Professor Kevin Thomas

Uni/Faculty Centre Director

Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
kevin.thomas@uq.edu.au
+61 7 344 32443

Overview

Professor Kevin Thomas is Director of the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS). Kevin is an environmental health scientist with a particular interest in understanding the environmental fate, behaviour, effects and risks associated with contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) with the goal of protecting environmental and human health.

His current research is focused on assessing community-wide health status through fingerprinting wastewater, establishing alternative approaches to exposure monitoring, for example explanted silicone prostheses and wristbands, understanding human exposure to microplastic particulate pollution and developing analytical methods for characterizing CECs.

Author of over 150 peer-reviewed papers and Associate Editor for the journal Science of the Total Environment, Kevin is a strong collaborative researcher having founded the international SCORE network on sewer biomarker analysis for community health assessment (see www.score-cost.eu) and as recently reported in Science is currently establishing a global emerging contaminant early warning network (http://science.sciencemag.org).

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Science, Plymouth University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Plymouth University

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

    • Assessing community-wide health status through urban wastewater fingerprinting.
    • Alternative matrices for exposure monitoring. For example explanted silicone prostheses and wristbands.
    • Microparticulate plastic particles as environmental contaminants.
    • Analytical methods for the characterization of contaminants of emerging concern (target/suspect-screening/non-target analysis).
  • Please follow link for further details. Currently two projects available:

    • Comprehensive characterisation of human PFAS exposure using nontarget analysis

    Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are environmentally ubiquitous and frequently detected in humans worldwide. The OECD has to date identified >4,700 PFAS in use globally. Ninety percent of these have been identified as potential precursors to specific PFAS that bioaccumulate in humans. Despite the high number known to be in use, targeted biomonitoring typically looks for a limited number of ~30 analytes using tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Recognition of the PFAS exposome, i.e. the totality of human environmental exposures to the numerous PFAS compounds, is therefore likely to be limited amongst exposed individuals, the general population and public health regulators. This project aims to comprehensively characterise the PFAS exposome through a combination of nontargeted biomonitoring and in vitro precursor transformation experiments. Alongside this is an important task to communicate and contextualise what the PFAS exposome means for exposed individuals and the wider population.

    • Estimating use of tobacco and nicotine products through wastewater analysis

    This project aims to equip the Australian public health and security sector with a tool to accurately measure tobacco consumption in the general population. Specific human biomarkers in urine will be identified using nontarget approaches and their pharmacokinetics quantified.

    The new data will address critical gaps in our knowledge on the population-level excretion of biomarkers for the consumption of tobacco and alternative nicotine products.

    The outcomes of this project will provide reliable, cost-effective estimates of tobacco consumption for use with wastewater-based epidemiology assessments. This will enable changes in tobacco use to be accurately evaluated for the first time and improve the efficacy of tobacco control measures.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Choi, Phil M., Thomas, Kevin V., O’Brien, Jake W. and Mueller, Jochen F. (2019). Mining population exposure and community health via wastewater-based epidemiology. In A new paradigm for environmental chemistry and toxicology: from concepts to insights (pp. 99-114) Singapore: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-13-9447-8_8

  • Ort, Christoph, Bijlsma, Lubertus, Castiglioni, Sara, Covaci, Adrian, de Voogt, Pim, Emke, Erik, Hernández, Félix, Reid, Malcolm, van Nuijs, Alexander L. N., Thomas, Kevin V. and Kasprzyk-Hordern, Barbara (2018). Wastewater analysis for community-wide drugs use assessment. In Hans H. Maurer and Simon D. Brandt (Ed.), New psychoactive substances: pharmacology, clinical, forensic and analytical toxicology (pp. 543-566) New York, NY, United States: Springer. doi:10.1007/164_2018_111

  • Gaw, Sally, Thomas, Kevin and Hutchinson, Thomas H. (2016). Pharmaceuticals in the marine environment. In R. E. Hester and R. M. Harrison (Ed.), Pharmaceuticals in the environment (pp. 70-91) London, United Kingdom: Royal Society of Chemistry. doi:10.1039/9781782622345-00070

