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Marine Ecology Research Centre

Dr Lachlan Yee

Research Summary

Lachlan Yee Dr Yee has made significant contributions to the interdisciplinary field of polymer science and bacteria in environmental arenas. In the area of polymer science, he has a thorough grounding in the manipulation and measurement of rate kinetics for free radical polymerisation reactions. This was then applied to the kinetics of photochromic dyes in polymer matrices.

His recent research emphasises the utility of polymer science as a powerful platform to overcome a number of environmental challenges such as marine biofouling where he published the first ever report of a living polymer immobilised bacterial biofilm that produced antifouling compounds to effect a significant reduction in algal and larval settlement in the field.

Dr Yee has also reported on the biodegradation of polyhydroxybutyrate, polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate and polyhydroxyoctanoate in soil via biofilm bacteria where the first ever reports of the importance of bacterial adhesion modes contributes to the rates of biodegradation of the polymers.

Significantly, he has also published on the topical environmental issue of polychlorinated organic pollutants in soil and how the dechlorination of hexachlorobutadiene in soil can be facilitated by the novel combination of alginate polymers and a nutrient solution including electron shuttles to biostimulate dehalogenating biofilm bacteria.

Recently, Dr Yee has been appointed the Chemistry lecturer at the Southern Cross University (2010) where he continues to research the nitric oxide communication chemistry of bacteria within a biofilm and how can polymers be harnessed to deploy such communication signalsas well as marine ecologically relevant compounds for the settlement and metamorphosis of coral and urchins respectively.

Grants

Recent major grant funding:

Cat1: ARC Linkage 'Nitric oxide removal of bacteria in water'
Yee, Amal, Marquis, Griesser, Barraud, Meyerhoff, Klamman (LP150100602)
2016-2018$231,000
Cat1: Grains Research & Development Corporation, 'A new family of fertiliser compounds'
Clark, Yee, Anstoetz, Vancov
2013-2014 $150,000
Cat1: ARC Linkage 'Novel environ. benign technologies'
Kumar, Kjelleberg, Rice, Yee, Barraud (LP0990002)
2010-2012$390,000
CRC Environmental Biotech-Antibiofilm Applications
Kjelleberg, Rice, McDougald, Manefield, Barraud, Yee, Lee
2007-2009 $369,000
Total to date $ 1,140,000

Recent minor grant funding:

AINSE Research Award ALNGRA 15042 ID of scorodite inFar North Coast soils using TEM (with M. Clark and Md Sydur)2015$8,490
Far North Coast cattle dip site soils: Arsenic binding environment Australian Synchrotron, AS142/XAS/78842014$1,500
Chemistry Network Discipline2013$1,000
AINSE Research Award ALNGRA13054 The reversibility of As(V) on Far North Coast soils, implications for mobility from cattle dip sites (with M. Clark and Md Sydur) 2012$14,900
Crystallographic Characterisation of new hybrid Fe-phosphate-oxalate minerals, Australian Synchrotron Application P4430 (with M. Anstoetz, and M. Clark)2012$1,500
Collaborative Research Grant, Southern Cross University2011$20,000
Research Recruitment Grant, Southern Cross University 2011$9,800
Australian Academy of Science USA Research Fellowship 2011$9,400
Marine Ecology Research Centre funding 2010$3,000
UNSW International Workshop Fund - Malaysia and Hong Kong2008$6,000
Total to date $ 75,000

Awards

Best technical paper presented at Surface Coatings Association Australia Symposia, Cessnock, NSW, Australia (2015).

Australian Academy of Science USA Research Travel award (2011).

CSIRO Look Out!!! Award is presented to recognise projects or initiatives that enhance CSIRO's reputation in the global science community (2006).

Treloar prize for best oral paper presented by a scientist under 30 years of age (1999).

