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Environmental fate & ecological impact of surface water derived PFAS substances

Project Number # 4537-18

Environmental fate and ecological impact of surface water derived per- and polyfluoralkyl substances

Project Leader:  Drew Szabo

The aim of this research is to determine the occurrence and risk of surface water derived per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to avifauna in the Southern Hemisphere. A conceptual site model of the Western Treatment Plant (WTP) will be completed to understand the distribution of PFAS in an internationally significant surface water ecosystem. In order to protect vulnerable species of fauna, destructive and non-destructive sampling techniques will be investigated with the aim of using non-destructive sampling to derive a body burden of PFAS in avifauna. This will be coupled with novel extraction of PFAS from biological matrices to further reduce the impacts of sampling to birds.

Supervisors:  Dr Bradley Clarke [University of Melbourne] and Assoc Prof Jeff Shimeta [RMIT University]

Sponsor:  Melbourne Water - Dr Nick Crosbie

Mentor:  Dr Kris Coventry