Environmental Sciences Seminar Series

Seminar 12

Presenter: Professor Dr John Pyle 

Director, Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Cambridge

Topic: "Long-term halogen monitoring in Southeast Asia"

Date: 25 October, 2012

Time: 10:00 am

Venue: FST Meeting Room (Dewan Anwar Mahmud)

Sinopsis of the Presentation

We discuss the use of halocarbon data, collected at surface sites in SE Asia, in determining emission source strengths for short-lived gases. We report a geographically expanding halocarbon data set (CHBr3, CH2Br2, etc), near-continuous since 2008, based on purpose-built, autonomous gas chromatographs. Using a CTM and a Lagrangian air parcel trajectory model, we have used the data to determine bromoform emissions; the new data lead to a downward revision of our previous bromoform emission estimates. The emissions have now been included in a troposphere-stratosphere CCM, whose preliminary results with a whole-atmosphere chemistry scheme are reported. The measurements of halocarbons show good agreement when the model uses the revised emissions. We consider the impact on stratospheric ozone.



Seminar 11

Presenter: Dr. Kenichi Azuma

Topic:“Indoor air quality and health: Recent concerns and future issues”

Presenter: Dr. Ikuko Banba

Topic: "Field measurements on thermal environment and fungi in basement of the environmental symbiotic houses  in Nara, Japan"


Date: 19, March, 2012

Time: 9.30 am to 11.00 am

Venue: FST Meeting Room, Dewan Anwar Mahmud


Seminar 10

Presenter: Prof. Dr. Mohamad Pauzi Zakaria

(Recepient of National Academic Award 2011 - Journal Publication)

Topic:“From Field Data to Pages of High Impact Journal – How to get it right”

Date: 12, March, 2012

Time: 9.00 am to 12.00 pm

Venue: FST Meeting Room, Dewan Anwar Mahmud


Seminar 9

Presenter: Dr. Nor Rohaizah Jamil

Topic:"Environmental Flow Modeling at Tasik Chini"

Date: 13, October, 2011

Time: 11:00 am

Venue: G148 (Biology Building)


Sinopsis of the Presentation

In Malaysia, the requirement to maintain the optimum environmental flow for rivers is subjected to the Integrated Water Resource Management Framework Programme. A study of environmental flow modelling at two feeder rivers of Tasik Chini were conducted in order to achieve three objectives which are i) To investigate the hydrodynamic of active feeder rivers of Sungai Chini as outlet and Sungai Paya Merapuh as inlet, ii) To model the optimum environmental flow for the survival of native fish species using bioindicator species, and iii) To propose an environmental flow index for restoration and rehabilitation plans for both rivers. Sampling activities commenced in  November 2007 until July 2010 involving the collection of three major components of  the study namely hydraulic (physiographic river survey), hydrology (flow analysis-related data collection, water quality analysis of selected parameters Dissolved Oxygen and Total suspended solids), and biological components (fish and habitat investigation in each studied season). Among five stations are located in regulated and gauged river of Sungai Chini, while three sampling stations were used for unregulated and ungauged Sungai Paya Merapuh. Giant snakehead fish species (Channa micropeltes), Sebarau (Hampala macrolepidota) and  Belida (Notopterus chitala)  were selected as bioindicator species out of the total 17 species of native fish sampled, taking the size (weight and maximum length) as a selection factor for tolerance limits of environmental flow requirement. Based on 7Q2.6 low flow analysis  showed the projection that on average once in ten years, the lowest  flow magnitude of 0.16 m3/s (± 0.56 m water depth) and 0.030 m3/s (± 30 cm depth) will not be exceeded at Sungai Chini and Sungai Paya Merapuh respectively. These lowest values were later used as input in low flow analysis in the 1D XP-SWMM modeling software with output error of less than 20% from real situation. The correlation of seasonal river discharges to the concentrations of dissolved oxygen and suspended solids with r2=0.93 for Sungai Chini and r2=0.88 for the Sungai Paya Merapuh show a significant level of P>0.90. Based on individual fish measurement and well-being analysis, the average of b coefficient values were almost 3 for each fish species with weight-lenght correlation of r2 >0.9 (Channa sp.) and r2 >0.6 (Hampala sp. and Notopterus sp.) during normal season. No bioindicator fish captured at both river during dry season except Notopterus sp. (Sungai Chini) with ideal isometric growth (b coefficient of 2.72, r2 = 0.9). Based on the well-being analysis, the study found that the favourable habitat can accommodate the needs of the optimum survival rate of bioindicator fish by maintaining the flow at minimum of 1.80 m3/s (± 1.60 m depth) and 1.45 m3/s (± 1.28 m depth) at Sungai Chini and Sungai Paya Merapuh respectively. At the end of the study, an index of environmental flow is proposed as a guideline for management and restoration of both studied river to ensure the survival of native fish species of the river can be maintained at optimum levels. The uses and implication of the index are highlighted through the green physical structure proposed based on carrying capacity analysis of the studied rivers to maintain the desired optimum environmental flow level in studied season.


