Dayanthi Nugegoda

Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda

Professor of Ecotoxicology, Lead Researcher AQUEST research group

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Profile photo of Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda. Dayanthi is standing in front of a grey wall, looking at the camera and smiling.

Contact details

Programs

 BIOL2162 - Ecotoxicology (undergraduates) 


 ENVI1004 - Ecotoxicology (postgraduates) 


 BIOL2347 - Ecotoxicology for Open University


More information

Profile photo of Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda. Dayanthi is standing in front of a grey wall, looking at the camera and smiling.

Contact details

Programs

 BIOL2162 - Ecotoxicology (undergraduates) 


 ENVI1004 - Ecotoxicology (postgraduates) 


 BIOL2347 - Ecotoxicology for Open University


More information

Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda is an ecotoxicologist who has investigated the effects of toxicants and anthropogenic activities and resulting pollution, on native species, and ecosystems, for over 25 years.

She is passionate about diversity and inclusion in Higher Education and an advocate for females in STEMM.

Overview

Professor Nugegoda has led the Ecotoxicology Research Group at RMIT University since 2004. She is a lead researcher in the Aquatic Environmental Stress (AQUEST) Research Group at RMIT University.

Her group has developed novel methods to assess monitor and evaluate the effect of toxicants and other environmental stressors on aquatic organisms, and ecosystems including trace metals, pesticides, endocrine disrupting chemicals cyanobacterial toxins; salinisation of freshwater systems, and ocean acidification and plastics on biota from rotifers to seabirds and marine mammals. She has with her collaborators, raised over $10 million research grant income with an associated additional $3.4 million industry support for research in ecotoxicology and environmental biology.

In 2018, she set up the Aquatic Prevention Pollution Partnership at RMIT with a $5 million grant from Melbourne Water. Prof. Nugegoda has trained many Australasian researchers in Ecotoxicology, graduating 30 PhD and 5 MSc research candidates; and supervised 12 Postdoctoral Fellows. She now supervises 14 PhD candidates (10 as senior supervisor).

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Industry experience

Professor Nugegoda contributed expert opinion on the environmental impacts of Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining as an appointed member (2012-2014) of the Independent Expert Scientific Panel to the Minister of Environment; on pesticides to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) of Australia, on ecotoxicology to The New South Wales Environment Trust; The Research Councils of Hongkong, South Africa, Norway, France, Croatia and the Netherlands; The OECD Validation Management Group for Ecotoxicity Tests (VMG-eco); The SETAC Global Bioaccumulation Advisory Group and Animal Alternatives Advisory Group and to the Australian Shipowners Association.

In 2015, she served on the Scientific Reference Panel for Onshore Natural Gas and Water for the State of Victoria and was re-appointed to the Science Panel for the Victorian Coastal Council.

In 2017, she was invited by the Lead Scientist of Victoria to join the Scientific Reference Group for Onshore Conventional Gas until 2020.

In 2018, with Vin Pettigrove, she set up the $5 million Aquatic Pollution Prevention Partnership with Melbourne Water to evaluate and minimise pollutants.

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Research

Prof. Nugegoda and her group has developed novel methods to assess monitor and evaluate the effect of toxicants and other environmental stressors on aquatic organisms, and ecosystems including trace metals, pesticides, endocrine disrupting chemicals cyanobacterial toxins; salinisation of freshwater systems, ocean acidification and plastics on biota from rotifers to seabirds and marine mammals.

Research keywords

Ecotoxicology, Ecophysiology, Endocrine Disruption, Trace Metals, Pollutants, Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS), Pesticides, Microplastics, Nanoparticles, Pharmaceuticals, Aquatic, Fish, Invertebrates, Birds, Dolphins, Cyanobacteria

Research output summary

170+

Publications

20

Grants

8

Awards

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Supervisor interest areas

  • Ecotoxicology
  • Ecophysiology
  • Endocrine disruption in fish
  • Effects of pollutants including inorganic and organic chemicals, nanoparticles and microplastics on aquatic organisms
  • Freshwater, marine and estuarine pollution

Supervisor projects

  • Biomarkers of exposure to coastal pollution in mussels
  • Metabolomics as biomarkers of exposure to toxicants
  • Effects of microplastics on aquatic biota
  • Effects of pollutants on waterbirds
  • Effects of toxicants on Little penguins
  • Toxicant body burdens and effects on dolphins
  • Pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment
  • Effects of toxicants from unconventional gas exploration on invertebrates.
  • Endocrine disruption in aquatic vertebrates

Feature publications

Foaming at the mouth: Ingestion of floral foam microplastics by aquatic animals

Science of The Total Environment: 135826-135826

Trestrail, C., M. Walpitagama, C. Hedges, A. Truskewycz, A. Miranda, D. Wlodkowic, J. Shimeta and D. Nugegoda (2019).

The toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to three freshwater invertebrates with different life strategies: Hydra vulgaris, Daphnia carinata and Paratya australiensis

Frontiers in Environmental Science, 6:152-

Lekamge, S, Miranda, AF, Abraham, A, Li, V, Shukla, R, Bansal, V, Nugegoda, D (2018).

Effects of environmental chemicals on fish thyroid function: Implications for fisheries and aquaculture in Australia

Gen. Comp. Endocrinol

Nugegoda D. and Kibria, G. (2016).

Key publications by year

Journal articles

Scholarly books

  • Kibria G., Yousuf Haroon, A.K. Rose, G. Maruf Hossain Md.M. Nugegoda D. (2021) Pollution Risks, Impacts and Management .Social, Economic and Environmental Perspectives. Scientific Publishers. Jodhpur India ISBN 9789389184969
Journal articles

 

Scholarly books (edited)

  • Bolan N.S., Kirkham M.B.,  Halsband, C. Nugegoda,D. and Ok Y.S (2020). Particulate Plastics in terrestrial and aquatic environments. CRC Press Boca Raton ISBN: 978-1-138-54392-8. (Edited book)

Scholarly book chapters

  • Olvin J., Dann P., Nugegoda D (2020) Plastic food for fledgeling shearwaters (Ardenna tenusirostris) in: Particulate Plastics in terrestrial and aquatic environments. In: Bolan N.S., Kirkham M.B.,  Halsband, C. Nugegoda,D. and Ok Y.S  Eds. CRC Press. Baco Raton

Scholarly books

  • Kibria G, Yousuf Haroon A.K, and Nugegoda  D.(2016)  Climate Change and Water New India Publishing Agency, 2016, 460 p, figs, tables, col. plates

Published conference proceedings

Written paper - refereed

  • Huang Y, Cartlidge R, Zhu F, Nugegoda D, Wlodkowic D (2015) Testing organic toxicants on biomicrofluidic devices: why polymeric substrata can lead you into trouble Proc. SPIE 9668, Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Systems, 96681W (December 22, 2015); doi:10.1117/12.2202393 
  • Huang Y, Nugegoda D, Wlodkowic D (2015) Automation of Daphtoxkit-F biotest using a microfluidic lab-ona-chip technology Proc. SPIE 9668, Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Systems, 966813 (December 22, 2015); doi:10.1117/12.2202396. 
  • Huang Y, Nugegoda D, Wlodkowic D (2015) Enabling rapid behavioral ecotoxicity studies using an integrated lab-on-a-chip systems. Proc. SPIE 9668, Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Systems, 96680Y (December 22, 2015); doi:10.1117/12.2202394.

Scholarly books

  •  Kibria G, Yousuf Haroon A.K, Nugegoda  D. and Rose G.(2013)  Climate Change and Agricultural Food Production: Impact, Vulnerabilities and Remedies. New India Publishing Agency, 2013, 290 p ISBN 97-89381-45051-2.

Scholarly book chapters

  • Nugegoda D and Kibria G (2013) Water Quality Guidelines. In Férard, J.F. and Blaise, C., (eds)the Encyclopedia of Aquatic Ecotoxicology.page 1177-1196    Springer Publishers.

 

Scholarly books

  • Kibria G, Yousuf Haroon A.K, and Nugegoda  D.(2010)  Climate Change and Chemicals : Environmental and Biological Aspects. New India Publishing Agency, 2010, 460 p, figs, tables, col. plates, ISBN : 93-80235-30-1.

