Interview with IGRAC's new Researcher Andreas Antoniou


Mid June 2015, Dr. Andreas Antoniou has joined the IGRAC team as researcher. Andreas is originally from Greece, but has already lived in the Netherlands for several years carrying out his doctorate research on hydrogeochemistry. Now it is time to have an interview and get to know IGRAC's new team member.

What is your academic background?

I have obtained a BSc in Geology in Thessaloniki, Greece, a MSc in Hydrology from the Vrije University of Amsterdam and I just defended my PhD thesis entitled "Addressing quality issues during potable water Aquifer Storage Recovery".

Could you tell more about your work experience?

In the last 5 years, I worked as a scientific researcher at a water research institute (KWR) and carried out my doctorate research on hydrogeochemistry focusing on Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) applications for drinking water purposes. I carried out field/lab studies to test remediation techniques, developed flow and reactive transport (water quality) models and published a number of scientific papers. In parallel I also worked on various projects related to aquifer management options and subsurface remediation of groundwater for drinking water production.

During my 4-month internship in Majuro atoll (Marshall Islands) in 2008, I quantified and presented a plan on how to optimally manage the available fresh water resources. I achieved that by performing a series of geophysical measurements, aquifer tests, and flow/transport modeling. Moreover I developed monitoring strategies and trained staff from the local EPA to undertake monitoring and evaluation of groundwater quality.

What was your main motivation to join IGRAC?

After 5 years of doing research on hydrogeological and geochemical processes which take place on a scale which does not extend more than 100 meters from a well, I decided it was time to zoom out and look at things from another perspective. I may have overdone it since I now look at things on a global scale. It is a new, interesting, and challenging "world" for me. Moreover, I had a good feeling about the working environment and, after two weeks, I already like this group. 

What will be your main tasks/responsibilities?

I will be mainly working on analysing an extensive global database of various aspects related to transboundary aquifers identified across the world (Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme). These data were obtained during a campaign organized by IGRAC and which brought together a large number of national experts who exchanged data and information. The data were further used to create the Transboundary Aquifers Information Management System, an online platform hosting all information in the form of thematic risk maps. Besides that, I expect joining more projects and I will generally reinforce IGRAC's capacity to convey the message of sustainable groundwater use.