Seminar 8

Presenter: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kamisah Osman

Topic:"Outcome Base Education (OBE) in Teaching and Learning in Environmental Sciences"

Date: 19 May, 2011

Time: 10:00 am

Venue: G139 (Biology Building)

Seminar 7

Presenter: Ahmad Rusydi Mohamad

Topic:"Automation of Oil Palm Yield Prediction Using Parallel Parametric Method"

Date: 17 February, 2011

Time: 11:00 am

Venue: G148 (Biology Building)

Sinopsis of the Presentation

Prediction of yield production is an ultimate goal in land evaluation discipline. It is extremely important to both in agronomic and economic evaluation to determine suitability and viability of a project. Oil palm plantation as an important commodity required intensive evaluation to assure a good return of investment and the FFB is the best indicator for that purpose. Parallel Parametric is a mathematical method to predict FFB production base on 21 agronomic parameters. With FAO classification system, all parameters were classified and indexed according to mapping unit. The product of indices multiply by genetic capability and human factor will show maximum Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) production in a single mapping unit. Parallel calculation may require multiple mapping unit production projection for the whole plantation project. In the economic evaluation, production of FFB is influenced by normal curve production, represented by the tree age that affect the FFB production performance. Sale or income can be determined by the FFB production, whereas the cost will be determined by site management. Discounted cash flow can then be forecasted from both information, thus generating Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate Return (IRR) of a plantation project. An integrated automation system developed which incorporate both agronomic and economic method above was proven useful in this study.


Seminar 6

Presenter: Wan Mohd Razi Wan Idris

Topic: "Penilaian Impak Sekitaran Berdasarkan Penunjuk Terpilih Di Sekitar Kawasan Bekas Lombong Tembaga Mamut, Ranau, Sabah"

Date: 1 Disember, 2010

Time: 11:00 am

Venue: Faculty Science and Technology Meeting Room

Sinopsis of the Presentation (In Malay)

Lombong Tembaga Mamut (LTM) yang terletak di Ranau, Sabah merupakan satu-satunya lombong tembaga yang terdapat di Malaysia telah ditutup pada awal tahun 1999 selepas beroperasi selama hampir 25 tahun (1975-2000). Kaedah perlombongan dedah bagi mendapatkan bijih tembaga telah menghasilkan lebih kurang 250 juta tan sisa tanah penutup dan batuan serta lebih 100 juta tan tahi lombong yang bertabur di serata tempat di kawasan bekas lombong ini. Dua komponen utama telah dipilih dalam penyelidikan ini sebagai penunjuk dalam menilai impak  alam sekitar di kawasan bekas lombong iaitu kualiti tanah dan air. Kualiti tanah merupakan komponen alam sekitar yang didapati menerima perubahan yang teruk dan ketara terutamanya ciri fiziko-kimia tanih, kitaran nutrien, perubahan struktur dan profil tanah serta mempunyai permukaan topografi yang bersifat heterogen secara mendatar dan menegak menyebabkan mudah terdedah kepada hakisan, manakala kualiti air akan mengalami perubahan dari segi ciri fiziko-kimia dan kepekatan logam berat yang tinggi di dalamnya. Data analisis menunjukkan taburan saiz partikel tanah dikuasai oleh pasir yang melebihi 41%. Nilai ketumpatan kumin dan pukal mempunyai sela purata diantara 2.60 – 2.75 gcm-3 dan 1.00 – 1.52gcm-3, manakala bagi peratus ruang rongga mempunyai sela daripada 44.18 – 61.58%. Peratus kandungan bahan organiknya adalah sangat rendah ke sederhana iaitu berjulat 0.45 – 5.69%. Nilai pH yang dicatatkan di kawasan kajian adalah sangat berasid hingga sederhana berasid iaitu berjulat diantara 2.85 – 6.57, manakala nilai kekonduksiaan elektrik mempunyai sela daripada rendah ke tahap dianggap boleh menjejaskan tanaman iaitu berjulat 2.64-4.20 mS/cm. Nilai kapasiti pertukaran kation mencatatkan nilai yang rendah ke sederhana iaitu 2.71-24.42 meq/100g. Peratus ketepuan bes mempunyai sela dari 2.12-97.99%. Kandungan nutrien tersedia iaitu fosforus, kalium dan magnesium masing-masing mempunyai sela diantara 0.70-48.67 µg/g, 5.61-400 .18µg/g dan 13.77-474.60 µg/g. Berdasarkan kepada piawai kepekatan logam berat oleh Kabata_Pendias & Pendias (2000) dan Dutch indeks menunjukkan bahawa kepekatan kandungan logam berat iaitu Co, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, dan Zn adalah berpotensi toksik dan melebihi paras yang dibenarkan di dalam tanah, manakala bagi kualiti air mendapati air di kawasan lombong lebih berasid dan menunjukkan berlakunya kejadian AMD iaitu nilai pH airnya bawah 3.50, manakala beberapa kepekatan logam berat di dalam kawasan bekas lombong telah melebihi piawai yang dibenarkan oleh INWQS dan WHO. Hasil dapatan daripada penyelidikan ini diharapkan dapat membantu pihak kerajaan, swasta serta pihak yang membuat dasar untuk memantapkan atau mengubal satu dasar baru dalam memonitor kawasan bekas lombong kerana ianya masih berpotensi untuk mencemar kawasan sekitaranya yang sekaligus menyumbang kepada masalah degradasi alam sekitar yang serius.


