Dr. Alexander (Lex) van Geen is a Doherty Senior Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Associate Director of the Earth Clinic at Columbia University. He will be delivering the keynote speech on Reducing Arsenic Exposure from Well Water in South Asia. This event is the keynote for the 2018 UVa World Water Events suported by the Darden Global Water Initiative.
Lex van Geen is a geochemist by training and joined Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in 1994, after completing his PhD (1989) from the MIT/WHO Joint Program in Oceanography and post-doctoral fellowships in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and the Water Resources Division of the US Geological Survey. His research interests span the reconstruction of past climate change from ocean sediment cores to the health effects on children of exposure to lead from mine tailings in Peru. Since 2000, he coordinates earth-science and mitigation efforts under Columbia’s Superfund Research Program on the health effects and geochemistry of arsenic contained in US and Bangladesh groundwater. Van Geen has initiated complementary studies of responses to arsenic mitigation in Bangladesh and the contamination of groundwater with microbial pathogens. He is a firm believer in the more widespread use of field kits by non-specialists to reduce exposure to environmental toxicants, particularly in developing countries. He holds a Lamont Research Professor appointment, is a member of the faculty of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles.