Nano-enabled agrochemicals are starting to make their way into the market. Evaluating the new risks and benefits associated with the technology is thus essential. The environmental fate of nano-enabled agrochemicals is likely to differ from that of conventional products, and this raises a number of issues for regulators. The aim of the presentation will be to (i) review the current state of knowledge on the application of nanotechnology for developing new agrochemicals, (ii) analyse the suitability of current exposure assessment procedures to account for the new risks and benefits (iii) discuss options for refinement.

The presentation will build on the results of a series of workshops organised with a group drawn from regulatory agencies, academia, research, and the agrochemicals industry, and aiming to establish guiding principles for the regulatory evaluation of nano-enabled pesticides. The talk will also include the results of experiments looking at how nano carrier systems affect the transport and degradation of pesticides in the environment, and how this can be measured and incorporated into ecological assessment.

Dr Melanie Kah

University of Vienna/CSIRO

Melanie graduated with a MSc in Agronomy and Soil Sciences (University of Nancy, France), before completing her PhD on the fate of pesticides in soils (University of York, UK). She was then recruited by the UK Food and Environmental Research Agency (FERA), where she assessed the exposure and hazard of a wide range of contaminants, within projects commissioned by government and industry. In 2009, Melanie moved to the University of Vienna (Austria), where she develops projects looking at the interactions between organic contaminants and natural/engineered nanoparticles. Her current research on the ecological risk assessment of nanopesticides is a good illustration of the multidisciplinary approach applied in her group over the last years. Melanie is currently Distinguished Visitor at CSIRO in Adelaide (Australia).

About Science Seminars

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation hosts science seminars across the disciplines of animal, horticulture, crop, food and nutritional sciences.

With a range of speakers from Australia and abroad, the series explores how high-impact science will significantly improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the tropical and sub-tropical food, fibre and agribusiness sectors.

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The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.


Level 3 Qld Bioscience Precinct Building 80, St Lucia
Large Seminar Room (3.142)