Past and Present Advisees

PhD and Masters Graduate Students Supervised

Catherine A. Woolnough (co-supervised with A/Prof. L.J.R. Foster), 2006-2008, Graduated with PhD thesis titled: 'Biodegradation of Biopolymers' (Staff at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Menuk B. Jayawardena (co-supervised with Prof. S.J. Kjelleberg), 2007-2009, Graduated with PhD thesis titled: 'Stability and activity of self cleaning lipase based paints' (Staff at Westmead hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Nigel C. Lewin (co-supervised with Prof. P.D. Steinberg), 2008-2012, Graduated with PhD thesis titled: 'Towards a 'living paint': The development of a marine antifouling paint incorporating bacteria'

Manuela Anstoetz (co-supervised with A/Prof. M. Clark), 2011-2016, Graduated with PhD thesis titled: 'Susceptibility of a hybrid metal open-framework (MOF) phosphate- oxalate to microbial breakdown and its suitability for novel fertiliser applications' - Thesis submitted 13May2016

Md Sydur Rahman (Principal supervisor, with A/Prof M. Clark as co-), 2012- 2016 (thesis submitted, Dec2016), Current PhD candidate, 'Bioremediation of chlorinated organics in vadose zone soils and effects on soil functionality and ground water pollution'

Vita Wonoputri (co-supervisor with Prof. R. Amal), 2012- 2016 (thesis submitted, Sept2016), Current PhD candidate, 'Multistrategy coating for the dispersal of nitrifying bacteria in drinking water treatment plants'

Phillip Doumit (co-supervised with A/Prof. M. Clark), 2012- present , Current PhD candidate, 'Development of zeolitic compounds from bagasse fly ash'

Roselyn Regino (co-supervisor with A/Prof. K. Benkendorff), 2013 - present, Current PhD candidate, 'Impacts of ocean climate and species diversity on the secondary metabolites of Muricidae Dicathais orbita'

Rory Taylor (principal supervisor for submission), 2014- present, Current M.Sc by thesis candidate, 'Discovery of bioactive natural products from sugarcane'

Skye Matthaei (principal supervisor with Prof Steve Smith as co-), 2016- , Current M.Sc. by thesis, 'Reducing recreational fishing debris by the development of a natural polymer based biodegradable product to replace soft plastic fishing lures'

Reviewer

Progress in Organic Coatings, Polymer Degradation and Stability, Environmental Engineering Science.

Professional Societies

  • Chair of the Northern Rivers RACI section (2013 - )
  • Committee member of the Northern Rivers RACI section (2011 - 2013)
  • Treasurer for the National RACI Polymer Division (2009 - 2013)
  • Dr Yee is an visiting fellow at the Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation directed by Professors Peter Steinberg and Staffan Kjelleberg, University of New South Wales and a contributing researcher to the Biopolymers group directed by Assoc. Prof. John Foster at the University of NSW.
  • Treasurer for the National RACI Polymer Division (2009 - present)
  • Committee member for National RACI Polymer Division (2006 - 2009)
  • Chair of the NSW RACI Polymer State Branch (2008-2010)
  • Secretary to the NSW RACI Polymer State Branch (2004 - 2008)

Undergraduate teaching

Chemistry - CHE00201 - Unit assessor, lecturer and laboratory teacher

Integrated Projects - SCI00211 - Supervisor

Google Scholar Citations

https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=_mwSePgAAAAJ&hl=en

Publications

C. A. Woolnough, L. H. Yee, T. Charlton, L. J. R. Foster (estim. 2013) A tuneable switch for controlling environmental degradation of bioplastics: addition of isothiazolinone to polyhydroxyalkanoates, PLOS ONE. (in press 26th Aug, 2013)

"A tuneable switch for controlling environmental degradation of bioplastics: addition of isothiazolinone to polyhydroxyalkanoates" (MS #3026). epubs.scu.edu.au/esm_pubs/2014.

Refereed Journal Articles

Rahman, M.S., Reichelt-Brushet, A.J., Clark, M.W., Farzana, T., Yee, L.H. 'Arsenic bio-accessibility and bioaccumulation in aged pesticide contaminated soils: A multiline investigation to understand environmental risk' (2017) Article in press

Rahman, M.S., Clark, M.W., Yee, L.H., Comarmond, M.J., Payne, T.E., Kappen, P., Mokhber-Shahin, L. (2017), 'Arsenic solid-phase speciation and reversible binding in long-term contaminated soils', Chemosphere Vol 168, p1324-1336

R Valles-Regino, P Mouatt, D Rudd, LH Yee, K Benkendorff (2016), 'Extraction and Quantification of Bioactive Tyrian Purple Precursors: A Comparative and Validation Study from the Hypobranchial Gland of a Muricid Dicathais orbita' Molecules Vol 21 (12), 1672 (Article no. 21121672)

V Wonoputri, C Gunawan, S Liu, N Barraud, LH Yee, M Lim, R Amal (2016), 'Iron complex facilitated copper redox cycling for nitric oxide generation as nontoxic nitrifying biofilm inhibitor' ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces Vol 8 (44), 30502-30510