Seminar 5

Presenter: Dr. Marcus Pesch

Technical Director
GRIMM Aerosol Technik GmbH (Reseacher at University of Berlin)

Topic: "New technologies for advanced aerosols atmospheric research"

Date: 12 November, 2010

Time: 10:00 am

Venue: Geology Meeting Room

Sinopsis of the Presentation

GRIMM optical fine dust measuring equipment was designed to meet all the above mentioned requirements. All our Enviro systems are equipped with the same optical chamber permitting a precise and reliable single particle determination. This optical chamber is currently operating in more than 3,000 devices worldwide and has proven its quality and superiority by successfully passing the European directives for PM10 and PM2.5. With the ability to
simultaneously measure dust mass fractions PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 as well as the particle size distribution in up to 31 size channels (simply by switching measuring modes), the operator is well-prepared for all present and future dust measurement tasks and specific root cause analyses. In my capacity as Technical Director of the GRIMM company, I will strive for a continuous development of measurement technologies meeting the highest technical standards and setting the benchmark for what is possible today. Rest assured that through the combined know-how of our engineers and scientists - from the service department to the product development department to R&D - we will provide top quality in all aspects of our product range and services. Our line of Enviro products is currently employed in various fields of application worldwide.


Seminar 4

Presenter: Prof. Jacques Ganoulis

Topic: "Environmental Risk Assessment (Era) with Applications to climate Change"

Date: 3 November, 2010

Time: 10:00 am

Venue: G148, Biology Building

Sinopsis of the Presentation

Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) is the first part in environmental risk analysis, which is necessary for deciding how environmental risk management strategies could be implemented. After defining the notion of risk as a general concept, the various steps to be undertaken in the ERA process are summarized in this presentation. These are (1) identification of hazards, (2) exposure quantification and (3) evaluation of the consequences of risk. Methods and tools, such as the probabilistic and fuzzy logic-based approaches are presented in order to assess various environmental risks, such as risks in non-biotic environment (water, air and soil), ecological risk and risk to human and public health. As an example of application, the risk on available water resources due to possible climate change is further elaborated. Due to climate change, water availability for different uses, like domestic water supply, hydropower production and agricultural irrigation could be significantly reduced in the near future in many regions of the world. Precipitation data in form of time series from different stations in South East Europe (SEE) as well as results from global atmospheric circulation models indicate that climate change will reduce water availability in this part of Europe. In this presentation, the coupling of hydrological, hydraulic and climate change models is suggested in order to explore the impact of climate change on water resources at the river basin level. This is illustrated for the Mesta/Nestos river basin, which is shared between Bulgaria and Greece. The case study is part of the worldwide UNESCO-HELP initiative.

