Keynote speaker for WETPOL 2021

Nataša Atanasova is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, University of Ljubljana (UL FGG) and Deputy of the Environmental Civil Engineering Department. Her broad interests include environmental modelling (various techniques) of aquatic ecosystems, (waste)water treatment and management, development of reuse-oriented water systems. From 2015 to 2017, she was a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Girona (Spain), PI of the project REUCITY focused on development of water reuse systems in hotel facilities and cities. Currently she is involved as a PI of the UL group in the H2020 EdiCitNet project and as a co-chair of the COST Action Circular Cities, both dealing with implementation of nature based solutions for circular management of resources (water-food-energy) in cities.

Kela Weber is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and the Director of the Environmental Sciences Group (ESG) at the Royal Military College of Canada. He is also a practising Professional Engineer involved in the design of treatment wetlands for municipalities. The heart of Kela’s fundamental research program investigates microbial communities in treatment wetlands, aquifers, soils, and biofilms with a focus on mechanistically understanding their contributions to overall ecosystem function (including water treatment). His applied research program supports the management of contaminated sites in Canada with a focus on remote sites and emerging contaminants (PFAS in particular).

Myrto Nikolakopoulou obtained a PhD in Biology from the University of Barcelona, UB (Spain), in 2021. Her research was conducted in the fields of freshwater ecology, biogeochemistry, and ecological engineering. During her doctoral studies, Myrto investigated the role of emergent macrophytes in nature-based solutions for the management of nutrient pollution. Special focus was given on the influence of macrophytes’ root architecture on nutrient dynamics, and the mechanisms behind it. Myrto has been awarded with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral fellowship, and with the Petersen award from the Society for Freshwater Science. Currently, Myrto works as a dissemination officer putting efforts to ensure best use of research outcomes towards a sustainable future.

Dr. Gilles Pinay is working in the scope of ecosystem functioning. He studies the interactions between hydrogeomorphological and biogeochemical processes and their contribution to ecosystems’ resistance and resilience to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. He is specialized on river and wetland ecosystems with a watershed perspective. He has lead researches in Europe and USA on the consequences of human disturbances in river catchments basins on the functioning of stream and wetlands ecosystems. More specifically, he is working on the capacity of landscapes features such as soils, riparian and hyporheic zones to regulate diffuse nitrogen fluxes and assessing their contribution at the catchment level.