Dr. Darren J. Koppel

I am a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Technology Sydney developing new tools to assess the risk of pollution to the Antarctic near-shore environment. I am passionate about using science to make the best decisions possible. I’ve applied my skills to environmental applications through my PhD and honours research, science policy through the Australian Academy of Science, and building community resilience through the NSW State Emergency Service. The impact of my research has been furthered through dedicated outreach, through community talks, school presentations, and social media.


Education

Doctor of Philosophy, 2014 – 2019
University of Wollongong in collaboration with the CSIRO Land and Water

  • Developing new tools to assess the risk of pollution in the Antarctic near-shore environment by linking in situ passive sampling techniques to environmental toxicology data.
  • Led a three month field-work expedition to Antarctica where we undertook extensive marine sampling and testing
  • Co-supervised 4 undergraduate students, including 2 honours students

International Bachelor of Science (Advanced), Honours Class 1, 2009 – 2013
University of Wollongong

  • Chemistry major, international studies minor. Honours project investigated the bioavailability and mobility of arsenic in flood events.

Skills

  • Parametric statistical analysis
  • R coding environment
  • Data visualisation
  • GIS visualisation
  • Fieldwork and project leadership experience

Publications

Academic

Interactive effects of arsenic and antimony on Ipomoea aquatica growth and bioaccumulation in co-contaminated soil. Lakmini P. Egodawatta, Aleicia Holland, Darren J. Koppel, Dianne F. Jolley (2020). Environmental Pollution, 259;113830, doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113830

Assessing the Risk of Metals and Their Mixtures in the Antarctic Nearshore Marine Environment with Diffusive Gradients in Thin-Films. Darren J. Koppel, Catherine K. King, Kathryn E. Brown, Gwilym A. V. Price, Merrin S. Adams, Dianne F. Jolley (2019). Environmental Science and Technology, 54, 1, 306-315, doi: doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b04497

Exposure to metals and semivolatile organic compounds in Australian fire stations. Michelle Engelsman, Milena F. Snoek, Andrew P. W. Banks, Phillip Cantrell, Xianyu Wang, Leisa-Maree Toms, Darren J. Koppel (2019). Environmental Research. 179 Part A; 108745. doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108745

Preliminary study of cellular metal accumulation in two Antarctic marine microalgae – implications for mixture interactivity and dietary risk in the Southern Ocean food web. Darren J. Koppel, Merrin S. Adams, Catherine K. King, and Dianne F. Jolley (2019). Environmental Pollution. doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.06.003

DGT can predict the toxicity of metal mixtures to two microalgae – validation of DGT for environmental monitoring in Antarctic marine conditions. Darren J. Koppel, Merrin S. Adams, Catherine K. King, and Dianne F. Jolley (2019). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Volume 28 (6), Pages 1323 – 1333, doi.org/10.1002/etc.4399

Chronic toxicity of an environmentally relevant and equitoxic ratio of five metals to two Antarctic marine microalgae shows complex mixture interactivity. Darren J. Koppel , Merrin S. Adams, Catherine K. King, and Dianne F. Jolley (2018). Environmental Pollution. Volume 242, Part B, Pages 1319-1330,  doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.07.110

Chronic toxicity of five metals to the polar marine microalga Cryothecomonas armigera – Application of a new bioassay.
Darren J. Koppel, Francesca Gissi, Merrin S. Adams, Catherine K. King, and Dianne F. Jolley (2017). Environmental Pollution, Volume 228, 2017, Pages 211-221, doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2017.05.034

Geochemical and ecotoxicological assessment of iron- and steel-making slags for potential use in environmental applications. Laura A. Wendling, Monique T. Binet, Zheng Yuan, Francesca Gissi, Darren J Koppel, and Merrin S Adams (2013). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 32 11: 2602-2610. doi.org/10.1002/etc.2342

Environmental toxicity and radioactivity assessment of a titanium-processing residue with potential for environmental use. Laura A. Wendling, Monique T. Binet, Zheng Yuan, Francesca Gissi, Darren J Koppel, and Merrin S Adams (2013). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 32 7: 1443-1452. doi.org/10.1002/etc.2194

Industry

Toxicity assessment of deep sea tailing placement of a tailings slurry from the Woodlark Gold Project. Merrin S. Adams, David A. Spadaro, Lisa A. Golding, Monique T. Binet, Robert F. Jung, Francesca Gissi, Darren J. Koppel, and Stuart L. Simpson. (2012). CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship Technical Report. CSIRO, Australia. 58 pages.

Toxicity of advanced tertiary-treated effluent from Melbourne Water’s Eastern Treatment Plant. Merrin S. Adams, Darren J. Koppel, Francesca Gissi, and Monique T. Binet (2011). CSIRO: Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship Report (series ISSN: 1835-095X), 18 pages.