Prof Jacques Ganoulis Biography

Prof. Jacques Ganoulis specialises in water resources management, risk analysis and multicriterion decision making.  Currently he is Professor of Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Laboratory of Hydraulics and Hydraulic Works at the Dept. of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh). He is the coordinator of the UNESCO Chair/International Network of Water-Environment Centres for the Balkans (INWEB) on “sustainable management of water and conflict resolution”, a network of academic and non-academic institutions from the 10 Balkan countries, which concentrates on transboundary water issues, and cooperates closely with UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme.
Prof. Ganoulis’s research interests include engineering risk analysis, fuzzy ecological modelling, floodplain management and propagation of flood waves, marine pollution and coastal circulation, as well as the numerical simulation of flows. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings and is the editor or author of 10 books including Transboundary Water Resources Management: Institutional and Engineering Approaches (SPRINGER, 1996) and Risk Analysis of Water Pollution (WILEY-VCH, 1994; 2nd edition, 2009; translated into Chinese).



Seminar 3

Presenter: Pn Mardiana Jansar (PhD Student)

Topic: "Pesticides and Nutrient Modelling for Anthropogenic Organic Pollutants from Oil Palm Plantation Area, Tasik Chini, Malaysia"


Date: 20 October, 2010

Time: 11:00 am

Venue: G148, Biology Building

Synopsis of the Presentation

The use of different pesticides and fertilizers in oil palm plantations are expected to produce a large volume pollution from oil palm industries to water body. Few screening studies on pesticides have been conducted in Tasik Chini. Total mean of metsulfuron methyl was 254.43µg/L and paraquat was 1.85µg/L by Wong (2010) and Low (2006) determined total mean concentration of chlorpyrifos was 8.088µg/L and cypermetrin was 0.425µg/L. Each pesticide was analyzed in water samples. A verbal questionnaire has been done in Tasik Chini and the farmers there applied mostly glyphosate and metsulfuron methyl to kill the weed. A recent study in the United Stated by Kolpin et al. (2006) showed that the usage of glyphosate is the source of the pollution by glyphosate and AMPA in the streams. One of the reasons for using a pesticide model is to reduce the cost of pesticide analysis which is very expensive. So far, there is no suitable model to predict the amount of pesticides present in the Malaysian environment. The model should also be a guide to the pesticide applicator or advisor, so that the amount of pesticides used will not be more than the actual requirement needed to eliminate the pests because it is normal for farmers to use pesticides in larger quantities than are required. So there is a need to determine, investigate and to make a model for the fate and runoff of glyphosate, metsulfuron methyl and their metabolites in an oil palm plantation under humid tropical conditions.



Seminar 2

Prof. Dr. Peter Brimblecombe

School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia


Topic: "Excellence in Environmental Sciences: Experience from East Anglia"

Date: 11 October, 2010

Time: 10:00 am

Venue: G148, Biology Building

Prof Peter Brimblecombe Biography:

Prof. Peter Brimblecombe was born in Australia, but went to university in Auckland, New Zealand where he did a PhD on the aqueous chemistry of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere. Although he remain interested in atmospheric sulphur chemistry, he is currently concerned with the thermodynamics of the concentrated aqueous aerosol and in recent years this has been applied to organic materials with a special focus on humic like substances and airborne surfactants. He continue to be interested in long-term changes in urban air pollution and its effects on health and building damage. The historical aspects of this work formed the subject of a book, The Big Smoke and has recently focussed on Victorian and Edwardian Britain. His interest in material damage by air pollutants has not been restricted to outdoor environments. He has done some on the museum atmosphere and have a continuing interest in the process of damage to cultural materials by air pollutants and climate change. In recent years he has become intersted in communicating information about the atmospheric sciences to broader audiences. In 2005 he received a gold medal from the Italian Chemical Society for contributions in environmental and heritage chemistry and with the NOAHs ARK team the Europa Nostra Grand Prize for research in 2009. My involvement with SCOPUS has involved me in bibliomentric and citation analysis. He is a Professor in Atmospheric Chemistry at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia and an Associate Dean. He was appointed senior editor of Atmospheric Environment. in 1990





Seminar 1

Prof. Dr. Pak Sum Low

Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and

School of Sustainable Development, Bond University, Australia

Topic: "Ozone and Climate"

Date: 1st October, 2010

Time: 10:00 am

Venue: Faculty Meeting Room, Dewan Anwar Mahmud

Poster for the Seminar

Dr. Pak Sum Low Biography:

Dr Pak Sum Low, a Malaysian, is Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology, National University of Malaysia; and at the School of Sustainable Development, Bond University, Australia, where he taught an intensive postgraduate course on Sustainable Development and the Urban Environment in 2009.  Prior to this, he worked for UNDP-Vietnam as  International Expert at the Natural Disaster Mitigation Partnership (NDMP) Secretariat based in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) (August 2008-January 2009). 

