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HKBU researchers awarded Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) – Environmental Research, Technology Demonstration and Conference (RTDC) Projects 2023-2024


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We are thrilled to announce that three HKBU researchers, Dr Nirakar Pradhan and Professor Zhao Zhongying from the Department of Biology, and Dr Hu Di from the Department of Chemistry, have been awarded the ECF’s key funding scheme of RTDC 2023-2024.

Dr Pradhan received the fund for his project named “Unlocking the protein degradation potential during anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and livestock manure: Insights from microbial communities”. His findings will provide significant insights for enhancing the efficiency of biogas plants and promoting sustainable methods of organic waste treatment in Hong Kong, contributing to environmental protection efforts.

Professor Zhao will utilise the fund to support his project entitled “Initial sampling of terrestrial nematodes in Hong Kong country parks and streets to assess their biodiversity and potential as an indicator for soil health”. He aims to employ nematodes that are commonly found in soil to assess soil health, which will be the first-ever attempt in Hong Kong to use nematode diversity to gauge soil health. The results of the project will also contribute significantly to the understanding of nematode biodiversity and abundance in Hong Kong. His research will essentially uncover the impacts of local human activities on soil quality.

Dr Hu’s awarded research project is “Spatiotemporal contamination profiles, sources, and solubility-integrated source-specific health risks of PM2.5-bound trace metals in two GBA megacities”. Her research focuses on developing a novel method to assess health risks from metals found in fine suspended particulates (PM2.5) in the air of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Ultimately the findings will be used to guide policymakers of the Greater Bay Area in creating targeted air quality regulations.

The ECF was established by the HKSAR Government to provide funding support for educational, research and other projects and activities relevant to environmental and conservation matters. The fund aims to promote individual behavioural and lifestyle changes to achieve sustainable development and develop or introduce innovative technologies and practices to improve the environment and conserve resources. RTDC is one of the three major funding schemes under the ECF. 

This great news affirms our research community’s dedication to research excellence and environmental conservation. Big congratulations to our three incredible researchers!