Our colleague Célia defended her PhD thesis at the university of Wageningen, NL, with an excellent outcome on 22nd October, 2018.
We are also very happy and proud of her great success and had a little celebration, because most of us couldn’t join her on her defence. We also asked her for some information about her thesis:
„My PhD thesis is about the degradation behaviour and transport of glyphosate and AMPA to off-target areas, i.e. to environmental areas (air, water, soil) where glyphosate has not been applied. Glyphosate is a herbicide used to control weeds in agriculture but also in non-agricultural areas. It is the most used herbicide worldwide, with more than 825 000 tonnes applied every year. It was first produced and commercialized by Monsanto company in the early 1970s. Its greatest usage is associated with the use of glyphosate-tolerant crops (e.g. soybean, maize, cotton), which are genetically modified crops engineered to be resistant to the action of glyphosate. Such crops allow farmers to apply the herbicide glyphosate when the crops are already grown, killing only the weeds but not the crop. AMPA, on the other hand, is the main degradation product of glyphosate, i.e. when glyphosate starts disappearing from the soil and the environment it is forming mostly AMPA. Both compounds, glyphosate and AMPA, are considered non-toxic to humans and mammals in general. However, there are studies showing otherwise, associating the excessive use of glyphosate to cancer cases, miscarriages and malformations. For all these reasons, glyphosate and AMPA are contaminants of interest to be better understood in the environment. And this is why I focused on them for my PhD study.“
Célia Patricia Martins Bento: Glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) behaviour in loess soils and off-site transport risk assessment