Recently retired from 35 year career as a Senior Toxicologist /Marine Scientist with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he was also (1993 – 2009) a USA Scientific Member of PICES (North Pacific Marine Science Organization) Marine Environmental Quality (MEQ) Committee. PICES Member nations are China, Korea, Japan, Russia, Canada and USA. In 2008, Watson took a special Science Fellow assignment with the US Department of State in Guangzhou, advising their US Consulate Office about environmental pollution and human health problems in the Pearl River Delta. He has visited Qingdao and Shandong Province about 45 times since 1994, and given various lectures there, as well as participating in several marine and aquatic pollutant symposia in Qingdao, as well as in Guangzhou, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Canada and the USA.
Mike Watson is a board certified toxicologist (DABT, 1984-2014) specializing in the adverse health effects of environmental contaminants. This typically involves not only having strong science, but also a good sense of policy and balance. With a core background in marine zoology and marine toxins, his lifelong interests and expertise also include marine pollution, marine biotoxins, pesticides, pollutants in water, and effects on aquatic ecosystems. His career began as a graduate student in Dr. Hank Banner’s Ciguatera Laboratory at the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Marine Biology, isolating and studying the pharmacological mechanisms of action of sea hare toxins (Mollusca; Aplysiidae). His first job outside marine toxins research was with an EPA-sponsored public health research program, at the Department of Health in his home state of Idaho, USA, working in the relatively new field of pesticide epidemiology. This greatly broadened his expertise with anthropogenic contaminants (pesticides, dioxins, PCBs, metals), and led to his subsequent 35 year career with the US EPA, in Seattle, Washington, USA, where he served as national and international expert in the health and environmental effects of toxic contaminants. Through his ocean-oriented early background, his lifelong interest in the Asia-Pacific region, and a professional career studying both marine natural products and environmental /manmade contaminants, he has continued to develop and hone his technical knowledge of the linkages between human health and the aquatic environment, with special focus upon China, and the Western Pacific. Throughout his career, various international opportunities—in China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong-- ,have given him a first-hand understanding of major pollution problems and environmental issues in coastal Asia and their impacts on not only human health, but the fishery and ocean resources as well. He is especially thrilled at Qingdao’s visionary plan for developing its “Blue Economy” growth model, which includes research into the discovery of new biomedicines derived from sea creatures.