Spotlight on Women in Science - Jacqui Horswell

Women's science research is being showcased as part of the Royal Society Te Apārangi's 150th Year Anniversary.   

They are holding a free, public event at Massey University, Wellington on:

Thursday, 2 November 2017 from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM at Massey University Wellington, Theatrette 10A02 200.  All welcome.

To register go to (external link)

ESR's senior scientist and programme leader for the Centre for Integrated Biowaste Research, Dr Jacqui Horswell, is one of New Zealand’s leading experts on microbial contaminants in human waste. She will be talking about new science discovered by ESR and Lincoln University that looks at the properties of the Mānuka plant and its potential for helping to clean up our polluted waterways

Water pollution in NZ is an increasing concern for regulatory bodies and environmentalists. Nutrient loss from agricultural areas and the discharge of wastewater effluent is a major source of pollution for freshwater and coastal systems and the three main water pollutants of greatest concern (the big three) are:

  • pathogens, (measured by E. coli)
  • sediment, and
  • nutrients (N and P)

Reduction of the big three is part of Iwi and Council environmental plans and policy in many regions. Installing riparian plantings and wetlands have demonstrable benefits on water quality. New science discovered by ESR and Lincoln University shows that the Mānuka root system has some unique properties, and that incorporating such plants into bio-diverse riparian planting schemes has the potential to both filter and inactivate pollutants from intensive agriculture leading to improvements in water quality. In this talk we will describe newly discovered properties of this amazing New Zealand native and the next steps of the project where we go from ‘proof of concept’ to large scale field trials.

Dr Jacqui Horswell has undertaken research into sustainable management of organic wastes for the past 25 years, working at ESR (The Institute of Environmental Science and Research).  Here she works as an environmental microbiologist leading the Centre for Integrated Biowaste Research (CIBR).

She has a wealth of experience of the New Zealand waste and land management sectors, she is one of New Zealand’s leading experts on microbial contaminants (e.g. pathogens) in human waste.

Jacqui has a wide range of skills and experience relating to sustainable waste management, particularly in the assessment of potential environmental and human health impacts of microbial and chemical contaminants in wastes.

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