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Department of Environmental Science

The Department of Environmental Science was established in 1985. The Department of Environmental Science was created from the school since 1998. Initially the school functions as research unit and then teaching was started since 1990-91, academic session as ‘M.Phil in Ecology’. In 1998 July, the Department of Environmental science started M.Sc programme. At present the department offers Ph.D, M.Phil, M.Sc degree in Environmental Science. The department has four permanent faculty members and two guest faculties and three non-teaching staff. The major research area are basic and applied ecology, pollution biology, environmental impact assessment, microbiology, Bioinorganic and Environmental chemistry, bioremediation, landscape ecology, geomorphology, remote sensing, resource studies, atmospheric science, environmental toxicology and immunology.

Centre on Environmental Biotechnology at the Department of Environmental Science, University of Kalyani, Nadia-741235, West Bengal was established in June, 2002. The Centre was set up for having primary emphasis on the management of natural resources and abatement of pollution as well as hazardous waste management. In our regular activities we maintain and update our ENVIS Website, publish Newsletters and Abstract volumes in regular intervals. Training, workshop & seminar on related subjects, provide information services etc. Our ENVIS centre Website (www.deskuenvis.nic.in) has been reconstructed and modified according to the Ministry guideline.

Department also received DST-FIST Grant from DST, Govt. of India in 2009 (Level I); and special UGC support for improvement of basic research. Faculties of the Department participated in various collaborative programmes & actively performed the task of investigator of research projects funded by UGC, DST, MoEF, CSIR, ICFRE, DNES, DOE (Govt. of West Bengal) & IUC-DAE-programme.

Departmental publications:

Department organized two national level seminars and subsequently published Proceeding volumes: Recent Environmental Changes, Impact on Health, Agriculture and Ecosystem & Biodiversity, Water Resource and Climate Change Issues

ENVIS Centre of Environmental Biotechnology, also published one proceeding based on invited articles

P-1 P-2 P-3


Instruments Available in Department of Environmental Science, KU
Fluorescence Microscope, Spectro-fluorimeter, Ultra-centrifuge, Gel-documentation, ELISA reader, Rotavapour, Shaker-incubator, Deep freeze (-80oC), Digital balance (point 5digit) (Mettler), Lightning sensor, Biosafety cabinate, CO2 incubator, Atomic absorption spectrometer, Ion selective electrodes, Millipore Elix-3-Milli-Q water purification system, Cooling centrifuge, UV-VIS spectrophotometer, PCR, Laminar air flow, High volume sampler (RDS)

Head of the Department
Dr.. Soma Mukherjee

Departmental Phone No.
(033) 2582 8750(033) 2582 8750 (Ext. 291, 292), (033) 2580 8749(033) 2580 8749

Departmental E-mail Address:

Degree and Course Offered :
M.Sc in “Environmental Science” –a two year post graduate degree( four semester from 2008-2009 session).
M Phil in Environmental Science
PhD in Environmental Science

Specialisations
Environmental Biotechnology
Geo-Environmental Studies
Environmental Process Monitoring and Management
Bio-inorganic & Environmental Chemistry
Environmental toxicology and Immunology
Pollution Biology & Ecology
Atmospheric Science

Intake Capacity :
26 students in M.Sc & 25 in M Phil.

UGC Refresher Course
Four Courses were organized in the last three years (One RC almost in every year)

Infra-structural Facilities

Laboratories
Biological Analysis laboratory(General)
Chemical Analysis laboratory(General)
Map, Air photointerpretation & GIS laboratory
Toxicology & Immunology laboratory
Bio-inorganic and Environmental Chemistry
Atmospheric Physics laboratory


Special Equipments

UV-VIS Spectrophotometer
Mercury Anlyser
Flame Photometer
Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer
GIS facility
Gel Electrophoresis
PCR System
GM Counter
Microbial Culture set up

Library :

Departmental library contains over 400 books and journals.
Research Interests of the Department
Research activities of the faculties:

1. Environmental Biology & Pollution Research:

• Toxicological studies on biota and residue analysis of metal, including arsenic speciation, PAH and pesticides etc will be attempted in-depth. Food chain analysis and risk assessment of metal toxicity.
•    Scope of biodegradation studies using screened tolerant microbes were also taken up.
•    Environmental impact assessment and management plan of various developmental projects were also analyzed over the years. Carrying capacity based studies were also taken up over the years.
•    There is also planning for analysis of metal tolerance potential of various microbes. Poly unsaturated fatty acid distribution in marine algae were also studied currently.
•    Effects of arsenic and other metals flows in ecosystem and its consequences were also consider as a major area of future studies. To access the role of bacteria in arsenic other heavy metals transformation and mobilization.
•    To make of molecular characterization of selected bacterial strains which are helpful in heavy metal transformation. In-vitro trial will be attempted to examine the role of selected bacterial strains in cellular uptake of iron and arsenic other heavy metals followed by subsequent transformation. Molecular characterization of selected bacteria by gel electrophoresis and sequencing the 16S coding of DNA.

