Dr Brenda Howard

Dr Brenda Howard, MBE


Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lancaster Environment Centre
Library Avenue
T: +44 (0)1524 595855
F: +44 (0)1524 61536
E-mail: Dr Brenda Howard

Research interests

My research interests include radionuclide transfer to animals in agricultural and semi-natural ecosystems, radiation protection of organisms other than humans, remediation after nuclear accidents and analysis and application of radioecological data.

Radiation protection of the environment

Within the EURATOM project, PROTECT (Protection of the environment from ionising radiation in a regulatory context), we evaluated the different approaches to protection of the environment from ionising radiation and compared these with those used for non-radioactive contaminants. This provided a scientific justification to propose numerical targets or standards for protection of the environment from ionising radiation. I recently led a NERC Knowledge Exchange project which is provided training to regulators, industry and others concerned with radiological environmental assessment on the application of the ERICA Tool. Whilst chairing Working Group 5 of the IAEA EMRAS II programme (Environmental Modelling for Radiation Safety) we produced a Handbook compiling Concentration Ratio (CRwo-media) values to quantify the transfer of radionuclides from environmental media to wildlife (whole-organism) with sufficient information provided to carry out probabilistic assessments.

Radionuclide transfer in the foodchain

I have studied the transfer of radionuclides to agricultural and wild animals for more than 30 years. I led a team which provided an updated list of transfer parameter values for animal products in the human foodchain for a major international reference source produced by the International Atomic Energy Agency (Technical report Series TRS 472). Within the IAEA MODARIA (Modelling and Data for Radiological Impact Assessments) programme I am chairing WG 4 addressing Analysis of radioecological data in IAEA TRS publications to identify key radionuclides and associated parameter values for human and wildlife exposure assessment.

Remediation after nuclear accidents

I have provided assistance to Japanese colleagues and the relevant Ministry in their response to the environmental and agricultural consequences of the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident. I was also a technical editor of an IAEA handbook (TRS 475) on ‘Guidelines for Remediation strategies to reduce the radiological consequences of environmental contamination’.


Brief CV

I have a PhD in physiological heavy metal detoxification mechanisms. I have produced more than 140 refereed papers, focusing largely on factors affecting radionuclide behaviour in the terrestrial environment and nuclear accident remediation. I have published 20 books, including five special issues of Journals and made contributions to a number of IAEA documents.

I was awarded an MBE for my radioecological work in 2002. I am a member of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) and sub committees on Authorisations and Contaminations. I have co-ordinated eight EU framework projects, currently lead CEH participation in the Strategy for Allied radioecology (STAR) network and am the Secretary of the European Radioecology Alliance.



Recent publications

See the NERC Open Research Archive (NORA)

Psaltaki, M., Brown, J. E, Howard, B.J. in press. CRwo-water values for the marine environment: analysis, applications and comparisons.
J. Environ. Radioact. [link]

Keum, D-K., Jun, I., Lim, K-M, Choi, Y-H., Howard, B.J. in press. Time dependent transfer of 137Cs, 85Sr and 65Zn to earthworms in highly contaminated soils. J. Environ. Radioact. [link]

Pálsson, S.E., Howard, B.J., Bergan, T., Paatero, J., Isaksson, M., Nielsen, S.P. 2013.
A simple model to estimate deposition based on a statistical reassessment of global fallout data. J. Environ. Radioact. 121, 75-86. [link]

Hinton, T. G., Garnier-Laplace, J., Vandenhove, H., Dowdall, M., Adam-Guillermin, C., Alonzo, F., Barnett, C., Beaugelin-Seiller, K., Beresford, N.A., Bradshaw, C., Brown, J., Eyrolle, F., Fevrier, L., Gariel, J.-C., Gilbin, R., Hertel-Aas, T., Horemans, N., Howard, B.J.et al. 2013. An Invitation to Contribute to a Strategic Research Agenda in Radioecology. J. Environ. Radioact. 115, 73-82. [link]

Howard, B.J., Beresford, N.A., Copplestone, D., Telleria, D., Proehl, G., Fesenko, S., Jeffree, R., Yankovich T., Brown, J., Higley, K., Johansen, M., Mulye, H., Vandenhove, H., Gashchak, S., Wood, M.D., Takata, H., Andersson P., Dale, P., Ryan, J., Bollhöfer, A., Doering, C., Barnett C.L. and Wells C. 2013. The IAEA Handbook on Radionuclide Transfer to Wildlife. J. Environ. Radioact. 121, 55-74.[link]

Beresford, N.A., Barnett, C.L., Howard, B.J., Howard, D.C., Wells, C., Tyler, A.N., Bradley, S. and Copplestone, D. 2012. Observations of Fukushima fallout in Great Britain. J. Environ. Radioact, 114, 48-53. [DOI]

Oughton, D.H. and Howard, B.J. 2012. The Social and Ethical Challenges of Radiation Risk Management Ethics, Policy and Environment. 15, 71-76. [DOI]

Johansen, M.P., Barnett, C.L., Beresford N.A., Brown, J.E,. Černe, M., Howard, B.J., Kamboj, S., Keum, D-K., Smodiš, B., Twining, J.R., Vandenhove, H., Vives i Batlle, J., Wood , M.D. and Yu, C. 2012. Assessing doses to terrestrial wildlife at a radioactive waste disposal site: inter-comparison of modelling approaches. Sci. Total Environ. 427-428, 238-246. [DOI]

