Dr Vera Barbosa

Content Editor, Environmental Science Team

I’ve just re-joined CABI, having worked here previously, as a Scientific Information Officer in the Crop Protection Team, using my agricultural science background, from 1989-90, when I left to start a family. I continued working for CABI for many years as a freelance abstractor of the Spanish and Portuguese literature on Agricultural Economics. Abstracting numerous research papers for the CABI database, made me want to go out there and do my own research. During the time I’ve been away, I studied for a Masters Degree in Environmental Diagnostics at Cranfield University, which was followed by a 9-year research career mainly on soil, air and water pollution control:

· three years at Rothamsted, where I researched the effects of heavy metals on the soil microbial biomass, especially Rhizobia.

· four years at Cranfield University, where I earned a PhD with a four-year research project on biological treatment of hydrogen sulphide by activated sludge diffusion (or removing compounds that make an air stream odorous)

· one year at Rothamsted Research researching the effects of sulphur on the yield and quality of malting barley (or to put it simply ‘how to improve the taste of beer and whiskey’!!!). My male friends said this must be the most worthwhile bit of research ever!

· one year at Rhodes University researching on methods for the bioremediation of trace organic compounds found in precious metals refineries’ wastewaters (or how to clean water, which is a scarce resource in South Africa, to be re-used in the precious metals refining process).

Recently, I also trained as a secondary Science teacher, but decided to leave this career path to those who really have a passion for teaching teenagers. I’ve always been interested in research and environmental pollution issues and my research career gave me the opportunity to acquire valuable knowledge in this field and to communicate it through participation in meetings and conferences and through publication in specialist journals. I decided to put the expertise I’ve acquired of environmental science and communication to good use by returning to CABI, a world leader in the provision of scientific information.

Now, I’m an editor in the Environmental Sciences Content Development team, helping to keep the CABI database up to date with the world’s information on soil, water and air environment, and looking forward to participate in the compilation of the new product, Environmental Impact, being launched this year.