Anstoetz, M., Sharma, N., Clark, M., Yee, LH (2016), 'Characterization of an oxalate-phosphate-amine metal-organic framework (OPA-MOF) exhibiting properties suited for innovative applications in agriculture' Journal of Materials Science, Vol 51 (20), pp. 9239-9252 DOI: 10.1007/s10853-016-0171-6

Anstoetz, M., Clark, M., Yee, LH. (2016), 'Resolving topography of an electron beam-sensitive oxalate-phosphate-amine metal-organic framework (OPA-MOF)' Journal of Materials Science, Volume 51, Issue 3, 1 February 2016, Pages 1562-1571 DOI: 10.1007/s10853-015-9478-y

Anstoetz, M, Rose, T.J, Clark, M.W, Yee, L.H, Raymond, C.A, Vancov, T (2015), 'Novel applications for oxalate-phosphate-amine metal-organic-frameworks (OPA-MOFs): Can an iron-based OPA-MOF be used as slow-release fertilizer? Open Access, PLoS ONE, Volume 10, Issue 12, 1 December 2015, Article number e0144169 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144169

Wonoputri, V, Gunawan, C, Liu, S, Barraud, N, Yee, L.H., Lim, M., Amal, R. (2015), 'Copper Complex in Poly(vinyl chloride) as a Nitric Oxide-Generating Catalyst for the Control of Nitrifying Bacterial Biofilms' ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Volume 7, Issue 40, 14 October 2015, Pages 22148-22156, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b07971

Woolnough CA, Yee LH, Charlton TS, Foster LJR (2013) A Tuneable Switch for Controlling Environmental Degradation of Bioplastics: Addition of Isothiazolinone to Polyhydroxyalkanoates. Open Access PLoS ONE 8(10): e75817. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075817

M. B. Jayawardena, L. H. Yee, I. J. Rainbow, P. Bergquist, C. Such, S. J. Kjelleberg, P. D. Steinberg. (2011) "Surfactant enhanced lipase containing films characterized by confocal laser scanning microscope", Colloids and Surfaces B:Biointerfaces. 82 (2) 291-296, JIF = 2.600, ERA = A

L. H. Yee, V. Aagaard, A. Johnstone, M. Lee, S. J. Kjelleberg, M. Manefield (2010) Development of a treatment solution for reductive dechlorination of hexachloro-1,3-butadiene in vadose zone soil. Biodegradation. 21 (6), 947-956, JIF = 2.055, ERA = B

L. H. Yee, T. Hanley, R. A. Evans, T. P. Davis, G. E. Ball (2010) Oligomerically functionalized photochromic spirooxazines: investigation of core - oligomer interactions and photomerocyanine isomer interconversion using NMR spectroscopy and DFT. Journal of Organic Chemistry. 75 (9), 2851-2860, JIF = 3.952, ERA = A*

C. A. Woolnough, L. H. Yee, T. Charlton, L. J. R. Foster (2010) Environmental degradation and biofouling of 'green' plastics including short and medium chain length polyhydroxyalkanoates. Polymer Int., 59 (5), 658-667JIF=2.029, ERA = B.

C. A. Woolnough, T. Charlton, L. H. Yee, M. Sarris, L. J. R. Foster (2008) Surface Changes in Polyhydroxyalkanoate Films During Biodegradation and Biofouling. Polymer Int., 57,1042-1051. Cited = 1, JIF=2.029, ERA = B

L. H. Yee, C. Holmström, E. Fuary, N. Lewin, S. Kjelleberg, P. Steinberg (2007) Inhibition of fouling by marine bacteria immobilised in k-carrageenan beads. Biofouling, 23(4), 287-294. Cited = 2, JIF = 2.919, ERA = A

R. A. Evans, T. L. Hanley, M. A. Skidmore, T. P. Davis, G. K. Such, L. H. Yee, G. E. Ball, D. A. Lewis (2005) The generic enhancement of photochromic dye switching speeds in a rigid polymer matrix. Nature Materials, 4(3), 249-253.

Cited = 42, JIF = 19.194, ERA = A*

W.R. Walsh, M. Borden, A. Butler, D. Hartright, D. Acton, A. Perry, R. Stanford, L. H. Yee, R.M. Gillies (2004) In vivo and in vitro evaluation of a novel ceramic-polylactide composite. Transactions - 7th World Biomaterials Congress., p 995.

G. Such, R. Evans, L. H. Yee, T. P. Davis (2003) Factors Influencing Photochromism of Spiro - compounds within Polymeric Matrices. J Macromol Sci Polymer Rev., Vol C43, No. 4, 545-577. Cited = 19, JIF = 2.417, ERA = B

P. Vana, L. H. Yee, C. Barner-Kowollik, J. P. A. Heuts and T. P. Davis (2002) The Termination Rate Coefficient of Dimethyl Itaconate: A Comparison of Modelling and Experimental Results. Macromolecules, 35(5), 1651-1657. Cited = 14, JIF = 4.277, ERA = A*

P. Vana, L. H. Yee, and T. P. Davis (2002) Multi-Pulse Initiation in Pulsed Laser and Quenched Instationary Polymerization: The Determination of the Propagation and Termination Rate Coefficients for Dicyclohexyl Itaconate Polymerization. Macromolecules, 35(8), 3008-3016. Cited = 20, JIF = 4.277 ERA = A*

T. P. Davis, J. P. A. Heuts, C. Barner-Kowollik, S. Harrisson, D. A. Morrison, L. H. Yee, H. M. Kapfenstein-Doak, M. L. Coote (2002) Transfer and Propagation Reactions in Free Radical Copolymerization. Macromol Symp, 182, 131. Cited = 13, JIF = not available

K. Tanaka, B. Yamada, C. M. Fellows, R. G. Gilbert, T. P. Davis, L. H. Yee, G. B. Smith, M.T.L. Rees, G.T. Russell (2001) PLP-GPC determination of the propagation rate coefficient for the methyl acrylate dimer: a sterically-hindered monomer. J. Polym. Sci. Part A Polym. Chem., 39(22), 3902-3915. Cited = 22, JIF = 3.405, ERA = A

L. H. Yee, T. P. Davis (2001) Copolymerization of Dimethyl Itaconate and Styrene Macromolecules, 34(11), 3581. Cited = 18, JIF = 4.277, ERA = A*

L. H. Yee, M. L. Coote, and T. P. Davis, (2000) Determination of Propagation Rate Coefficients for an alpha-substituted Acrylic Ester: Pulsed Laser Polymerization of Dimethyl Itaconate J. Polym. Sci. Part A Polym. Chem.,38(12), 2192. Cited = 30, JIF = 3.405, ERA = A

Books, Book Chapters and Patents

Yee LH, Foster LJR; Chap. 8- Polyhydroxyalkanoates as Packaging Materials: Current Applications and Future Prospects. Royal Society of Chemistry (2015) Green Chemistry No. 30 p183-207 'Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Based Blends, Composites and Nanocomposites'. Edited by Ipsita Roy and Visakh P M. Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, www.rsc.org ISSN17577039 (Scopus recognised)

R. A. Evans, M. A. Skidmore, L. H. Yee, T. L. Hanley, D. A. Lewis. Photochromic compositions and light transmissible articles. United States Patent. (2010), 7,807,075 B2 *Oct. 5, 2010.

T. Harder and L. H. Yee. Bacterial Adhesion and Marine Fouling. Advances in antifouling coatings and technologies. Editors Claire Hellio and Diego Yebra. Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK 2009. (Scopus recognised)

C. Woolnough, L. H. Yee, J. Foster 'Green Plastics': Surface Rugosity, Biofouling and Biodegradation. Lambert Academic Publishing AG & Co. KG and licensors. Köln, Germany 2009.

R. A. Evans, M. A. Skidmore, L. H. Yee, T. L. Hanley, D. A. Lewis. Photochromic compositions and light transmissible articles. PCT Int. Appl. (2004), 118 pp. WO 2004041961 Also published as: EP1560893(A1), US7247262 (B2), US2008006798 (A1), US2005269556 (A1), EP1560893 (A0).