Published conference proceedings

Written paper refereed

  • Goulding, R, Jayasuriya, N, Horan, E & Nugegoda D ( 2008), Metals in waterways following wet weather sewer spills, Proceedings of the  Enviro 2008 Conference, Gold Coast Australia

Scholarly book chapters

  • Kefford, B., Dunlop, J., Nugegoda D. and Choy, S. (2007). Understanding salinity thresholds in freshwater biodiversity: freshwater to saline transition. In Lovett, S., Price, P. and Edgar, B. (eds); Salt, Nutrient, Sediment and Interactions: Findings from the National River Contaminants Program, Land and Water Australia, Canberra. Chapter 2, page 9-28.

Published conference proceedings

Written paper refereed

  • Goulding, R, Jayasuriya, N, Horan, E & Nugegoda D (2007), Faecal indicators in waterways following wet weather sewer spills, Proceedings of the  2nd IWA-ASPIRE Conference, Perth, Australia.

Published conference proceedings

Written paper refereed

  • Nugegoda D, Blackney R, Fuchs, A and Smith S.V. (2006) Investigating rates of Zn and Cd uptake by the Australian freshwater crayfish Cherax destructor using 65Zn and 109Cd. Proceedings of the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering Conference Sydney, Australia 

Published conference proceedings

Written paper refereed

  • Kefford, B.J., Fields, E.J., Clay, C.J., Choy, S., McGregor, G., Paradise, T., Peska, C.M.J. & Nugegoda, D. (2004). Predicting the impacts of salinity on freshwater fauna. In Salinity Solutions Conference: Working with Science and Society. 2 - 5 August 2004, Bendigo, Victoria.

Published conference proceedings

Written paper refereed

  • Waters, M. T., Fraser, D., Martin, J., Nugegoda, D., Nguyen X.T. and Brook D. (2003). Vietnam Australia Water Resources Projects - Research and Education, Proceedings of 28th International Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium. The institution of Engineers, Australia. 

Published conference proceedings

Written paper refereed

  • Gorski, J., Rankin, P. and Nugegoda, D. (2002). The effect of heavy metals on juvenile abalone, Haliotis rubra following short-term exposure. Proceedings of the 2002 National Abalone Workshop. pp 45-51.

Published conference proceedings

Written paper refereed

  • Nugegoda, D.*, Wu, W.Z.*, Xu, Y.*, Henkelmann, B., Schramm, K.-W.: (2001).  T4 and T3 concentrations in the Chinese silver carp Hypopthalmicthyes molitrix exposed to environmental persistent organic compounds. In: Dioxin 2001 – 21st International Symposium on Halogenated 

Published conference proceedings

Written paper refereed

  • Nugegoda, D., Wu, W.Z., Xu, Y., Zhang, J., Lichtmannegger, J. and Schramm, K-W. (2000). Thyroid hormones in fish exposed to PCDD/F and TCDD from the Yangtze River region, China. In Refereed Proceedings of Dioxin 2000. Organohalogen Compounds. (Ed. M.S. Denison) 49: 469-472.

Published conference proceedings

Written paper refereed

  • Nugegoda D. and Lam T.J. 1995.  Treatment of fertilised eggs (embryos) with  triiodothyronine (T3) enhances subsequent larval growth in tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). Proceedings of the 3rd Asian Fisheries Forum :197-198. . 

 

Published conference proceedings

Written paper refereed

  • Nugegoda D.1988, Heavy metals in selected mangrove fauna of the Negombo lagoon.  Proceedings of the Workshop on the MAB/UNESCO Mangrove project in Sri Lanka, 1988. Natural Resources, Energy and Science Authority of Sri Lanka, Colombo. 23-26.

Published conference proceedings

Written paper refereed

  • Nugegoda D. and de Alwis, W.L.E. 1987, The ecology and behaviour of the Sri Lankan elephant Elephas maximus ceylonensis in Uda Walawe National Park. Proceedings of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science. Annual Sessions 1987: 142-147
  • Nugegoda D., Balasubramanium S. and de Alwis W.L.E. 1987, Vegetation Cover of the Udawalawe National Park. Proceedings of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science. Annual Sessions 1987: 159-161. 
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Feature projects

Aquatic Pollution Prevention Partnership

$5 million Research Contract with Melbourne Water

Dayanthi Nugegoda, Lead CI at RMIT

2018 - 2023

ARC LIEF

To establish a national high resolution imaging facility at the University of Melbourne

