Water Wiki » The Wiki Blog » Author Interview Series: Beate Escher

Mar 05 2013

Our Author Interview blog post series puts our 5 questions to some of our most popular IWA authors.

This blog post comes from Beate Escher, co-author, with Frederic Leusch of Bioanalytical Tools in Water Quality Assessment

We asked Beate to tell us about:

9781843393689.jpg1. Yourself – what are your particular areas of expertise?

I am a trained chemist but I have worked since my PhD in toxicology and ecotoxicology. In the mid 1990's we started to work on bioanalytical tools in complex matrices and that has been an important topic ever since, trying to understand the effects of complex mixtures and transformation products, not only in water but also sediment and biota.

2. What you would say is the most unique feature of your book? 

It brings together the scientific background from various fields (environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology, toxicology, risk assessment) to rationalise the choice and use of bioassays for the assessment of micropollutants in water.

3. Who would you like to reach with your book? Tell us about your target audience and what you aim to achieve with Bioanalytical Tools in Water Quality Assessment.

The initial target audience were the regulators and industry partners with whom we are collaborating. They kept asking many questions and we were able to answer them but when they ask where this is written up, we would have to give them a dozen very specialised papers. So we started to prepare workshop material, and give presentations and half-day seminars and that was the basis for this book. Once the book was written in a simple but technically correct language, we realised that it was very suitable for our undergraduate classes. Other people seem to have noticed that too. Glenn Suter wrote in in his review on the book in IEAM: "I called this a textbook because it goes beyond presenting the authors’ approach to provide the supporting concepts that are needed to make a full assessment practice… These chapters are clear and well-illustrated and could serve as stand-alone tutorials.."

4. Your year in events – the conferences you have attended and plan to attend this year, which events inspire you? Which conference do you feel has been/will be most important this year?

For the first time, this year, we  have been applying our bioanalytical tools to assess the formation of disinfection by-products in drinking water. So the Gordon Research Conference on "Drinking Water Disinfection By-Products" was the meeting to attend this year. I knew very little about this field in general beyond the application of bioanalytical tools and I felt like being a graduate student again. Such a steep learning curve. So many new people to meet. So this Gordon conference  turned out to be the highlight of the year. It was also a good lesson to not always go to the same conferences every year but try something outside your comfort zone and in no time, the comfort zone just gets wider.

5. Your next project – do you aim to build on the work you did for Bioanalytical Tools in Water Quality Assessment or work within a different area? 

There is so much more to do in this field, which is moving so rapidly, so we hope to update you all with a second edition in a few years time (at least my coauthors Frederic Leusch is keen to keep it up going- believe it or not, he still thinks that writing a book is fun!). Besides water , we are also working with other matrices, similar approaches are suitable for sediments and even for biota. So stay tuned!

Related Publications

Bioanalytical Tools in Water Quality Assessment - Beate Escher and Frederic Leusch 
Publication Date: Dec 2011 - ISBN - 9781843393689

Disinfection By-Products and Human Health - Steve E Hrudey and Jeffrey WA Charrois
 Publication Date: May 2012 - ISBN - 9781843395195

Created by Chloe Parker on 2013/03/05 09:40