Thomas Azwell Ph.D

Environmental Scientist

Remediation & Restoration, Oil Spill Response, Biomimicry, Biodiversity, Dissemination of Innovation, Cognitive Development, Sustainable Agriculture, Industrial Ecology, Corporate Sustainability

Area of Focus

My research examines the development of bioremediation systems and operating procedures for protection of soil, water, and air, such as those impacted by oil spills, intensive farming, and industrial operations.  I have spent a significant amount of time researching the ecological impacts of conventional business operations and evaluating alternative methods, with a primary goal of helping to facilitate the adoption of best practices and improved technologies.

During this time of research and evaluation, I have established valuable professional collaborations with academic, industry, and government representatives.  These partnerships help to promote the development of scalable, accessible, innovative solutions to key environmental and health issues.

Current Work: Oil Remediation and Restoration

My current research includes the development of technologies for use during oil spill response and the restoration of the environment. The focus is on creating more efficient oil recovery equipment, such as better oil skimming (Abasco) and oil-water separation equipment (Water Planet Engineering), and innovative approaches to habitat restoration, such as the use of locally-adapted diverse genotypes of native plants and native fibers to support propagation.

Related Press Releases:

  • UC Berkeley
  • Grande Reportagem SIC
  • Universidade Lusófona
  • Distillations
  • ABC 7

Industrial Ecology

Industrial ecology is the study of the physical, chemical, and biological interactions and interrelationships both within and between industrial and ecological systems. My research helps to identify the energy flows through commercial industrial systems, such as those closely linked to agricultural. Using principles of industrial metabolism, we can identify the way these materials flow through an industrial system and are transformed or transferred, including the portion that is disposed of as 'waste'.

For example, many retailers generate large volumes of organic waste as a function of their normal sales activity. A significant portion of this organic matter ends up in the municipal solid waste stream as "D & D" (damage and destroy). Green-waste diversion programs have the potential to capture 100% of the organic waste, transport it away from the landfill to local composting facilities, where it is thermophilically composted and turned into a value added end product.

Boards and Awards

Teaching

University of California, Berkeley

Environmental Education 178A

University of California, Berkeley

Resource Policy 102D

San Francisco State University

Environmental Problems and Solutions ENVS600