Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda
+61 3 9925 7150
Science, Engineering & Health
Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda leads the Ecotoxicology and Environmental Biology research team within the School of Applied Sciences at RMIT University.
She is a core member of the College of Science Engineering and Technology, Environmental Change research strength group.
Doctor of Philosophy, University of London, Kings College and Queen Mary College (United Kingdom), 1986
Bachelor of Science (Honours, first class), University of Colombo (Sri Lanka), 1980
Research interests and supervision
- Ecotoxicology and Environmental Biology with a focus on aquatic ecotoxicology, pesticides, trace metals, Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), cyanobacterial toxins and their effects on fish and invertebrates. Biomonitoring of environmental contamination using fish and invertebrates in water and earthworms in soil. Development of toxicity tests using Australian species. Enzymes and hormones as biomarkers of environmental exposure to xenobiotics. Effect of dryland salinity on freshwater ecosystems. Bioremediation of metal contaminated and salinised sites Minimising nutrient pollution from aquaculture and evaluating water quality with a focus on reclaimed and recycled water.. .
- Successfully completed the supervision of 11 Ph.D students (first supervisor), 2 Master of Science by Research, 22 Honours students and 2 Master of Science (Minor Thesis), at, RMIT University, and Victoria University, Australia, in addition to previous research supervision at The National University of Singapore and The University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Currently supervises 5 Ph.D, 2 M.Sc. by Research candidates, and 3 Postdoctoral Research Fellows, one of whom is an ARC funded Australian Postdoctoral Fellow Industry (APDI)
Professor Nugegoda’s teaching commitments include undergraduate and Masters courses in Ecotoxicology, and Aquatic Resources Management She is the course coordinator for Ecotoxicology and Animal Structure and Function and teaches into Animal Diversity, Marine Biology, Ecology and other and related courses in Environmental Biology She is also Coordinator of the Environmental stream in the Degree of Master of Biotechnology
- RMIT Animal Ethics Committee (since 2007)
- RMIT representative on the Council of the Queenscliff Marine Consortium (since 2002)
- Member of the RMIT (Vietnam-Australia) 5-member Water Research Team led by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation to conduct Water Environment Workshops in Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Min City in 2002. Current collaborative research team member since 2005.
- Representative on the University International Student Staff Advisory Network (since 2000)
- Member of the International Student Working Party convened and led by the Chair of the Research and Graduate Studies Committee (2001-2002)
- Departmental Representative on the Faculty of Life Sciences Higher Degrees Committee 2001 - 2004)
Industry / professional / community involvement
- On the Global Bioaccumulation Advisory Group, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) appointed to the Steering Committee 2008.
- Elected to the Pesticide Policy Advisory Group for the Forest Stewardship Council of Australia 2008-2009
- International Reviewer Research Grants Council of Hongkong and International assessor National Research Council of South Africa (since 2006)
- Appointed to the expert advisory panel on ecotoxicology for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Authority 2005.
- Member of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science
- Member of the Asian Fisheries Society
- Member of the Australasian Society for Ecotoxicology. Elected Representative for the State of Victoria 2000 – 2006 and Vice President 2007-2009
- Scientific Member of the Society for Ecotoxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), USA (since 1995)
- Member of the Australian Society of Limnology
- RMIT representative on the Council of the Victorian Marine Sciences Consortium
Deeply committed to international issues being an Alumnus of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and the University of London, U.K. and having work experience in Sri Lanka, the UK, Germany, China, Singapore and Vietnam.
Over 68 refereed journal articles, 1 book chapter and 11 refereed publications in Conference proceedings
Publications from 2007+
Kefford, B., Dunlop, J., Nugegoda D. & Choy, S. (2007). Understanding salinity thresholds in freshwater biodiversity: freshwater to saline transition. in Lovett, S., Price, P. & Edgar, B. (eds); Salt, Nutrient, Sediment and Interactions: Findings from the National River Contaminants Program, Land & Water Australia, Canberra. Chapter 2, page 9-28.
Refereed Journal Articles
Hassel K.L., Coutin P. and Nugegoda D. (2009) A novel approach to controlling dissolved oxygen levels in laboratory experiments. (accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology on 20/01/09.)
Kefford B.J. Salter, J. Dunlop J, Clay, C. Nugegoda D.(2009) Are preference experiments a good method to rapidly determine the sublethal effect? Freshwater invertebrates response to gradients of salinity and turbidity Australasian Journal of Ecotoxicology. (Accepted for publication 16/07/2008)
Hagen T, Allinson G, Wightwick A, Nugegoda D (2009). Assessing the performance of a bdelloid rotifer Philodina acuticornis odiosa acute toxicity assay. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology 82: 285-289.
