Professor Aradhana Mehra

Position: Head of Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Department: Natural Sciences

Subject area: Environmental Sciences

Research Centre: Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

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About

Head of Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

Teaching responsibilities

As the Head of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, I oversee reserach and academic enterprise. I am Programme Leader for the MSc in Environmental Assessment and Control, and for the PG Cert in Managing Urban Drainage. I teach on various aspects of environmental pollution, biogeochemical cycling of environmental contaminants, bioavailability and speciation of toxic and essential elements in the environment, toxic elements in the human food chain and their human exposure assessment.

Research interests

My research interests lie in the area of biogeochemistry of elements in the water-soil-plant-human pathway to understand the links between the geochemical environment and the health of plants, animals and human beings. My current research work is in two main areas:

  • mobility, bioavailability and speciation of toxic trace metals in different environmental media and their impacts on biota including human beings
  • micro-anionic nutrients in the environment and their significance to human health.

Membership of professional bodies

Current professional memberships:

CSci - Chartered Scientist, The Science Council, Institution of Environmental Sciences, UK, 2011 (Registration number IES/123/0131)                               

CEnv - Chartered Environmentalist, Society for the Environment, UK, 2005 (Registration number 2473) 

MIEMA - Full Member, Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment, UK, 2011                                                                                                                     

MIEnvSc - Full Member, Institution of Environmental Sciences, UK, 2005                                                                                                                                       

MInstLM - Member, Institute of Leadership and Management, UK, 2008 (Membership Number 106342)                                                                                               

SHEA - Senior Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, UK, 2014 (Recognition reference PR079743)

 

Membership of professional societies:

  • Invited member of 'Science Diploma Higher Education Working Group', SEMTA (The Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies), 2008
  • Appointed member of Environment Agency's Regional Environment Protection Advisory Committee (REPAC), 2005-08, 2008-11: advisor to the Environment Agency on regional priorities impacting on regional policy making
  • Nominated and confirmed Vice-President of the National Federation of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Associations, India, 2005
  • Elected Chairperson, Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH), European Section (2002 - 05)
  • Invited Executive Committee member, Environment City Executive, Derby City Partnership, Derby City Council, 2003-06
  • Elected Councillor, Executive Board, Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH) USA, Europe, Asia Pacific, 2002 onwards
  • Invited Environmental Sustainability Advisor, Derby City Partnership Objective 2 Action Plan, Derby City Council, 2001 onwards
  • Invited member of the Executive Committee, Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH), European Section, 1997 onwards.

Qualifications

Research qualifications

  • PhD Environmental Chemistry, Royal Holloway College, University of London.

Recent publications

Karak, A., Paul, R.K., Kutu, F.R., Mehra, A., Khare, P., Dutta, A.K., Bora, K., Boruaha, R.K. 2016. Comparative assessment of copper, iron and zinc contents in selected Indian (Assam) and South African (Thohoyandou) tea (Camellia sinensis L.) samples and their infusion: A quest for health risks to consumer. Biological Trace Element Research, DOI: 10.1007/s12011-016-0783-3 

Jasrotia, S., Kansal, A, and Mehra, A. 2015. Performance of aquatic plant species for phytoremediation of arsenic-contaminated water. Applied Water Science, DOI 10.1007/s13201-015-0300-4

Lynch P.T., Siddika A., Mehra A., Benelli C. and Lambardi M. 2014. Cryopreservation of Quince (Cydonia oblonga Mill.). Cryo Letters  35, 188-196

Mehra, A., Saikat, S.Q., and Carter, J.E.  2014. Bioavailability of iodine in the UK-Peak District environment and its human bioaccessibility: an assessment of the causes of historical goitre in this area. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 186, 987-999.

Chan, L., Mehra, A,. Saikat, S.Q., and Lynch, P.T. 2013. Human exposure assessment of fluoride from tea (Camellia sinensis L.): A UK based issue? Food Research International , 51, 564-570.

Mehra, A., Lynch, P., Saikat, S., Chan, L. 2013. Trace elements in tea (Camellia sinensis) and their bioavailability, In: Tea and Health and Disease Prevention, Ed. V.R. Preedy, Elsevier, London, UK, pp 257-274.

Lynch, P.T., Siddikaa, A.,  Johnston, J.W., Trigwell, S.M., Mehra, A., Benelli, C.,  Lambardi, M., Benson, E. 2011. Effects of Osmotic Pretreatments on Oxidative Stress, Antioxidant Profiles and Cryopreservation of Olive Somatic Embryos, Plant Science, 181, 47-56.

Chawla, R., Sathian, B, Mehra, A., Kiyawat, V., Garg, A., Shrama, K. 2010. Awareness and assessment of risk factors for lung cancer in residents of Pokhra Valley. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 11, 1789-93.

Kalavrouziotisa, I.K., Koukoulakis, P.H., and Mehra, A. 2010. Quantification of elemental interaction effects on Brussels sprouts under treated municipal wastewater. Desalination. 254, 6-11.

