Top scientists from the STARMUS festival will visit students in Brno

Prominent scientists and personalities of the STARMUS science, art and music festival, Joel Parker and Damia Barcelo, will visit Brno for a day as part of the festival programme. On Wednesday, 15 May 2024, two unique lectures will take place at the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University, introducing the audience to the latest space missions or the issue of microplastics in the environment.

13 May 2024 Leoš Verner

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The lectures, called STARMUS Lectures in Brno, will take place on 15 May 2024 on the premises of the Faculty of Science at 2 Kotlářská Street, Building 11, Room G2. At 11 a.m., astrophysicist Joel Parker, who now heads the operations centre for the mission called Lucy, will give a behind-the-scenes look at the preparation of the American probe to the Trojan asteroids. At noon, environmental science expert Damia Barcelo, who specializes in, among other things, the analysis, risks and removal of emerging contaminants, nanomaterials and microplastics from water, will take the imaginary speaker's baton. Admission to the lectures is free.

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Joel Parker is a world-renowned astrophysicist who studies hot massive stars in neighboring galaxies, solar system objects such as comets, the Moon, asteroids and trans-Neptunian objects. Dr. Joel Parker is a Director in the Boulder office of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and Professor Adjoint at the University of Colorado. He worked at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center studying hot, massive stars in neighboring galaxies, and at SwRI his projects have involved research of solar system objects such as comets, the Moon, asteroids, and trans-Neptunian objects. He has made observations at ground-based observatories around the world as well as with space-based telescopes including the International Ultraviolet Explorer spacecraft, the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope that flew aboard the Space Shuttle, and for the past 29 years with the Hubble Space Telescope for over two dozen projects ranging from one of the first known interstellar comets to other galaxies and their stars that are over a hundred times the mass of our Sun. He was a Principal Investigator for the Alice ultraviolet spectrograph instrument on the Rosetta mission to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko and the project manager for similar spectrographs on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt. Dr. Parker also is a science team member and Assistant Project Scientist on New Horizons and the manager of the Science Operations Center for NASA's Lucy mission to the Trojan asteroids. He is editor of the "Distant EKOs" Kuiper belt newsletter, is an actor and musician, and is a producer and host for the science show "How on Earth" on radio station KGNU.

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Damien Barcelo is a professor of chemistry who focuses on the analysis, risks and removal of emerging contaminants, nanomaterials and microplastics from water, as well as the epidemiology of wastewater, drugs and proteins.

Prof. Barcelo is a leading expert in environmental sciences. Since 2008-to date Prof. Damien Barcelo is a Director of the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA-CERCA), Girona, Spain. From 2016 – to date he is Professor at KSU, Riyadh and Professor at ZAFU, Hangzhou .D Barceló has received the following awards: Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universities of Ioannina, Greece, in 2014 and by the Universities of Lleida, June 2021 and Almeria , Spain in May 2022, Division of Analytical Chemistry (DAC) Award 2023 of the European Chemical Society (EuChemS), Recipharm Environmental Award, Sweden in 2012 , Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW), 5th Award on Water Management & Protection, Saudi Arabia in 2012 and Prize King Jaime I on the Protection of Nature from Generalitat of Valencia, Spain in 2007 . He has co-supervised more than 65 PhD students .

Prof. Barceló expertise is on analysis, fate, risk and removal of emerging contaminants, nanomaterials and microplastics from water and on sewage epidemiology of drugs and proteins. Since 2010 he is ISI Highly Cited. ranked in 2023 D Barcelo as 3rd and 23rd in environmental sciences and chemistry, respectively in the world. He is journal editor from 1990 to date of: STOTEN, GREEAC, TRAC, Methods X, CSCEE, and COESH. From 1993 to date he has edited 37 books.

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