Conference Presentations

Lachlan H. Yee*, Nigel C. Lewin, Peter D. Steinberg, Carola Hölmstrom. 'Living Paints' - Coatings inspired by nature. Surface Coatings Association Australia, Power of the past, Force of the Future, Crown Plaza, Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia, Sept 10-11th, 2015. INVITED Speaker

Vita Wonoputri, Cindy Gunawan, Sanly Liu, Nicolas Barraud, Rose Amal, Lachlan Yee*

Nitric Oxide Signaled Bacterial Dispersal on the Surface of Polyvinyl Chloride from Copper Complex Catalytic Sites. 35th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia 12-15th of July, 2015

Lachlan H. Yee*, Wendy Boyd, Alan Foster, Shelli van Santen, Jubilee Smith, William E. Boyd

Chemistry learning - attitude and anxiety. Royal Australian Chemical Institute National Congress, Adelaide 7-12th December, 2014

Anisul Asfar, Lachlan H. Yee*, Tim Charlton, Peter D. Steinberg

A marine antifouling surface from bacterially biodegraded paraffin wax. 34th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Darwin, NT, Australia, 7-10th of July, 2013

Anisul Asfar, Lachlan H. Yee*, Tim Charlton, Peter D. Steinberg

A marine antifouling surface from bacterially biodegraded paraffin wax. 34th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Darwin, NT, Australia, 7-10th of July, 2013

L. H Yee, T. Harder, S. Neilsen, P.D. Steinberg, S. Dworjanyn, P. L. Harrison

Polymer 'tools' for probing ecological questions in the marine environment. 33rd Australasian Polymer Symposium, Hobart, Tas, 12-15th February, 2012

L. H. Yee, Polymeric solutions to surface interfacial challenges in the environment. 32nd Australasian Polymer Symposium, Coffs Harbour, NSW, 13-16th February, 2011. INVITED speaker

L. H. Yee, V. Aagaard, A. Johnston, M. Lee, S. Kjelleberg, M. Manefield. Sodium alginate facilites dechlorination of hexachloro-1,3-butadiene in vadose zone soil. 11th Pacific Polymer Conference, Cairns, QLD, 6-10th December, 2009.

L. H. Yee, Carola Holmström, Nigel C Lewin, Staffan Kjelleberg, Peter D Steinberg. Living Paint - Bacteria in marine antifouling. Lou Cash Memorial Lecture at the Surface Coatings Association Australia Conference, North Wollongong, NSW 7-9 August, 2008. - INVITED Keynote speaker

L. H. Yee, Carola Holmström, Evi T Fuary, Nigel C Lewin, Staffan Kjelleberg, Peter D Steinberg. Inhibition of fouling by Pseudoalteromonas tunicata immobilised in k-carrageenan beads. 45th Australian Marine Sciences Association Conference Melbourne 9-13th July, 2007.

L. H. Yee, N. Lewin, C. Holmström, E. Fuary, S. Kjelleberg, P. Steinberg. Living Paint - Towards a marine antifouling coating. 29th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Hobart, Tas, Australia, 2007.

L. H. Yee, Evi T. Fuary, Carola Holmström, Staffan Kjelleberg, Peter Steinberg. Living Paint. 28th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Rotorua, New Zealand, 2006.

Catherine Woolnough, L. H. Yee, T. Charlton and J. F. Foster. Surface studies of biodegradable polymers during biodegradation. 28th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Rotorua, New Zealand, 2006.

R. A. Evans, T. L. Hanley, M. A. Skidmore, T. P. Davis, G. K. Such, L. H. Yee, G. E. Ball, D. A. Lewis. Lubrication and Control of Nano-Mechanical Processes in Polymers Tailoring Photochromism in Ophthalmic Lenses. 27th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Adelaide, SA, Australia, 2004.

R. A. Evans, T. L. Hanley, M. A. Skidmore, T. P. Davis, Georgina K. Such, L. H. Yee, G. E. Ball, D. A. Lewis. Lubrication and Control of Nano-Mechanical Processes in Polymers Tailoring Photochromism in Ophthalmic Lenses. 27th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Adelaide, SA, Australia, 2004.

L. H. Yee, P. Vana, C. Barner-Kowollik, J. P. A. Heuts, T. P. Davis. Termination Rate Coefficient of Dimethyl Itaconate: Comparison of Modelling and Experimental Results. 25th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Armidale, NSW, Australia, 2002.

L. H. Yee, C. Barner-Kowollik, T. P Davis. Modelling Pulsed Laser Generated Molecular Weight Distributions of Polydimethyl Itaconate. 24th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, 2001.

L. H. Yee, M.Coote, T. P. Davis. Pulsed Laser Polymerisation Studies of Highly Hindered Monomers. 23rd Australasian Polymer Symposium, Deakin University, Geelong VIC - Awarded Treloar Prize 1999.