MAY 2024 Media

A bit of media on microplastics…(starts at 1:01:05).

Or click this to access.


MAY 2023 Invitation to be Lead Author on UN GEO 7 Report.

Shaneel has been invited to serve as Lead Author in the State and Trends of the Environment: Freshwater Chapter of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Environment Outlook (GEO, 7). The GEO-7 will assess the state and trends on the global environment, the implications for human well-being and the achievement of the SDGs, as well as providing an outlook that provides useful guidance on the possible environmental and socio-economic implications of the transformational changes needed.

The hard yards have already begun with Author meetings and the compilation under way.


MARCH 2023 HONOURS STUDY OPPORTUNITY 



FEBRUARY 2023 SABBATICAL AT QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, GARDENS POINT.

Shaneel is currently on sabbatical until mid August at QUT Garden Point Campus. There are several papers, externally-funded grant applications, PhD projects and a Fellowship that form part of the sabbatical. For those unfamiliar with academia, a sabbatical is a period of paid leave for academics for travel. In my case as a research-active academic, it is a period away from teaching, thus the focus on research at another institution (QUT).

If it sounds like it is having the best of both worlds (current and a visiting, host institution, respectively), then it actually is! A sabbatical is earned, not given, and a justification must be made for it to be approved. In his case, Shaneel has been fortunate to have earned it together with the support of his current and host institutions. One of the perks of academia – the chance to learn more and being able to contribute to the existing body of knowledge via research.


HIGHER EDUCATION ACADEMY FELLOWSHIP

Recent recognition from perhaps the most prestigious higher education accreditation body (Advanced Higher Education) globally. November 2022.


RACI2022 NATIONAL CONGRESS

The National Congress of the Royal Australian Chemical Society was held in Brisbane in July 2022.

There was a decent presentation from Central Queensland University at the event. Not only did Shaneel present as Invited Speaker in one of the Analytical and Environmental Chemistry sessions, but our postgraduate students also presented the findings of their work as posters.

Elena Hoyos and Fiona Tan also assisted as volunteers which helped the entire event run as smoothly as it did. With 1200 attendees, the role of volunteers at such events can never be understated. Well done, Team!

The CQU Team at RACI2022. From L-R: Elena, Shaneel Fiona and Janice.


NEW PROJECTS!

Project 1 Take Only As Directed: Drug metabolites in Queensland Waterways and their Effects on Humans

Many over the counter, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to treat pain, fever and inflammation which is the reason for their widespread popularity among millions of persons worldwide at any one time. However, for some of these drugs, once removed from the human body, they find their way into waterbodies because they cannot be removed from wastewater by conventional treatment. This enables their accumulation and elevated concentration profiles in natural waters posing severe risks for aquatic biota like fish, crayfish and algae, mollusks and corals.   Therefore, it is important to be able to monitor the levels of such known drugs in waterways and identify when dangerous concentrations  are realized because inevitably, the toxic risk comes to humans as apex predators in a biomagnified level.  This study aims to develop an analytical method for the determination of selected drugs in selected waterways, discharge points from water treatment plants and within treatment plants, both before and after discharge.

The study will be jointly supervised by Dr Shaneel Chandra and Dr Mani Naiker and based at the Central Queensland Innovation and Research Precinct at the Rockhampton North Campus. In exceptional cases, it could be hosted at the Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre in Gladstone.

Field of Research Codes

  • 340105 (Instrumental methods (excl. immunological and bioassay methods)

  • 340109 (Separation science)

  • 340199 (Analytical chemistry not elsewhere classified)

The Person

  • Graduate or final year student in science with an equivalent of a major in Chemistry (in exceptional cases, an equivalent of a minor in Chemistry will be considered)

  • Applicants in their final year of study will be considered

  • An interest in chemistry research and publishing peer-reviewed papers

  • An ability to work with minimal supervision alongside other senior research students in busy teams

  • A team player who likes to work smart and unwind after productive days in the laboratory

  • Willingness to relocate to Rockhampton North or Gladstone campuses


NEW! Project 2 Coffee: Piping hot… and toxic?

Coffee is a universally popular product due to the sensory enjoyment or mental stimulation that it provides. There is a strong chance that you are either a coffee drinker yourself or hate the stuff but know a coffee connoisseur (often rudely referred to as coffee ‘snob’).

Despite the various methods of preparing a coffee, the general principle of a water-based extraction of the caffeine (or equivalent in decaffeinated brews) applies to all.  The pressure and temperature of the extraction plays a significant effect in the perceived taste and varying the extraction conditions would also affect the degree of extractability of all other chemicals in the product.

Unfortunately, there is no reported study on the presence and levels of the toxins in all of the various coffees available in Australia, or the exposure to consumers. This is potentially a serious health risk as individually, Australians consumed an average of 1.91 kilograms of coffee each during 2017.

