Quest for knowledge from Bangladesh to Bendigo

Photo by Dr Michael Angove

Aminul Islam talks to Dr Giselle Roberts  about his path from Charailder, Bangladesh, to La Trobe Bendigo and a PhD in environmental chemistry.

“I was born in Charailder, a small village 185km away from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. In my boyhood, my prospective path through life was full of struggle and uncertainty.

My mother always said, “If a flood comes, all crops are washed away but knowledge is immortal and cannot die out. If you desire to be a successful human being, you must aim well.”

“I took her advice to heart, studied hard, and graduated with a Master of Science from the University of Dhaka. After several teaching positions, I also completed a Master of Philosophy at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

“I arrived in Australia in 2015 to undertake a PhD with Dr Michael Angove, one of my greatest mentors and an expert on environmental chemistry. Rapid urbanisation has resulted in significant water pollution. Wastewater, for example, contains heavy metals, organic dyes, phosphorous compounds and humic substances – and exposure can have harmful effects on human wellness and aquatic life.

“My PhD focuses on cleaning these pollutants with manganese-oxide nanoparticles before they are released into the environment. Manganese-oxide nanoparticles also provide us with a new understanding of how pollutants interact with the mineral surface in the soil environment. I hope that, one day, I will be able to apply my research in the Australian context to soil environments in other countries.”

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