 

Recent conferences

Mehra, A. and Banerjee, D.K. 2014. Implications of traditional commercial practices on the current environmental status of River Yamuna in the Delhi-Mathura-Agra region, India. IWA Regional Symposium on Water, Wastewater and Environment: Traditions and Culture. March 2014, Patras, Greece. Pp 731-740.

Mehra, A., Lynch, P.T., Saikat, S.Q., Samson, L., Aigbogun, I., and Oluleye, O. 2013. Human exposure to fluoride from drinking water – a pilot study in the East Midlands region, UK.  29th International conference for the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health, July 2013, Toulouse, France.

Mehra, A., Lynch, P.T., Saikat, S.Q., Chan., L., Samson, L, and Squires, F. 2012. Human exposure to fluoride in Derbyshire, UK. 9th International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry. July, 2012, Aveiro, Portugal.

Chan, L., Mehra, A., Lynch, P., and Saikat, S. 2011. Potential human exposure to aluminium and fluoride from tea (Camellia sinensis) consumption, at the International Conference on Environment and Health, incorporating the 28th SEGH (Society for Environmental Geochemistry & Health) European Conference and Workshops, April 2011, Edge Hill, Ormskirk, UK

Chan, L., Mehra, A., Lynch, P., and Saikat, S. 2011 Towards development of an in vitro method to estimate the oral bioavailability/bioaccessibility of fluoride from tea consumption at the International Conference on Environment and Health, incorporating the 28th SEGH (Society for Environmental Geochemistry & Health) European Conference and Workshops, April 2011, Edge Hill, Ormskirk, UK

Chan, L., Mehra, A., Lynch, P., and Saikat, S. 2010. Human Expoesure to fluoride from tea (Camellia sinensis), at the SEGH 2010 International Conference and Workshops of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health on Environmental Quality and Human Health, June-July, 2010, Galway, Ireland

 

Additional interests and activities

I have supervised the following PhD students towards successful completion:

  • Kevin Cordes, 2001. Leaching and bioavailability of selected elements from coal-fired power station waste; other supervisors: Professor Margaret Farago, Imperial College, London, Professor D K Banerjee, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.
  • Susan Casper. 2003. Contamination, bioavailability, and speciation of metals from copper processing industry in the Churnet River Valley, Staffordshire, UK.; other supervisors: Professor Margaret Farago, Imperial College, London, Mr Richard Gill.
  • Kathleen Holding, 2005. Epilithic periphyton as a potential biomonitor of trace metals contamination in freshwater aquatic systems; other supervisors: Professor Joy Carter, University of Glamorgan, Professor Trevor Brown.
  • Sohel Saikat, 2005. Distribution, mobility and health significance of iodine and fluorine in the UK-Peak District; Other supervisors: Professor Joy Carter, University of Glamorgan, Professor Barry Smith, British Geological Survey; Advisor: Dr Alex Stewart, Health Protection Agency.
  • Leigh Brewin, 2005. Towards the further understanding of the copper tolerance mechanisms in Armeria maritima (Mill.) Willd. (sea thrift); other supervisors: Professor Paul Lynch, Professor Margatert Farago Imperial College.
  • Mohannad Al-Majathoub, 2006. Development of cryopreservation techniques for strawberry Fragaria x ananassa Duchesne; other supervisors: Professor Paul Lynch.
  • Ayesha Siddika, 2007. In vitro conservation of germplasm of temperate woody fruit tree species; other supervisors: Professor Paul Lynch
  • Laura Chan, 2014. Human exposure assessment of fluoride from tea; other supervisors: Professor Paul Lynch; Dr Sohel Saikat Health Protection Agency.

Journal editorial boards:

  • Assistant Editor of the international refereed journal, Chemical Speciation and Bioavailability, 2003 onwards
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the international refereed journal, Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 2003-14
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue of the international refereed journal, Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 2000.

International experience

Research and Academic Collaborations:

  • Amity University, Noida, India
  • Hellenic Open University, Greece
  • World Health Organisation, Switzerland
  • TERI University, New Delhi, India
  • Tea Reserach Association, Assam, India

On international programme validation panels

  • British College of Applied Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College, Sri Lanka.

MSc, PhD Examinerships:

  • Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
  • University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Grant Reviewer:

  • Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, Kuwait.

In the media

French TV (France 5): Fluor un ami quivous veut du mal ‘Fluoride an evil friend’, April 26th, 2016

BBC East Midlands TV 1 pm and 6.30 pm News, July 25th, 2013: Film on 'fluoride in tea and human health'

ITV News 6 pm, March 2009: interviewed on 'fluoridation of drinking water'

BBC TV documentary, 2007: Tap water vs bottled water

Several BBC Radio interviews on aspects such as drinking water quality’, ‘iodine in the UK-Peak District area, ‘fluoride in drinking water’.

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