This Master of Science study aims to address these knowledge gaps and establish the health risk to consumers from drinking various coffees.  It will be supervised by Dr Shaneel Chandra.

Field of Research Codes

  • 340105 (Instrumental methods (excl. immunological and bioassay methods)

  • 340109 (Separation science)

  • 340199 (Analytical chemistry not elsewhere classified)

  • 300602 (Food chemistry and food sensory science)

The Person

  • Graduate or final year student in science with an equivalent of a major in Chemistry (in exceptional cases, an equivalent of a minor in Chemistry will be considered)

  • Applicants in their final year of study will be considered

  • An interest in chemistry research and publishing peer-reviewed papers

  • An ability to work with minimal supervision alongside other senior research students in busy teams

  • A team player who likes to work smart and unwind after productive days in the laboratory

  • Willingness to relocate to Rockhampton North campus


PhD Student Fiona Tan speaks about the use of rapid electrochemical sensors measuring nitrogen in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

Congrats on your first TV interview, Fiona!


Invited Speaker at the University of Sydney

Screen grab of Invited Talk

On 28 May, 2021, I delivered an invited talk as part of the Centre for Advanced Food Engineering (CAFÉ ) Series at the University of Sydney.  The talk was titled ‘Electrochemical sensors: The new fast and furious in chemical detection’ and included our recent works in the food, environmental and medical nanosensing space.  It was attended by a engaged audience of scientists and social scientists at the University.  A very pleasant experience and opportunity to share our work, as well as learn from the community of peers in science.


Recent Project: Public Transport Odors

In 2020, amidst all the inversion of everything that we hold as ‘normal’, we’ve been part of an exciting opportunity to consult on a project that focuses on odors in public transport.

This phenomenon appears around summer annually, and affects some vehicles within a fleet. We have identified several possible causes and in the process are also undertaking a replication challenge. This involves duplicating the atmospheric conditions that prevail when the odors manifest.

November 2020 has been spent in this aspect of the project. We were able to simulate ‘rain in Queensland’ conditions. Now to identify whether and how this causes smells!

More on this to come later.


Grant Success! Block Grant for Nitrogen Generator assay – coupled to LCMS

Nitrogen Generator

An internal block grant we submitted has been re-classified as “critical infrastructure” and won University funding (carrying on with our track record of 100% RIBG success).

This means, with an unlimited supply of UHP nitrogen, we are able to harness the full potential of our new, LCMS to undertake overnight runs.  very pleasing outcome indeed.


Grant success! Physicochemical Processes for Treatment of Oilfield Wastewater

Recently, we have been able to secure funding for an inter-agency collaborative project with Dr Samira Ghafoori at Australian College of Kuwait that looks at trace organics removal from oilfield wastewater!  We are excited with the opportunities of venturing into applied environmental analysis and remediation.  More  details on this will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.


2014 Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Dr Shaneel Chandra has been announced as the joint winner of the 2014 Vice Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching – USP.  This is an annual award of the University that recognizes and celebrates the work of the outstanding instructors of the institution.

For the award, Dr Chandra was nominated by Associate Professor Bibhya Sharma, the Associate Dean Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Science, Technology and the Environment.

Further details can be found by clicking here (note opens a new window).


2014 Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue

In 2014, Dr Chandra, led a team of other emerging leaders from the Pacific (including Australia and New Zealand) for a study tour of Samoa.  As part of the Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue (EPLD), the tour included meeting the country’s legislative machinery, administration, civil society groups, community initiatives and ordinary persons to obtain a brief snapshot of the country and presenting the findings to Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne of England. The EPLD is held every four years and is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Pacific region’s future leaders to manage challenges collaboratively, positively and creatively.  It is organized by the Pacific Leadership Foundation (PLF) that in turn has been established under the auspices of Commonwealth Study Conferences (Australia) Incorporated.

Speaking of the experience, Dr Chandra reiterated that it is no easy feat to walk into a country for only five days and be expected to fully understand the complexities of its intrinsic makeup, nor the reasons for their preference in leadership values.  Yet, key thematic areas stood out on tour.

More information on EPLD and press coverage of the tour is available at the EPLD website. Click here for the Samoa Tour report

Th Samoa Study Tour Team with HRH Princess Anne




Nanotechnology and small probes

The use of smaller probes in detection technologies has enabled scientific forays in micro environments previously considered inaccessible.  There remain inherent challenges to implanting electrochemical probes, particularly in systems with living entities (pretty much everywhere, really).  One of these is electrode/sensor surface fouling.  Elaborate methods of preventing or overcoming fouling have been emerging in the literature ever since in vivo and in situ analysis began.  The use of diamond as a fouling-withstanding surface has been explored in the laboratories at Macquarie University.  Here is an article from Nature Methods on these applications.