade has been the impact of microbial metabolism on trace metal solubilities in the subsurface, and this has included work on the role of bacterial metal reduction on the mobilisation of arsenic in aquifers in Asia. He was awarded the 2006 Geological Society of London Bigsby Medal, and in 2014 was cited as one of the Top 100 Practicing UK Scientists by the UK Science Council. Between 2010 and 2014 he was a Royal Society Industrial Fellow, and from 2015 to 2020 has been awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Merit award for his work on subsurface microbiology.

Prof. Dr. Marta Irene Litter

Doctor in Chemistry, Buenos Aires University, Argentina (1974).
Postdoctoral stage, University of Arizona, USA (1983).
Present positions
Head of Chemistry of the Environmental Remediation Division, National Atomic Energy Commission, Argentina.
Senior Researcher (top), National Research Council (CONICET, Argentina).
Full Professor, University of General San Martín, Argentina.
More than 200 scientific publications.
Coordinator of projects on water treatment, mainly in Advanced Oxidation Technologies.
Coordinator of the CYTED IBEROARSEN Network (2006-2009).
Mercosur Prize 2006 in Science and Technology, Technologies for Social Inclusion, for the Project: “Potabilization of water by low-cost technologies in isolated rural zones of Mercosur”.
Mercosur Prize 2011 en Science and Technology, Technologies for Sustainable Development, for the Project: “The problem of arsenic in the Mercosur. An integrated and multidisciplinary approach to contribute to its resolution.”
President of the Local Organizing Committee of the 5th. International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment (As2014) to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 11 to 16 May 2014.
Designated pioneer on photocatalysis in Argentina (2016).