Dayanthi Nugegoda, CI

2019

ARC Linkage

Preserving Freshwater Biodiversity: Predictions to manage the effects of suspended salinity and sediments, $800,000

Dayanthi Nugegoda, Ben Kefford, Satish Choy

2005 - 2008

Key projects by year

  • Trestrail, Charlene & Shimeta, Jeff & Nugegoda, Dayanthi. (2020). Sub-Lethal Responses to Microplastic Ingestion in Invertebrates: Toward a Mechanistic Understanding Using Energy Flux. 10.1201/9781003053071-19. 
  • Plastic Food for Fledgling Short-Tailed Shearwaters (Ardenna tenuirostris): A Case Study (Colvin et al 2020)
  • ARC LEIF (LE200100053)
    To establish a national high resolution imaging facility at the University of Melbourne
    2019
    Dayanthi Nugegoda, CI
  • Aquatic Pollution Prevention Partnership
    $5 million Research Contract with Melbourne Water
    2018-2023
    Dayanthi Nugegoda, Lead CI at RMIT
  • Peter Wardrop, Jeff Shimeta, Dayanthi Nugegoda, Paul D. Morrison, Ana Miranda, Min Tang, and Bradley O. Clarke, Chemical Pollutants Sorbed to Ingested Microbeads from Personal Care Products Accumulate in Fish, Environmental Science & Technology 2016 50 (7), 4037-4044, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b06280
  • Co-founder of CAPIM (Centre for Aquatic Pollution Identification and Management)
    Melbourne University
    2010
    Lead on Freshwater EDCs until 2015
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Awards

Photo of five researchers (four in front and one standing behind) standing in a laboratory wearing laboratory coats. One researcher, Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda, is holding a piece of paper representing a received award.

RMIT Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact

Award date: 2019

Recipients: Dayanthi Nugegoda


RMIT Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in Research Supervision

Award date: 2020

Recipients: Dayanthi Nugegoda

RMIT Award for Excellence in Teaching – Widening Participation (team award)

Award date: 2011

Recipients: Dayanthi Nugegoda

Key awards by year

  • RMIT Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Supervision (2020)
  • RMIT Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact (2019)
  • RMIT Award for Excellence in Teaching – Widening Participation (team award) (2011)
  • College of Science, Engineering Health nominee for the Vice-Chancellors Award for Teaching and Research (2010)
  • RMIT Faculty of Life Sciences Research Supervision Award and RMIT University Certificate of Achievement in Research Supervision (2004)
  • Drapers Company/Queen Mary College, Univ. of London Award for Postgraduates (1985/86)
  • Open Commonwealth Scholarship awarded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission of the U.K. 1982-Fulbright-Hayes Graduate Award for study in the U.S. (1982-1985)
  • Scholarship for the Best Results in the First Exam in Natural Sciences, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (1977)
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Grants

  • Aquatic Pollution Prevention Partnership with Melbourne Water, $5 million
    Dayanthi Nugegoda, Vincent Pettigrove, Mark Osborn, Jeff Shimeta, 2018-2023
  • ARC LIEF Single Particle Elemental Analysis – Imaging Mass Cytometer Facility, $997,000
    Amanda Ellis +13 CIs, 2020
  • Investigation of endocrine disruption in Australian Freshwater Environments, $809,767
    Leusch Frederic, Lim Richard, Nugegoda Dayanthi Tremblay Louis, Chapman Heather, Pettigrove Vincent, Blockwell Stephen, Reitsema Tarren, Coleman Heather, 2011-2013
  • ARC Linkage Preserving Freshwater Biodiversity: Predictions to manage the effects of suspended salinity and sediments, $800,000
    Dayanthi Nugegoda, Ben Kefford, Satish Choy, 2005-2008
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Public and media engagements

Dayanthi was elected President of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Australasia 2011–2013.

In 2014, she was awarded a visiting Professorship to Tianjin, Chengxian University in China by the Chinese Government. In 2009, she was awarded a Visiting Professorship at the Helmholtz Research Centre for Environment and Health, Munich, Germany; and a visiting Research Fellowship at the Flinders Research Centre for Coastal and Catchment Environments, Flinders University, Adelaide. From 1999-2003. She was awarded 5 Visiting Research Fellowships (two-four months each) from the GSF National Research Centre for Environment and Health, Munich, Germany.

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.