Codi King S, Hassell K, Nugegoda D. Kristiansen S.I (2008) The assessment of vitellogenin as a biomarker of exposure to estrogenic compounds in two Australian perciformes. Marine Environmental Research. (Available online)
Hassell K.L., Coutin P. and Nugegoda D. (2008) Hypoxia impairs embryo development and survival in black bream (Acanthopagrus butcheri). Marine Pollution Bulletin 57:302-306
Hassell K.L., Coutin P. and Nugegoda D. (2008) Hypoxia, low salinity and low temperature reduce embryo survival and hatch rates in black bream (Acanthopagrus butcheri, Munro1949). Journal of Fish Biology. 72:1623-1636
Kefford, B.J., Zalizniak, L., Warne, M.St.J. & Nugegoda D. (2008). Is the integration of hormesis and essentiality into ecotoxicology now opening Pandora's Box? Environmental Pollution 151 (3):516-523
Tjørnhøj R., Pollino C., Nugegoda D, Baun A. (2008) Toxicity of water and sediment from stormwater retarding basins to Hydra oligactis Environmental Pollution (doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2008.05.013)).
Zalizniak L, Kefford B.J. and Nugegoda D (2007) Effect of different ionic compositions on survival and growth of Physa acuta. Aquatic Ecology Published online. doi: 10.1007/s10452-007-9144-9.
Kefford, B., Fields, E., Clay, C. & Nugegoda, D. (2007). 'Salinity tolerance of riverine microinvertebrates from the southern Murray-Darling Basin' in Marine and Freshwater Research, 58, 1019 - 1031
Kefford, B., Nugegoda, D., Zalizniak, L., Fields, E. & Hassell, K. (2007). 'The salinity tolerance of freshwater macroinvertebrate eggs and hatchlings in comparison to their older life-stages. Aquatic Ecology, 41, 335 - 348
Khan, S. & Nugegoda, D. (2007). 'Sensitivity of juvenile freshwater crayfish Cherax destructor (Decapoda : Parastacidae) to trace metals' Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 68, 463 – 469
Refereed Conference Proceedings
Goulding, R., Jayasuriya, N., Horan, E. & Nugegoda, D. (2007). 'Faecal indicators in waterways following wet weather sewer spills' 2nd IWA - Aspire Conference and Exhibition, IWA (ed.), 2nd IWA - Aspire Conference and Exhibition, Perth, Australia
Total of 108 International and national Conference papers (oral and posters) presented with 65 in the last 5 years (over 90% published as refereed abstracts). 12 in 2008
Research grants held 2008+
Category 1 research income
Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda [other investigators?] Preserving freshwater biodiversity: predictions to manage the effects of suspended sediment and salinity. ARC Linkage Project 2006 Round 2; 2006-2008
Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda [other investigators] Assessment of the tolerance of sub-Antarctic marine invertebrates to metal contaminants, Australian Antarctic Division Research 2007-2008
Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda [other investigators] Have stream invertebrate communities of Macquarie Island changed over 15 years and are they likely to respond to climate changes or other environmental factors? Australian Antarctic Division Research 2007-2009
Category 2 research income
Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda [other investigators] A health risk assessment for cyanobacterial toxins in seafood from the Gippsland Lakes. Department of Human Services Public Health Research Projects 2008 -2009
Professor Felicity Roddick, Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda, Dr Linhua Fan, Dr Thang Nguyen, Dr John Harris,. Reducing and monitoring blue-green algal blooms. Smart Water Fund, 2009-2010
Dr Linhua Fan, Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda, Professor Felicity Roddick, Dr Thang Nguyen, Dr John Harris. Removing Effluent Colour by Advanced Treatment, Smart Water Fund, 2009-2010
Category 3 research income
Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda [other investigators] Biomonitoring of Melbourne Wetlands in the area of Ecotoxicology. Melbourne Water Research Project. 2007 – 2009
Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda, Assessing the toxicity of reclaimed water. Department of Primary Industries 2008-2009.
Dr Ben Kefford and Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda. Assessment of the tolerance of sub-Antarctic marine invertebrates to metal contaminants. RMIT Emerging Researcher Grants. 2008
External Research Grants have been received from:
- Australian Research Council
- Australian Antarctic Division
- Department of Human Services
- Department of Primary Industries
- NSW Environment Trust
- Smart Water Fund
- General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), Greece
- GSF National Research Centre for Environment and Health, Germany
- Land and Water Australia (LWA) National River Contaminants Program (2003-2005)
- Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation (LWRRDC) National Dryland Salinity Program (2001-2003)
- GlenElg Hopkins CMA
- Goulburn Murray Water
- Melbourne Water
- Victorian EPA and Water Studies Centre, Monash
Scholarships, Awards and Fellowships
- 2008/09: Visiting Fellowship, Flinders Research Centre for Coastal & Catchment Environments (FR3cE), Flinders University
- 2003: RMIT Faculty of Life Sciences: Research Supervision Award.
- 1999 - 2003: 5 Visiting Research Fellowships (2-4 months each) from the GSF National Research Centre for Environment and Health, Munich Germany to collaborate on the research project “Biomarkers of pollution in fish from contaminated sites in the Yangtze River region, China” with the Institute of Ecological Chemistry.
- 1985/86: Drapers Company/Queen Mary College Award for Postgraduate Study, University of London.
- 1982 – 1985: Open Commonwealth Scholarship awarded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission of the U.K.
- 1982: Fulbright-Hayes Graduate Student Award for study in the U.S.
- 1977: Scholarship for the Best Results in the First Examination in Natural Sciences, University of Colombo