Dr Rick Krassoi is the Director of Ecotox Services Australasia. Rick has over 20 years experience in ecotoxicological and environmental assessment. He worked as an Ecotoxicologist at the NSW Environment Protection Authorities’ Centre for Ecotoxicology for 8 years, where he was responsible for adapting several Australian test organisms to standard toxicity test protocols and implementing these to address a diverse range of environmental problems. More recently, Rick was responsible for the design and construction of the Sinclair Knight Merz Ecotoxicology Laboratory, and implementation and maintenance of its quality control systems. Whilst with SKM as the Laboratory Manager, Rick was responsible for the day-to-day running of the laboratory and management of toxicity testing projects, and its quality system.
In 2001, Rick established the Ecotox Services Australasia laboratory in Lane Cove NSW, having the most diverse range of invertebrate ecotoxicological tests currently offered in Australia. Rick has been successful in attaining NATA accreditation for the laboratory within its first year of operation. He has published several scientific papers on the toxicity of chemicals and effluents using a range of local test species. Rick was instrumental in the adaptation of a number of Australasian test species for use with USEPA Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing methodologies. These tests include the doughboy scallop and rock oyster larval development tests, acute juvenile tiger prawn test, sediment amphipod test, and the freshwater crustacean Ceriodaphnia dubia, all of which are now commonly used throughout Australia.
Rick specialises in Toxicity Identification Evaluation (TIE) studies, designed to determine the actual causes/chemicals responsible for toxicity. Rick led the team responsible for the first use of TIE methodologies with the local sea urchin species on projects for Hunter Water Corporation and Sydney Water Corporation. Rick also managed the world’s largest sewage effluent toxicity and TIE program, being the assessment of effluent from 18 sewage treatment plants discharging into the Hawkesbury-Nepean River system for Sydney Water Corporation. This study involved undertaking acute and chronic tests using C. dubia with effluent from each sewage treatment plant over a two year period, and if toxicity was observed, a TIE study was initiated. This study was an outstanding success, and resulted in several programs to reduce inappropriate pesticide use in the affected catchments.
Rick has presented numerous papers in Ecotoxicology using Australasian species, and is one of the most experienced ecotoxicologists working with marine WET testing and Toxicity Identification Evaluation studies in the Australasian region.