Rachel Benstead

Rachel has extensive knowledge and experience of chemical risk assessment, whole effluent assessment, endocrine disruption in aquatic wildlife, the Water Framework Directive and environmental impact assessments. At Fera, she is responsible for conducting research and managing projects regarding aquatic environmental protection, including studies that are conducted to OECD guidelines. She is also a GLP study director.

Fera

Rachel  Benstead Heatshot

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  • Area of expertise
    EcoChemistry
  • Years of experience
    20+
  • Highest qualification
    PhD

Rachel contributes actively to the scientific community by regularly presenting at international conferences, participating in expert workshops and acting as reviewer for international peer-reviewed journals. She has participated in OECD Expert Working Groups and Validation Management Groups and has been Water Framework Directive UK Lead for EU Intercalibration of Invertebrate Monitoring Tools and Programme lead for Environment Agency Endocrine Disruption Research.

Rachel holds a BSc (Hons; 1) in Environmental Science from Leicester University and an MSc in Ecotoxicology of Natural Populations (Dist.) from Reading University. She was awarded a doctoral degree from Brunel University for her PhD thesis titled "Potential for (neuro-) endocrine effects of oestrogens in freshwater gastropods" . Prior to joining Fera in 2013, she worked for CEFAS and the Science Department of the Environment Agency.

Rachel has also been UKAS Technical Manager, GLP Study Director and has over 15 years experience of conducting and overseeing aquatic studies to OECD Guidelines under her belt and has extensive experience in Chemical Risk Assessment for Regulations, Whole Effluent Assessment, Endocrine Disruption in Aquatic Wildlife, Water Framework Directive, Environmental Impact Assessments.

Rachel has extensive career experience in the biological assessment of loetic and lentic communities, initially practicing Environmental Impact Assessment and Water Quality Monitoring within the Water Industry, and then later as a Biologist for UK Environment Agency. In the latter role, she was UK lead for the development of invertebrate assessment tools for the Water Framework Directive (WFD), specifically the adoption of the Whalley Hawkes Paisley Trigg (WHPT) Index. She was also UK Representative for the WFD European Intercalibration Exercise for invertebrate assessment tools for both rivers and lakes, and moreover managed and participated in projects for WFD UK Technical Advisory Group on macrophyte and diatom assessment. This work was in addition to her role as manager of the Environment Agency Ecotoxicology Service Laboratory. Her current post at Fera as Senior Aquatic Ecotoxicologist combines her key skills in multi-species ecotoxicology testing and stream ecological assessment for the design of mesocosm scale experimentation.

More about Mesocosm Studies

The E-Flows Mesocosm is the only one in Europe which provides us with a research platform of 60 artificial streams and ditches over which we have complete control


This ground breaking facility allows us to expose relevant communities of organisms to potential pollutants in a way that closely resembles that predicted to happen in the environment, including using flowing water to dilute and remove the chemicals in the same way that a natural stream would.  We also have an on-site water treatment works to remove the chemicals before water is released.


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Writing
Attending or speaking at
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Latest Papers and Articles

Burden N., Benstead R. , Clook M., Doyle I., Edwards P., Maynard S., Ryder K., Sheahan D., Whale G., van Egmond R., Wheeler J. and Hutchinson T. (2015) Advancing the 3Rs in regulatory ecotoxicology: A pragmatic cross-sector approach. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 12 (3) 417 – 421.

Benstead R., Baynes A, Casey D., Routledge E.J. and Jobling S. (2011) 17B-Oestradiol may prolong reproduction in seasonally breeding freshwater gastropod molluscs. Aquatic Toxicology, 101, 326-334

Williams R., Keller V., Johnson A, Young A., Holmes M., Wells C., Gross-Sorokin M and Benstead R. (2009) 'A national risk assessment for intersex in fish arising from steroid estrogens'. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 28 (1) 220-230

Events past and future

3-7 May 2020: SETAC Europe 30th Annual Meeting, Dublin.

Open Science for Enhanced Global Environmental Protection.

Go with the Flow: Science Poster Presentation on CHAP Mesocosm - Higher Tier Risk Assessments

Rachel and their team work with customers to deliver the following services within Fera...

Experience and expertise of chemical risk assessment, whole effluent assessment, endocrine disruption in aquatic wildlife, the Water Framework Directive and environmental impact assessments.

Ecotoxicology

Helping commercial companies to accurately assess the toxic impacts of plant-protection products and veterinary medicines on a range of ecosystems and species.

Learn more

Analytical Chemistry

Fera offers a wide range of analytical services using sophisticated analytical instrumentation and can provide assistance in analytical method development in support of environmental toxicology studies, biotechnology, formulated product analysis, analytical method validation to GLP requirements and much more.

Learn more

EFate & Metabolism

Environmental fate studies are key to providing the data required by chemical companies to complete thorough environmental risk assessments (ERA).  Metabolism studies are conducted to determine the nature of residues and the test substance’s metabolic pathways in animals.

Learn more

Writing

Latest Papers and Articles

Burden N., Benstead R. , Clook M., Doyle I., Edwards P., Maynard S., Ryder K., Sheahan D., Whale G., van Egmond R., Wheeler J. and Hutchinson T. (2015) Advancing the 3Rs in regulatory ecotoxicology: A pragmatic cross-sector approach. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 12 (3) 417 – 421.

Benstead R., Baynes A, Casey D., Routledge E.J. and Jobling S. (2011) 17B-Oestradiol may prolong reproduction in seasonally breeding freshwater gastropod molluscs. Aquatic Toxicology, 101, 326-334

Williams R., Keller V., Johnson A, Young A., Holmes M., Wells C., Gross-Sorokin M and Benstead R. (2009) 'A national risk assessment for intersex in fish arising from steroid estrogens'. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 28 (1) 220-230

Attending or speaking at

Events past and future

3-7 May 2020: SETAC Europe 30th Annual Meeting, Dublin.

Open Science for Enhanced Global Environmental Protection.

Go with the Flow: Science Poster Presentation on CHAP Mesocosm - Higher Tier Risk Assessments

Services

Rachel and their team work with customers to deliver the following services within Fera...

Experience and expertise of chemical risk assessment, whole effluent assessment, endocrine disruption in aquatic wildlife, the Water Framework Directive and environmental impact assessments.

Ecotoxicology

Helping commercial companies to accurately assess the toxic impacts of plant-protection products and veterinary medicines on a range of ecosystems and species.

Learn more

Analytical Chemistry

Fera offers a wide range of analytical services using sophisticated analytical instrumentation and can provide assistance in analytical method development in support of environmental toxicology studies, biotechnology, formulated product analysis, analytical method validation to GLP requirements and much more.

Learn more

EFate & Metabolism

Environmental fate studies are key to providing the data required by chemical companies to complete thorough environmental risk assessments (ERA).  Metabolism studies are conducted to determine the nature of residues and the test substance’s metabolic pathways in animals.

Learn more

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