  • Gaw, Sally, Thomas, Kevin and Hutchinson, Thomas H. (2015). Pharmaceuticals in the marine environment. In Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (pp. 70-91) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Royal Society of Chemistry. doi:10.1039/9781782622345-00070

  • Harman, C., Allan, I. and Thomas, K.V. (2012). Passive sampling of organic contaminants in waters. In Janusz Pawliszyn (Ed.), Comprehensive sampling and sample preparation (pp. 265-280) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-381373-2.00014-4

  • Houtman, Corine J., Legler, Juliette and Thomas, Kevin (2011). Effect-directed analysis of endocrine disruptors in aquatic ecosystems. In Werner Brack (Ed.), Effect-directed analysis of complex environmental contamination (pp. 237-265) Berlin, Germany: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-18384-3_10

  • Thomas, Kevin V. and Langford, Katherine H. (2010). Point sources of human pharmaceuticals into the aquatic environment. In Green and Sustainable Pharmacy (pp. 211-223) : Springer Berlin Heidelberg. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-05199-9_14

  • Thomas, Kevin V. and Langford, Katherine H. (2009). Europe and USA. In Ecotoxicology of Antifouling Biocides (pp. 331-344) : Springer Japan. doi:10.1007/978-4-431-85709-9_19

  • Thomas, Kevin V. and Langford, Katherine H. (2009). The analysis of antifouling paint biocides in water, sediment and biota. In Ecotoxicology of Antifouling Biocides (pp. 311-327) : Springer Japan. doi:10.1007/978-4-431-85709-9_18

  • Thomas, K. (2009). The use of broad-spectrum organic biocides in marine antifouling paints. In Advances in Marine Antifouling Coatings and Technologies (pp. 522-553) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1533/9781845696313.3.522

  • Bakker, J. F., Belzunce-Segarra, M. J., Castro, R., van de Heuvel-Greve, M., Klamer, H. J.C., Brack, W., Altenburger, R., Poulsen, V., Thomas, K. V. and Leonards, P. E.G. (2007). Effect Directed Analysis and Toxicity Identification Evaluation. In (pp. 163-214) : Elsevier. doi:10.1016/S1872-1990(07)80077-8

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

    • Assessing community-wide health status through urban wastewater fingerprinting.
    • Alternative matrices for exposure monitoring. For example explanted silicone prostheses and wristbands.
    • Microparticulate plastic particles as environmental contaminants.
    • Analytical methods for the characterization of contaminants of emerging concern (target/suspect-screening/non-target analysis).
  • Please follow link for further details. Currently two projects available:

    • Comprehensive characterisation of human PFAS exposure using nontarget analysis

    Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are environmentally ubiquitous and frequently detected in humans worldwide. The OECD has to date identified >4,700 PFAS in use globally. Ninety percent of these have been identified as potential precursors to specific PFAS that bioaccumulate in humans. Despite the high number known to be in use, targeted biomonitoring typically looks for a limited number of ~30 analytes using tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Recognition of the PFAS exposome, i.e. the totality of human environmental exposures to the numerous PFAS compounds, is therefore likely to be limited amongst exposed individuals, the general population and public health regulators. This project aims to comprehensively characterise the PFAS exposome through a combination of nontargeted biomonitoring and in vitro precursor transformation experiments. Alongside this is an important task to communicate and contextualise what the PFAS exposome means for exposed individuals and the wider population.

    • Estimating use of tobacco and nicotine products through wastewater analysis

    This project aims to equip the Australian public health and security sector with a tool to accurately measure tobacco consumption in the general population. Specific human biomarkers in urine will be identified using nontarget approaches and their pharmacokinetics quantified.

    The new data will address critical gaps in our knowledge on the population-level excretion of biomarkers for the consumption of tobacco and alternative nicotine products.

    The outcomes of this project will provide reliable, cost-effective estimates of tobacco consumption for use with wastewater-based epidemiology assessments. This will enable changes in tobacco use to be accurately evaluated for the first time and improve the efficacy of tobacco control measures.