Dr Low was Regional Adviser on Environment and Sustainable Development (May 2001-December 2007) and Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Energy Resource Section (March-June 2008) at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).  He has  also worked at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (1991-1999) in Nairobi; the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK (1988-1991); the Institute of Applied Physical Chemistry (1987-1988) and the Institute for Atmospheric Chemistry (1986-1987) at the Nuclear Research Centre, Jülich, Germany.  He was a consultant for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat (July-December 1999 and April 2000) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Secretariat (May 2000; January-February 2008; February-April 2009).  Since 2008, he has been a regular consultant for UNEP and UNDP, providing training on issues relating to climate change, including international negotiations.  He was a facilitator for the e-discussion on Human Development and Climate Change for the UNDP Asia-Pacific Human Development Network (February-July 2010) (http://www2.undprcc.lk/ext/HDRU/e_discussion_climate_change.php). 

Dr Low is International Adviser for the Climate Change Adaptation Initiative project of the Mekong River Commission in Vientiane, Lao PDR (since March 2010).    He is also a member of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT) of the UNFCCC (since January 2010); a Fellow of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) in Thailand (since 2002); a member of Technical Advisory Committee, Africa Desertification Control Initiative (ADCI), Nigeria (since May 2008), and a member of International Advisory Panel of the International Programme on Climate Change and Variability Risk Reduction initiated by the Pacific Disaster Centre, Hawaii (since July 2009).  

Dr Low has written more than 100 research and technical papers, reports and proposals, including publications in  Atmospheric Environment, Journal of Geophysical ResearchAtmospheres, Geophysical Research Letters, and The Science of the Total Environment.  He has edited a book, Climate Change and Africa,published by Cambridge University Press, UK, in August 2005 (http://www.cambridge.org/us/0521836344).  He is currently editing another book entitled Sustainable Development: Asia-Pacific Perspectives that will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2011 (http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521897174).  He is one of three Senior Editors of a new online journal titled Risk, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy to be published by Policy Studies Organization (PSO) (http://www.psocommons.org/rhcpp/editorialboard.html).  He was a member of the Advisory Board of the quarterly international scientific journal Progress in Environmental Science (PIES) published by Arnold publishers, UK, in 1990-2000 (the journal was incorporated with Environmental International, published by Elsevier, in 2001).   He has peer reviewed manuscripts submitted to Atmospheric Environment; Journal of Geophysical ResearchAtmospheres; Journal of Air and Waste Management Association; Journal of Environmental Planning and Management; Cambridge University Press (UK); and Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) publisher (UK).

Dr Low was Chair of the UNEP Global 500 Roll of Honour Policy Sub-Committee (1996); and a member of the UNEP Global 500 Roll of Honour Selection Committee (1996-1999).  He was awarded a UNEP Certificate in 1995 in recognition of his contribution to the WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 1994. 

Dr Low was a member of (i) the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Meeting of Experts on Surface Ozone Data: Their Analysis and Related Issues held on 18-22 November 1991 in Geneva, Switzerland; (ii) Expert Group on Environmentally Sound Technologies convened by UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) based in Osaka, Japan, in 2001-2002; (iii)  Ad Hoc Discussion Group on Drought convened by United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), Geneva, Switzerland, in 2003; and (iv) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigationin Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries held on 5-7 March 2008 in Rome, Italy, in preparation for the High Level Conference on World Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy held on 3-5 June 2008.   He also participated in the Technical and Steering Committee of the regional project on the Prevention and Control of Dust and Sandstorms in Northeast Asia implemented by Asian Development Bank (ADB) in collaboration with UNESCAP, UNEP and the UNCCD Secretariat in 2005.  He initiated and organized the Eminent Scientists Symposium chaired by Dr Mostafa K. Tolba, former Executive Director of UNEP (1976-1992), on Global Change, Environment and Development held on 24-25 March 2005 in Seoul, Republic of Korea, as part of the Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development for Asia and the Pacific 2005 convened by UNESCAP. 

Dr Low holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand; a Master of Environmental Studies from the University of Adelaide, Australia; and a PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of Tasmania,  Australia.  He has travelled extensively within Asia and the Pacific, and Africa.  Since 2001, he has been invited to give more than 100 presentations on issues relating to atmospheric pollution, air quality, climate change, ozone depletion, land degradation and desertification, environmental management, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development at various international conferences, forums, workshops and meetings.