Pálsson. S.E., Howard, B.J., Gudnasona, K. and Sigurgeirsson. M.A. 2012. Long term transfer of global fallout 137Cs to cow milk in Iceland. Environ. Monitor. Assessm. 184, 7221-7234. [DOI]

Beresford, N.A., Howard B.J. 2011. An Overview of the Transfer of Radionuclides to Farm Animals and Potential Countermeasures of Relevance to Fukushima Releases. Integer. Environ. Assess. Manag. 7, 382–84. [DOI]

Barnett, C.L., Howard B.J, Oughton, D.H., Coutris, C., Potter, E.D., Franklin, T., Walker L.A., Wells, C. 2011. Transfer of elements to owls (Tyto alba, Strix aluco) determined using neutron activation and gamma analysis. Radioprotection 46, S79-S84. [DOI]

Dragovića, S., Howard, B.J., Caborn, J.A., Barnett, C.L. and Mihailovića. N. 2010. Transfer of natural and anthropogenic radionuclides to ants, bryophytes and lichen in a semi-natural ecosystem.Environ. Monitor. Assessm. 166, 677-686. [DOI]

Beresford, N.A., Barnett, C.L., Brown, J.E., Cheng, J-J., Copplestone, D., Gaschak, S., Hosseini, A., Howard, B.J. et al. 2010. Predicting the radiation exposure of terrestrial wildlife in the Chernobyl exclusion zone: an international comparison of approaches. J. Radiol. Prot. 30 , 341-373. [DOI]

Howard, B. J., Beresford, N. A., Andersson, P., Brown, J. E., Copplestone, D., Beaugelin-Seiller, K., Garnier-Laplace, J., Howe, P. Oughton, D., Whitehouse, P. 2010. Protection of the environment from ionising radiation in a regulatory context – an overview of the PROTECT coordinated action project. J. Radiol. Prot. 30, 195-214. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0952-4746/30/2/S01

Yankovich, T.L., Vives i Batlle, J., Vives-Lynch, S., Beresford, N.A., Barnett, C.L., Beaugelin-Seiller, K., Brown, J.E., Cheng, J-J., Copplestone, D., Heling, R., Hosseini, A., Howard, B.J., Kamboj. S, Kryshev, A.I., Nedveckaite, T., Smith, J.T., Wood, M.D. 2010. An International model validation exercise on radionuclide transfer and doses to freshwater biota. J. Radiol. Prot. 30, 299-340. [DOI]

Yankovich, T.L., Beresford, N.A., Wood, M., Aono, T., Andersson, P., Barnett, C.L., Bennett, P., Brown, J., Fesenko, S.,Hosseini, A., Howard, B.J. et al. 2010. Whole-body to tissue concentration ratios for use in biota dose assessments for animals. Radiation Environ. Biophys. 49, 549-565. [DOI]

Nisbet, A.F., Brown, J., Howard, B.J., Beresford, N.A. et al. 2010. Decision aiding handbooks for managing contaminated food production systems, drinking water and inhabited areas in Europe. Radioprotection 45, S23-S37. [DOI]

Garnier-Laplace, J., Della-Vedova, C., Andersson, P., Copplestone, D., Cailes, C., Beresford, N.A., Howard, B. J., Howe, P., Whitehouse, P. 2010. A multi-criteria weight of evidence approach for deriving ecological benchmarks for radioactive substances. J. Radiol. Prot. 30, 215-233.

Other publications

International Atomic Energy Agency. In press. Handbook of parameter values for the prediction of radionuclide transfer to wildlife.International Atomic Energy Agency Technical Reports Series. Howard, B.J. [Editor]. IAEA: Vienna.

Howard, B.J. 2011. Countermeasures and remediation for reducing radiocaesium contamination of farm animals. In: Lessons of Chernobyl: NARO International Symposium on Agricultural Countermeasures for Extensive Contamination by Radionuclides, 5 September, 2011, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. [English text]

Journal Special Issues

Copplestone, D., Beresford, N. A. and Howard, B.J. 2010. Editorial: Protection of the Environment from Ionising Radiation: developing criteria and evaluating approaches for use in regulation. Journal of Radiobiological Protection 30, 191-194. [DOI]

Howard, B.J. and Larsson, C-M. 2008. Editorial: The ERICA Project, Environmental risk from ionising contaminants: assessment and management. J. Environ. Radioact. 99, 1361-1518.

Beresford, N.A., Howard, B.J. and Voigt, G. 2007. Editorial: Transfer of radionuclides to food-producing animals. J. Environ. Radioactivity 98, 1-3.

Nisbet, A., Howard, B.J., Beresford, N.A. and Voigt, G. 2005. Editorial: Workshop to extend the involvement of stakeholders in decisions on restoration management. J. Environ. Radioactivity 83, 259-261.

Howard, B.J. and Desmet, G.M. 1993. Editorial: Relative effectiveness of agricultural countermeasure techniques - REACT - proceedings of a workshop organized by the Commission-of-the-European-communities.
Sci. Total Environ. 137, R11-R12.