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Tilghman Hall: Protecting the Environment

She has dedicated herself to studying human influences on the environment. Anne Tilghman Hall researches the effect of crop protection agents on the environment.

It is our job to make sure crop protection products are doing what they are supposed to do.

Dr. Tilghman Hall is committed to the protection of the environment.

As a student, I decided to become a whale researcher. I’ve always loved nature and am fascinated by the way that living creatures adapt to their environment. So when studying for my bachelor’s degree in biology, I investigated the populations of humpback whales off the West Coast of Greenland and in the Caribbean. I also wanted to assess the influence of humans on their feeding behavior. At the same time, I worked part-time for Greenpeace one summer. We both wanted to protect whales. But Greenpeace’s attitude towards threats was too narrowly focused for me. I wanted to look at things from different perspectives.

Assessing Risks

From fall 2015 until summer 2017, I was Team Lead of Bayer’s Nontarget Plant Experts in the ecotoxicology department in Monheim, Germany. We investigated potential side effects of Bayer products on plants that grow near the treated crops. We weighed the benefits of crop protection agents against the risks. From this analysis, we generated a risk assessment for each product. Since August 2017, I’m the Director of Bayer’s Environmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment Team in the United States. I assess the potential effects of products on aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals; a broader picture. Whenever I discover that a product might have the potential for side effects on the environment, the interesting part of my work begins. I start looking to understand the possible interactions and if needed develop solutions that will make the product even safer without changing its targeted effect. I love scientific challenges!

A ‘Go With The Flow’ Kind of Woman

When I was an expat, I had a lot of fun and visited various places in Europe. However, if I could choose where to live, I’d choose the US because of my family. They are very important to me, but I came to Germany without them. I have been married for 30+ years to a professor and at the time my 3 children were all in college. So during my first week in Monheim, I thought, ”What have I done?“ But I quickly came to appreciate the joys of living abroad and discovering differences in culture. My family joined me for some of these discoveries and it was an adventure I don’t regret. I often went hiking, and now I also enjoy urban hiking in different cities. That’s something I never did in the US. But even though I like hiking in the cities and country, I miss the sea. I’ll always be drawn to the water.

Back in my days as a whale researcher, I learned that some things turn out differently than you expect. For example, while I was working on my master’s degree, the whales I was studying suddenly had to move to different feeding grounds and location, making my project not feasible. So I changed my research focus, and concentrated on the ecotoxicological effects of foreign materials on the environment instead. And that's what I’ve been doing ever since. It led me to Bayer, where I have spent the past 21 years.

CV: Tilghman Hall

1981 – 1984: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL

1987: Masters of Environmental Science, Miami University, Oxford, OH

1988 – 1993: Teaching Associate, Research Assistant, Instructor and Post-doctoral Research Associate, Miami University, Department of Zoology, Oxford, OH, USA

1993: Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (Aquatic Toxicology), Miami University, Oxford, OH

1993 – 1996: Senior Scientist, Environmental Toxicology Group, Sandoz AGRO, INC, Chicago, IL, USA

1996 – 2002: Co-Manager Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory and Environmental Toxicologist, Product Responsible Scientist, Bayer CropScience, Stilwell, Kansas, USA

2003 – 2008: Global Lead Scientist for Aquatic Toxicology and Product Responsible Scientist, Bayer CropScience, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

2005 – current: FIFRA Endangered Species Task Force (FESTF) - Technical Chair

2006 – 2008: Board of Directors of North America Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

2008 – 2015: Research and Development Fellow and Senior Principle Scientist, Bayer CropScience, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

2008 - 2013: Endangered Species Issues Management Team – Chair, CropLife America

2015 – 2017: Team Lead Nontarget Plants and R&D Fellow, Bayer CropScience, Monheim, Germany

2017 – current: Director of Environmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment Team, Bayer, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

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