Toxicity Assessment of Steel By-Products to Three Aquatic Organisms. Monique T. Binet, Francesca Gissi, Darren J. Koppel and Merrin S. Adams (2011). CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship Report (series ISSN: 1835-095X), 10 pages.

Under embargo

Mapping Australia’s International Climate Science Engagement.
Australian Academy of Science (2018), Commissioned by the Department of the Environment and Energy.


Experience

Deputy Local Controller, July 2015 –  June 2017
NSW State Emergency Service

Second-in-command of one of the largest, and most active, SES units in Australia. Responsible for emergency management arrangements, community’s resilience, membership administration, and finance of the SES resources in the Wollongong City local government area. Directly responsible for 30 volunteers supporting two SES units with 150 volunteers and legislated responsibilities for emergency management in storms, floods, tsunamis, including rescue response for floods and rescues from heights and depths.

Science Policy Intern, August 2017 – October 2017
Australian Academy of Science

During a competitive paid internship with the Australian Academy of Science I wrote a report reviewing Australia’s international engagement in climate science. This required widespread consultation between the climate science academic community, industry, and government. This report was commissioned by the Department of Environment and Energy to inform the National Climate Science Advisory Committee in their development of a new Australian Climate Science Strategy

Ecotoxicology project officer, June 2011 – June 2012
CSIRO Land and Water

A paid position where I was responsible for maintaining an environmental toxicology laboratory, toxicology test of contaminated environmental samples, and supporting research scientists with their experiments. During this employment, I performed ecotoxicological tests for commercial projects, analysed data and contributed to the writing of reports. This led to numerous industry publications.

Volunteer experience

  • University of Wollongong Global Challenge, ECO-Antarctica member
  • Wollongong City State Emergency Service Unit, past Deputy Local Controller (2011 – present)
  • Rotaract Club of the University of Wollongong, past President (2010 – 2017)
  • Solar Decathlon China, Team UOW finals group member (2012 – 2013)
  • Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families, science tutor (2012-2013)

Governance experience

  • SETAC Australasia – Communications Officer (2019 – current)
  • University of Wollongong Academic Senate Postgraduate representative (2016 –2017)
  • Science Medicine and Health Faculty Workplace Advisory Committee (2015 –2017)
  • University of Wollongong Environment Advisory Committee (2014 –2016)

Awards

  • 2019: Science Meets Parliament RACI ambassadorial scholarship
  • 2017: SETAC AU best student oral presentation
  • 2016: Global Challenge Travel Scholarship
  • 2016: SETAC travel award
  • 2015: Finalist – Young Citizen of the Year
  • 2015: Royal Australian Chemical Institute: Runner-up Conference Presentation
  • 2015: University of Wollongong School of Chemistry Highly Commended Presentation
  • 2013: Rotary International Pride of Workmanship and Changemaker Award
  • 2013: Solar Decathlon, China: First Place
  • 2012: University of Wollongong: Community Service Club of the Year award

Conference presentations

Conference presentations

  • Integrating DGT and ecotoxicology for metal-contaminant risk assessment in the Antarctic marine environment (July and September 2019). Darren J. Koppel, Catherine K. King, Kathryn E. Brown, Gwilym A. V. Price, Merrin S. Adams, Dianne F. Jolley. SETAC Australasia (Darwin, Australia) and the International DGT Conference (Vienna, Austria). Platform.
  • Using DGT to assess the risk of metal contaminants in polar environments (June 2018). Darren J. Koppel, Merrin S. Adams, Catherine K. King, and Dianne F. Jolley. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Open Science Conference. Davos, Switzerland. Poster.
  • The application of DGT to assess the risk of mixtures of metal contaminants in polar environments (May 2018). Darren J. Koppel, Merrin S. Adams, Catherine K. King, and Dianne F. Jolley. SETAC Europe. Rome, Italy. Platform.
  • On the use of DGT to predict mixture toxicity (September 2017). Darren J. Koppel, Merrin S. Adams, Catherine K. King, and Dianne F. Jolley. SETAC Australasia. Gold Coast, Australia.
  • The toxicity of metals singularly and in mixtures to an Antarctic marine algae (October 2016). Darren J. Koppel, Merrin S. Adams, Catherine K. King, and Dianne F. Jolley. SETAC Australasia. Hobart, Australia.
  • Toxicity of metal contaminants to Antarctic marine algae and implications for the development of water quality guidelines (August 2016). Darren J. Koppel, Merrin S. Adams, Catherine K. King, and Dianne F. Jolley. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Open Science Conference. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Metal toxicity to a polar marine algae – development and application of a robust toxicity protocol (December 2015). Darren J. Koppel, Francesca Gissi, Merrin S. Adams, Catherine K. King, and Dianne F. Jolley. Royal Australian Chemical Institute Research and Development Topics. Melbourne, Australia.