28 March 2019

Two new faces in the NaToxAq family

New fellows

We have recruited Bilal Tariq from Pakistan for position ESR15 and Ellie Stone from Australia for position ESR16 - both at Fera, UK.

Bilal Tariq (ESR15) and Ellie Stone (ESR16)

We warmly welcome the two new fellows, who have now both arrived in UK. Bilal started his position on the 11th of March, and Ellie will start on the 2nd of April. ESR15 and ESR16 have integrating roles in the project; Bilal with focus on how to identify and map toxin producing vegetation in a GIS based system with tight links to the toxin database, and Ellie with a strong focus on further development of the toxin database to include new entries. They  will both have strong links to most of the ESR students in NaToxAq to collect info with plant distribution, toxin IDs and properties to aggregate data. Also, their work may be important for analysis of climatic trends, including the significance of invasive plants.

Bilal Tariqs background

"I did my Bachelor having Applied Mathematics and Physics as my major subjects. During the final year of my Bachelor i got interested in Geosciences,therefore after my Bachelor i took admission in M.Sc Seismology at Institute of Geology, PU Lahore, Pakistan. I completed my Master(with distinction) in 2014 with a specialization in Exploration Seismology. But I wanted to be a researcher rather than doing a field job in Oil and gas sector. So i switched from Seismology to Hydrogeology and decided to make my research career in this field."

"I have recently (in 2018) completed my Master in Hydrogeology and Environmental Geoscience from University of Goettingen, Germany, which proved as a strong base in the field of Groundwater Modelling, Water Contamination, Catchment Delineation and Water Resource Management. As my Master thesis i worked on a DFG (German Research Foundation) resarch project. I studied the effect of fracture network connectivity on percolation behaviour through unsaturated fractured porous media. I developed different fracture network models to show the effect of fracture network connectivity during the saturation of fractured media."

Ellie Stones background

"I grew up on a farm in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia, where my parents farmed cereals, sheep and pigs. Through this strong tie with the land, my love and respect grew for the environment, so I decided to pursue a career investigating it. After attending boarding school in Perth, WA., I studied a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Western Australia. After graduation I travelled for 6 months around Europe and the UK, where I made lifelong friendships and saw a different side of the world."

"After my travels I returned home and started a Masters in Agricultural Science, specialising in Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, at the University of Western Australia. Throughout this time and after I graduated, I worked as a supervisor in social research for a small company that contracted out their services to government parties and mining businesses. I then found contracted work at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for the Western Australian State Government, working on the Carnarvon Mediterranean Fruit Fly eradication pilot project."  

"Through my contacts in North Yorkshire, I found Fera Science Ltd and the NaToxAq ESR position that was hosted by the company. From early April I will be taking up the position and working on developing the Natural Toxin database and constructing a risk assessment."

Titles of projects

Bilal Tariq (ESR15): Land cover mapping – plant toxin production and impact of policy 

Ellie Stone (ESR16): Natural toxin database and risk assessment