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Professor Sumpter recognised in New Year Honours

Professor John Sumpter has received an OBE in the New Year Honours for services to the science of ecotoxicology in the aquatic environment.

The head of Brunel University London's Institute for the Environment until 2011, Prof Sumpter joined the university in 1978 as a lecturer in applied biology and has since led policy-changing research into how chemicals affect biological organisms.

Central to this was Prof Sumpter's discovery of endocrine disruption in fish caused by oestrogenic chemicals entering waterways. 

The groundbreaking work raised international understanding of the threat of pharmaceuticals in the water supply and has gone on to inform government policy on the presence of steroid oestrogens in the environment. 

It would provide the impetus for later research looking at the links between chemical exposure and human health leading to The Institute for the Environment being awarded the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education in 2011.