University of Leeds
Dr Hifza Rasheed obtained a BSc.Hons degree in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, where she was awarded a university merit scholarship and graduated in first class first position in her year. She then moved to Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, where she gained an MPhil in Microbiology, finishing in the first position in the Department of Biological Sciences. In addition to QAU merit scholarship, she received the Academic Distinction Award for achieving the top position in the 2000-2002 class. During her studies, Hifza became interested in environmental protection, so joined the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), where since 2002 she has performed research on water quality issues and technologies.
For the last 13 years, Hifza has contributed to multidisciplinary research and development projects designed to identify risks to surface and ground water sources, develop cost-effective and scalable water testing technologies, and provided solutions to mitigate chemical and microbial contaminants.
Her PhD research work at University of Leeds was focused on exposure to chemical forms of arsenic - a naturally occurring element with multiple toxic effects. Hifza has developed an integrated risk assessment approach to describe the sources, exposure routes and response elements of the overall risks to human health from inorganic and organic arsenic species. She expected that her findings will assist scientific communities, regulatory bodies, and policy makers in managing chemical contamination, as well as in the medical treatment of arsenic affected communities.
After completion of her PhD studies, Hifza has resumed her position at PCRWR to pursue a research career in water quality and environmental health. During last one year she has achieved ISO-17025 accreditation of National Water Quality Laboratory of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), developed competency standards and curriculum for National Capacity Building Institute in collaboration with National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) for 3 years diploma on water quality and resources management recently approved by NAVTCC. She has also completed the water quality assessment part of national nutritional survey of Pakistan (2018). Currently she is working on wastewater recycling, remote water quality monitoring, automation of water quality assessment process, Persistent Organic Pollutants, waste water recycling and interventions required for water and health. Her projects in pipeline include microbial profiling of water bodies, microplastics risk assessment, monitoring of pharmaceutical by products, and bioremediation.