Nowadays scientific research is often carried out in international consortia with various partners. E&H participates for example in European research projects in which other universities, research institutes and sometimes also industry is represented. The interaction between staff from different laboratories and from different disciplines is often very beneficial for the final outcome. Apart from these temporal consortia, E&H has two ongoing partnerships. One is with the Dutch research institute Deltares, and one with the international proficiency testing scheme QUASIMEME.
E&H works closely with Deltares, a leading independent institute for applied research, operating worldwide in the field of water and subsurface with focus on deltas, coastal regions and river basins. Managing these densely populated and vulnerable areas is complex. Prof. Dick Vethaak of Deltares occupies an endowed professorship at E&H. He studies the effects of hazardous chemicals, plastic debris and other pollutants in ecosystems and the impact of ecosystem alteration on human health with the ultimate goal to develop solutions for impacted environments.
Environment and Health (E&H) plays an active role in the proficiency testing scheme QUASIMEME (Quality Assurance of Information on Marine Environmental Monitoring in Europe). Prof. De Boer is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board, which is responsible for the scientific quality of the annual program.
Environment and Health assists in the preparation and testing of biological reference materials that are being used in the proficiency tests. E&H is also responsible for several ‘learning exercises’. These are – often stepwise-designed – interlaboratory studies focused on new contaminants for which reliable and comparable methods are not available yet. The learning exercise on chlorinated paraffins is now in its final phase (4rd round).
Furthermore, E&H also contrubtes to the workshop scheme of QUASIMEME. All workshops are dedicated to the improvement of the specific analyses. In February 2017 the Scientific Advisory Board will meet again, to discuss the program and possibly decide on a larger workshop on the 25th anniversary of QUASIMEME. Further information will follow after that meeting.