2. Environmental Geology, GIS & Remote Sensing:

The major study areas are as follows:

•    Hydrogeomorphological investigation using satellite remote sensing and GIS technique in locating freshwater aquifers in arsenic prone area;
•    Application of remote sensing and GIS in water harvesting and artificial recharge site selection in drought prone area;
•    Water budgeting in the drought prone districts of West Bengal
•    An integrated groundwater exploration and planning for conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water in the drought prone districts of West Bengal.
•    Pasture land management in the North 24 parganas, Nadia and Murshidabad districts of West Bengal.

3. Environmental Geography, Landscape Ecology

• Present research activity as related to river network, land use changes, groundwater hydrology GIS application.
•    It is also planned to carryout research in different agricultural zones for water management which will be a major research activity in the coming years.
•    Remote Sensing and GIS application for environmental impact monitoring study
•    Digital cartography for environmental/ecological mapping.

4. Atmospheric Physics

The features to be investigated are mainly four aspects viz. Thunderstroms electrification and Lightning, Atmospheric dispersion of pollutants, Variability of Indian Summer Monsoon and Risk assessment of the environment due to the presence of the Radioactive radiation/sources. The investigations will largely serve the purpose of project related to practical fulfillment of degree of our M.Sc. and M.Phill. students besides our research activity.

a) Thunderstorm electrification and Lightning:

• Characteristics of IFIA at severe atmospheric disturbances
•    Lightning as a major source of NOx and its influence on temperature profile
•    Study of convective rainfall
•    Statistical variation of electric field
•    Thunderstorm activity on global electric circuit
•    Lightning distribution and intensities

b) Atmospheric dispersion of pollutants:

The problem of transport of air pollutants is a common interest for all. The transport of pollutants depends largely on the meteorological conditions. The following phenomenon will be examined:

•    Atmospheric dispersion of static emissions
•    Influence of winds on pollutants
•    Ventilation coefficient and prediction of virtual temperature for the next day
•    Emissions from vehicles and dispersion

c) Variability of Indian Summer monsoon:

Indian Summer Monsoon is the important synoptic disturbance in determining seasonal rainfall. Monsoon contributes almost 70% of the annual rainfall. Therefore prediction and distribution total rainfall is a tool for planning the crop pattern.
The following phenomenon will be examined:

•    Variability of premonsoon and monsoon rainfall
•    Short range forecasting of monsoon
•    Characteristics of monsoon cloud bands
•    Rain attenuation in radio communication
•    Thermodynamic structure of troposphere
•    Raindrop size distribution



d) Risk assessment of the environment due to the presence of radioactive radiations/ sources:

• Detection and analysis of radioactive sources
•    Exposure rate of radiation
•    Radiation risk assessment
•    Impact on socio-economic aspects and health problems

5. Environmental Chemistry

Fluorescent Molecular Sensors: Design, Synthesis and Applications

The design of fluorescent sensors is of major importance because of the high demand in analytical chemistry, clinical biochemistry, medicine and the environment. Numerous chemical and biochemical analytes (cations, anions, neutral molecules and gases) can be detected by fluorescence methods. The success of fluorescence sensors can be explained by the distinct advantages offered by fluorescence detection in terms of sensitivity, selectivity, response time, local observation etc. Quantitative analysis of trace metal ions, recognition of anions and neutral molecules with the use of fluorescent receptors have become extremely important in the context of environmental and biological applications. The high sensitivity and abundance of fluorophores makes fluorescence technique among one of the most promising tools for chemo- and biosensor development. However, the selectivity of fluorescence molecular sensors remains a significant challenge. Thus new, efficient and reproducible synthetic pathway for expanding number and function of fluorescent receptors is attracting great interest.
So, we are interested in designing multidentate novel small-molecule fluorescent receptors selective for trace, toxic and heavy metals and also artificial DNA cleaving or intercalating molecules that are chemically stable and activatable by photoirradiation. The potential binding sites will be azo, imine, pyridyl, oxime, phenolic etc.
Emphasis will also be given to synthesize some bioinspired fluorophores with amino acid side chain. By means of chemical modification, it is possible to introduce a diverse range of functionalities that does not occur in natural systems and can not be incorporated by genetic methods. The ability to augment the genetically encoded amino acids with new amino acids, for example, amino acids with metal chelating, fluorescent, redox active, photoactive, or spin labeled side chains, significantly enhances the ability to manipulate the structures and functions of proteins inside the cell.

