Editor’s note: Plant Therapy has an ongoing partnership with the University of Tasmania to perform essential oil research. Part of this relationship includes sponsoring students like Leo Lebanov. Here’s an update from Tasmania!
By Brett Paull, Director of the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Sciences
Greetings from down under — and we mean right down under in Tasmania, which unless you’re a penguin, is as far south as it gets on this side of the world.
It’s been a busy period for us in the essential oils analysis group here at the University of Tasmania. We are working to get analytical systems up and running and bring our new Ph.D. student, Leo Lebanov, up to speed on all our equipment infrastructure and methods.
Leo started with us around six months ago, having spent the previous year or so in Barcelona, Spain, obtaining his Masters Degree. Serbian by nationality, Leo is acclimatizing well to the antipodean way of life, and the quaint and quiet community of old Hobart town here in beautiful Tasmania. This has been a relatively easy process given his pleasant nature, willingness to learn, and, of course, his analytical abilities and experience. This settling-in period has made all the more easier through the patient tuition and expertise of Dr. Laura Tedone, who is our resident essential oils expert par excellence!
So for the past 3-4 months we have been actively working with Plant Therapy and analyzing a whole variety of essential oils, confirming purity and quality, whilst simultaneously improving our procedures and methods for such samples. The feedback we get from Plant Therapy, particularly in cross-checking our reports against commercial laboratories, gives us the confidence in our analytical standards, and provides great feedback to Leo as he establishes himself and begins to widen his Ph.D. research program over the coming six months.
Currently we are pushing full-steam ahead, exploring how we can best support Plant Therapy in their goals while simultaneously growing our activities in this space. We strive to ensure we are providing the best analytical methods to confirm the origin, quality, and purity of essential oils.
Leo is currently back in Europe for a well-earned break over the festive period, and no doubt enjoying the snow and Christmas festivities all across Serbia. I, on the other hand, remain steering the ship here in Hobart, until the university locks its doors on December 23 and forces its academics to actually go home. Christmas BBQ’s on the beach for us down under, with reindeer and snowmen lights hanging from the eucalyptus trees in the sweltering heat.
All the best from me, and happy new year! Find us on Facebook!
Watch the video of Chris and Paul’s visit to University of Tasmania last year: