A leading environmental engineer and biotechnologist, Professor Linda Blackall, has been appointed the new chair of the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee (ASAC).

The appointment was announced today by the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

“Professor Blackall is Director of Research at the Environmental Biotechnology Cooperative Research Centre and Professor of Microbiology at the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales,” Senator Campbell said.

“She is a prolific author, a member of editorial boards of four international journals and winner of several awards. The most recent, in July, was from the International Water Association which honoured her with the prestigious Ardern-Lockett Award — an international lifetime achievement award for her work in biological wastewater treatment.

“This is a particularly important area of research with implications worldwide.

“Professor Blackall has a long involvement with the Australian Antarctic Programme as a member of the Life Sciences Antarctic Research Assessment Committee.”

Senator Campbell said Professor Blackall’s world-renowned research in environmental remediation and wastewater remediation would be a great asset to ASAC.

Professor Blackall replaces Professor Kurt Lambeck who is retiring from the position after six years.

The Antarctic Science Advisory Committee (ASAC), in collaboration with the wider Antarctic scientific committee, sets the scientific directions of Australia’s Antarctic Programme. It also undertakes regular evaluations of the programme.