Environmental health sciences professor and SmartState Center for Environmental Science and Risk (CENR) director at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Jamie Lead, has produced a ‘Research Front’ (or special issue) for the journal, Environmental Chemistry, based on the research presented at the ninth International Conference on the Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials (Nano 2014) that Dr. Lead hosted in Columbia, SC in 2014. Established in 2005 by Dr. Lead and other researchers in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology, the five-day conference meets annually and alternates between Europe and North America. Attendees include academic, government and industry researchers, students and members of the local community who convene to discuss nanotechnology risks and beneficial applications.
Participants at Nano 2014 included nearly 150 researchers and students from 17 countries who attended oral presentations and poster presentations along with a panel discussion on the next generation of nanoparticles, particularly nanohybrids. The conference’s ‘public day’ component drew more than 100 community members from the public and local schools to attend, while a separate training session was organized for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.
Dr. Lead proposed the idea of a Nano 2014 supplement to the editor-in-chief at Environmental Chemistry, where Dr. Lead served as an editor for six years before signing on as an editor-in-chief of the recently launched scientific journal, NanoImpact. As one of the conference series’ original founders, Dr. Lead had been serving as a liaison between the conference and Environmental Chemistry for the past several years — facilitating interactions, such as awards from the journal for the best student poster or presentation.
“By pairing this globally leading conference with this high-impact journal, we were able to attract a lot of interest and extremely high quality research for this special issue,” says Dr. Lead. “The conference provided us with access to a large concentration of leaders in the field.”
Although the supplement was not limited to conference attendees, the call for papers was promoted among them to take advantage of the simultaneous completion of high quality research that would be ready for scholarly publication. As with all papers published in peer-reviewed journals, the submissions went through a rigorous review process.
The resulting five papers included research on the behavior and impacts of inorganic nanoparticles in aquatic sediments, metal nanoparticle concentrations in earthworms, effects on aggregation of carbon nanotube chirality, the rates and uptake of silver nanoparticles in a simple freshwater food chain, and the impact of organic matter on the bioavailability of cerium dioxide nanoparticles to fish.