Weston Roundtable – Envisioning Environmental Pollution Research for Planetary Health

Speaker: Wei Zhang, Associate Professor and Associate Chairperson, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University

Environmental pollution is one of the major threats to human and planetary health. Contamination of soil, water, and crops raises serious concerns on food safety and potential health risk to humans and animals. To address these grand challenges, innovative research using transdisciplinary approaches is needed.

In this talk, Zhang will explore environmental processes and impacts of environmental contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, engineered nanoparticles, heavy metals, and infectious proteinaceous particles. He will highlight an emerging field of computational environmental science, including environmental data science. As environmental interactions are often complex, high-dimensional, and nonlinear, they require the assistance of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Through these examples, Zhang will also share his personal journey with transdisciplinary work.

The Weston Roundtable is made possible by a generous donation from Roy F. Weston, a highly accomplished UW-Madison alumnus. Designed to promote a robust understanding of sustainability science, engineering, and policy, these interactive lectures are co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Office of Sustainability.


May 2 2024


4:15 pm - 5:15 pm


1163 Mechanical Engineering
1513 University Ave.


Alessandra Rella
(608) 265-0521