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Researcher wins prestigious award in environmental science

Congratulations to UTSC professor of environmental chemistry Myrna Simpson, who has won the 2010 Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Environmental Science Award.

The SETAC/RSC award recognizes early to mid-career scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the understanding or development of environmental systems, technologies, methodologies or other relevant research in their field.

Dr. Simpson’s environmental chemistry research group at UTSC uses cutting-edge NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and MS (Mass Spectrometry) techniques to study environmental and geochemical processes at the molecular level. Their work has led to groundbreaking insights into the molecular composition of soil, and how organic compounds in soil react with contaminants such as pesticides. These findings have the potential to revolutionize agricultural practices and change the way climate scientists model the impacts of global warming.

Dr. Simpson is the co-director of the Environmental NMR Centre at UTSC, which is the only centre of its kind in the world. Researchers there develop and use NMR techniques specifically designed for high-resolution environmental research.

Professor Simpson has contributed to over 60 scientific publications since 1996, with a focus on soil biology, organic matter composition and toxicology. Dr. Simpson is the third member of the UTSC faculty to win this award. Past winners were Dr. Frank Wania and Dr. André Simpson, who also happens to be Myrna's husband.

“Professor Simpson’s receipt of this prestigious award is well-deserved testimony to her incredible strengths as a researcher”, says Malcolm Campbell, UTSC Vice-Principal, Research. “What’s more, the fact that professor Simpson is the third recipient of this award at UTSC speaks to the breadth of excellence in chemistry research here. UTSC is now a campus that delivers the best in chemistry education while making significant contributions in the research arena.”

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