Technical Advisory Board

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  Robert Kurkjian, Ph.D Program Manager/Principal Scientist, Tetra Tech

Robert Kurkjian, PhD has more than 26 years of experience conducting complex environmental investigations; evaluating surface water, ground water, and drinking water quality; performing sediment studies; remediating soil and groundwater; performing air quality studies, and managing hazardous wastes. Dr. Kurkjian has investigated and/or remediated numerous contaminated sites in the U.S. and internationally including: mining areas; power plants; bulk chemical and petroleum storage facilities; shipyards; electrical switching and transformer yards; metal plating, chemical, and aerospace facilities; lead battery recycling facilities; burn ash and solid waste dump sites; and U.S. state and federal Superfund sites. Dr. Kurkjian provides litigation support, experttechnical review, and strategic planning regarding environmental impacts, land management, and Brownfield redevelopment. Dr. Kurkjian has worked in Armenia for more than a decade on various environmental projects where he directed operations at the American University of Armenia’s Environmental Research and Management Center, and consulted with the Armenian Ministry of Nature Protection, the World Bank, the United Nations (UN) Development Programme, UN Environmental Programme, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Dr. Kurkjian has been a Blacksmith/Pure Earth Senior Technical Advisor since 2012. He provides technical guidance on a number of projects in S.E. Asia and the Former Soviet Union. Projects include mitigation of hazardous waste contamination and urban redevelopment in Indonesia, the evaluation of a contaminated river system and adjacent fish ponds in the Philippines, and investigation of mining impacts in Armenia.

Natella   Natella Mirzoyan, Ph.D, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Dr. Natella Mirzoyan received her PhD from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, in 2010. Later on she joined University of Maryland and Weizmann Institute of Sciences as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Mirzoyan is specialized in wastewater and solid waste treatment from intensive agricultural practices, as well as environmental chemistry and microbiology of anoxic aquatic environments.

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Gagik Melikyan, Professor, California State University Northridge

Gagik Melikyan is a Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at California State University Northridge (CSUN) in Northridge, California. Dr. Melikyan is an expert on transition metal chemistry and biology as well as radical organic and organometallic chemistry. His research interests include radical and ionic reactions of transition metal-complexed unsaturated systems, novel therapeutic agents for breast cancer treatment, enzymatic chemistry, food chemistry, environmental chemistry, and consumer product chemistry. Dr. Melikyan’s research has culminated in numerous presentations at national and international meetings and research papers, reviews, and book chapters. He is a recipient of the prestigious Outstanding Faculty Award, Jerome Richfield Scholar Award, and nationally recognized The Kennedy Center Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award. Dr. Melikyan was also elected a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences, Armenia. He is the author of the book titled “Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Antioxidants, Foods, Supplements, and Cosmetics” that has received awards in the “Science” category from The 2011 USA Best Book Awards and The 2012 International Book Awards national competitions. For many years, as an expert, on behalf of the consumer protection groups, Dr. Melikyan was involved in protecting the American people from harmful chemicals and environmental pollutants, providing litigation support and expert testimony in toxic consumer product torts (cosmetics; foods; electronics; petrochemicals), supporting non-profit organizations in the “failure to warn” litigations initiated under the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65), and petitioning government agencies on Proposition 65 listed carcinogens and reproductive toxins.