Characterization:

The receptors will be characterised by different analytical techniques including Elemental (CHN) analysis, 1H NMR, 13C NMR, Optical rotation, GC-MS, HPLC, Absorption and Emission etc. The newly synthesized metal complexes will be characterized precisely by different physicochemical techniques including Elemental (CHN) analysis, various spectroscopic analyses (MASS spectra, IR, Absorption, Emission, NMR, ESR, ITC, etc.), magneto-structural studies and single-crystal X-ray diffraction studies. The electron-transfer properties in solution will be investigated by electrochemical techniques e.g cyclic voltammetry, differential pulse voltammetry and constant potential coulometry.

So, this research area is of great academic interest due to the convergence of synthetic chemistry, coordination chemistry, environmental chemistry and their valuable contribution in biology and industry especially in pharmaceuticals and chemical industry.

6. Environmental Toxicology

Environmental carcinogenesis, oncogenes, apoptosis, growth factors, immunotoxicology.

a) Environmental carcinogenesis
Research interests is focus on three major areas:
i)    identifying critical targets and mechanisms involved in the initiation and promotion stages of chemical carcinogenesis;
ii)    exploring novel chemoprevention strategies for inhibiting chemical carcinogenesis; and
iii)    collaborative molecular studies on the relationship between smoking, DNA adduct levels, and susceptibility to lung and other tobacco-related cancers in specific human populations.

b) Immunotoxicology:
Many mechanisms may contribute to immune depression observed following exposure to ionizing radiation, Heavy metal, radiation toxicity.
Addressing the following objectives may uncover and elucidate some of the mechanisms under lying immune depression following heavy metal (lead, nickel & cadmium etc.) radiation exposure.

•    characterization of alterations in peripheral blood mononuclear cell and splenic mono nuclear cell subsets during heavy metal, radiation challenge
•    to investigate the role of apoptosis in injury to mononuclear cells in
•    the peripheral blood and spleen;
•    to determine the role of in regulating different pro- and anti- apoptotic factors in of immune cell death following treatment
•    to measure altered cytokine level in heavy metal or radiation induced environment.

iii) Cell cycle, apoptosis, tumor suppressor genes.
The laboratory is focused on investigating the mechanisms involved in the development of cancer. One major focus is cell-cycle regulation in neoplastic development. We have studied the role of cyclin D1 and other cell-cycle regulators in ras transformation and in the development of chemically induced tumors. We also have developed a model of cell-cycle synchronization in the epidermis in vivo and we are investigating cell-cycle regulation by skin tumor promoters.
The laboratory has directed substantial efforts toward studying the mechanisms by which androgen regulates the cell-cycle machinery and the role of cell-cycle alterations in prostate cancer. We are studying changes in cell-cycle regulation in prostate cancer and cell-cycle alterations in the development of androgen-independent prostate tumors.
In addition, we have an active goal aimed at identifying the genetic targets for kidney and uterine cancer, including genes such as tumor suppressor genes (VHL and TSC-2) genes that regulate the cell cycle (cyclinD, p21, p27 and p16) and genes involved in tumor progression and metastasis (HIF-1 and VEGF)

iv) p53 regulation
The role of the p53 tumor-suppressor gene product in cancer is of particular interest because p53 is the most commonly mutated gene in human cancers characterized to date. Cells that lack a functional p53 cannot undergo cell cycle arrest in response to DNA damage and will enter DNA synthesis with un repaired DNA. The molecular dynamics of the cellular response pathways that involve p53 in response to DNA damage are currently under intense scrutiny. DNA strand breaks, induced by either ionizing radiation or microinjection of a restriction endonuclease, have been shown to lead to an increase in p53. This increase requires the currently undefined gene product(s) that are defective in ataxia-telangiectasia, a cancer-prone inherited disease. The induction of p53 results in either cell cycle delay or initiation of programmed cell death (apoptosis), depending on the cell type. A practical application of a better understanding of this pathway might be the specific induction of apoptosis in tumor cells after exposure to therapeutic agents

Research project.

Other particulars of research

• Total Number of current Scholar : 20
Total Number of Ph.D.s Awarded : 35

Consultancy Services

Performed consultancy service for past 6 years with a turnover of 12lakhs

 

 

 

 
 
 
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