Partner 5: Natural Environment Research Council - Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (NERC-CEH), UK

The Natural Environment Research Council‟s (NERC) Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) employs circa 450 staff at four sites. It is the UK‟s Centre for Excellence for integrated research in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and their interaction with the atmosphere. The Radioecology group has extensive experience in the development and testing of approaches to demonstrate radiological protection of the environment (e.g. ERICA, PROTECT, IAEA EMRAS chairs), spatial transfer model development (e.g. SAVE), farm animal radioecology (e.g. IAEA TRS472), and countermeasure development and strategies (e.g. STRATEGY). The group is currently developing training packages in environmental radiological assessment for regulators and industry ( NERC-CEH lead the Knowledge and Data Dissemination WP of the STAR NoE and have developed the Radioecological Exchange website as part of this; the organisation was one of the founding members of the ALLIANCE. NERC-CEH is highly experienced in large international, multi-partner projects and will collaborate effectively to ensure suitable co-operation to maximise the use of available resources. Projects management is based on the PRINCE-2 project management system. Within COMET NERC-CEH will lead WP5 (Knowledge Exchange) and within that WP will be responsible for initiating and maintaining web-based outputs and take the leading role in the planning, running and dissemination of the open workshops. NERC-CEH will contribute to project management activities via WP1 and participate in the other three WPs. The lead NERC-CEH scientists within COMET have good established working links with the Chernobyl Center and a number of institutes in Japan.

Key staff who will be involved in COMET are:

Dr. Brenda Howard is a highly experienced radioecologist who was awarded an MBE in 2003 for services to
radioecology. She is a member of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) which offers independent advice to government. She has extensive experience of participation in multi-institute projects, including co-ordinating seven EC funded projects and is chair of a number of IAEA groups. She has published > 140 refereed papers. She will lead WP-5 and co-ordinate NERC-CEH activities in COMET.

Prof. Nick Beresford is a radioecologist of 28 years experience with 130 published refereed papers. His primary areas of research are the development and testing of approaches to assess the exposure of wildlife, the transfer of radionuclides to farm animals and development/testing of remediation techniques. He was a full member of the ICRP Committee 5 working group (73) on radionuclide transfer to non-human biota and the working group leader of the IAEA EMRAS II Biota Modeling Group. He will contribute to WPs 2, 3 and 5.

Dr Dave Spurgeon is an ecotoxicologist focusing on the fate, behaviour and effects of chemicals in the environment. He has conduct experimental work on multi-contaminants effects, the development of practical tools for ecological risk assessment and the analysis of genetic and epigenetic adaptive responses to environmental pollution. In STAR he is providing knowledge transfer from ecotoxicology to radioecology by advising on experimental procedures and data interpretation. He will contribute to WP4 and lead Task 4.3.

Cath Barnett is an experienced radioecologist and manager of the Radioecology Exchange website and a UKAS accredited gamma facility. She has contributed to the development of important international radioecological databases and is responsible for the CEH radioecology websites and wiki pages. She will contribute to WPs 2, 3 and 5 (taking a leading role in Task 5.1).

Dr. Dave Howard is currently a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow for Environmental Monitoring and the Lancaster Environmental Centres director for Sustainable Energy. He is a GIS specialised who has previously used his skills in the modeling of pathways for exposure of radionuclides to humans and wildlife. He will contribute to WP3.