Profile on our Project Lead – Professor Jeanette Rotchell
Jeanette is a Professor of Aquatic Toxicology at the University of Hull and her research is in the area of environmental toxicology, specifically genotoxicology and endocrine disruption. In addition to Sullied Sediments, other current projects are focused on cancer in fish, endocrine disruption and photoperiod in bivalves and micro-plastics in seafood supply chain and pharmaceuticals in the Humber Estuary.
Jeanette’s recent research accomplishments include securing funding for this project, Sullied Sediments. She has also supervised many PhD students and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Hawai’i and the State Key Lab for Coastal and Estuarine Research in Shanghai, China. Her work is highly applied and impactful at a European level, and she has a strong track record in interdisciplinary working with colleagues from chemistry and biomedical as all as being stakeholder and end-user driven.
Many of the inland waterways in the European Union are under threat due to the introduction of Watch List chemicals that are not currently regulated under the European Water Framework Directive. These chemicals include the so-called “gender benders” such as estradiol and the contraceptive pill, and other pharmaceutical drugs such as triclosan and diclofenac, which have been shown to be harmful to wildlife. These chemicals are introduced to our waterways as a result of our day-to-day activities and through industry. Regardless of the source, they accumulate in the sediments in our rivers and canals.
Water regulators and managing authorities do not always know the levels, the locations or the impacts of these pollutants. Nor do they have the tools to assess sediments confidently and make decisions with regard to managing them. An interdisciplinary partnership of scientific experts, regulators and water managers led by the University of Hull (UK) will develop and test new tools to better assess, treat and prevent contamination from these chemicals. This work will be carried out at nine sites, all of which have a history of sediment problems, in the North Sea Region’s Elbe, Humber and Scheldt river catchments.
The aim of the ‘Sullied Sediments’ project is therefore to enable regulators and water managers to make better decisions with regard to sediment management, removal and disposal, thereby reducing economic costs and the impact of these pollutants on the environment.
The partnership will also endeavour to reduce the amount of chemicals entering the water system by raising awareness about what we, as consumers, are releasing into the environment through the use of common drugs and household products. Part of this includes the involvement of volunteers in a sediment sampling initiative across the region, which will inform and empower these citizens as water stewards and champions.
‘Sullied Sediments’ has been has been co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg VB North Sea Region Programme with a grant of 2.043.413 € with equivalent match funding from the partners involved. The project partnership includes public, private and third sector organisations based in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Latest Project News
Professor Jeanette Rotchell was nominated as one of three nominees for the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Chairman's Environment Award.Read more
PhD Student Article on Reducing River Pollution published in The ConversationRead more
The Sullied Sediments project partnership has just published their first newsletter.
We are delighted to announce that the first edition of the Sul…Read more