Helen Ann Hamilton
Background and activities
My research interests lie in analyzing the metabolism of nutrients and energy within the anthroposphere and, in particular, how these flows interact with and affect natural systems. This is with the aim of developing methods for reducing resource consumption, closing resource loops and reducing the environmental impacts of human activities.
My research is within the research area "Circular Economy and Resources" in the Industrial Ecology Programme on the following topics:
Phosphorus (P): P is a both a finite nutrient that is essential for plant production and a pollutant if accumulated in sensitive aquatic compartments. Because Norway does not have primary P resources of their own, it is essential to improve the management of P in order to ensure food security and reduce environmental impacts.
Food waste: Globally, food waste amounts to the loss of one third of all produced food. Large inefficiencies, such as this, have severe environmental implications as food production systems rely on a host of natural resources for operation. The unnecessary use of land, water, minerals and energy to produce wasted food exacerbates resource scarcity and, with expected population growth, could result in significant food security issues.
Aquaculture and fisheries: Because of the high dependency of the Norwegian aquaculture industry on imported feed ingredients, the projected drastic increase in production will likely affect resources on a global level. Supply chain impacts and resource demands, both domestically and abroad, need to be sufficiently understood in order to realize this growth and ensure its sustainability.
Biogas: In Norway, secondary biomass is seen as a potential renewable energy feedstock and, thus, a means to reduce domestic climate impacts. In order to produce this feedstock, however, there is an upstream demand for nutrients, such as scarce P. This means that an increase in biogas production will result in increased nutrient consumption. Relationships between energy and nutrients, such as the example above, are poorly understood. Therefore, my research focuses modeling these systems with an aim to avoid problem shifting and optimizing the use of both.
I am currently involved in the following projects:
- Mineral Intelligence Capacity Analysis (MICA); role: researcher
- Nutrients in a circular bioeconomy: Barriers and opportunities for mineral phosphorus independence in Norway (MIND-P); role: leader group and post doc
- Microbially Produced Raw Materials for Aquafeed (MIRA); role: researcher
I have a B.S. in Chemistry from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Sustainable Technology from the Royal Institute of Technology. I received my PhD in Industrial Ecology from NTNU. I have previously worked for Ecoinvent, the Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories. My work there primarily revolved around developing LCI methods for the chemicals sector.
- Regional Substance Flow Analysis for Assessment of Long-term Phosphorus Accumulation in Soil
- Feed alternatives and phosphorus efficiency of the Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture system
- MFA of omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA from a Norwegian resource perspective - Implications for future growth in fisheries and aquaculture toward 2050
-Energy and nutrient recovery potential from the Norwegian agriculture system
- Interactive data visualization of the Norwegian phosphorus cycle, coupling phosphorus with dry matter and energy in a multi-layered material flow analysis model
Scientific, academic and artistic work
Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database
- (2018) Trade and the role of non-food commodities for global eutrophication. Nature Sustainability. vol. 1 (6).
- (2017) Recycling potential of secondary phosphorus resources as assessed by integrating substance flow analysis and plant-availability. Science of the Total Environment. vol. 575.
- (2016) Investigating cross-sectoral synergies through integrated aquaculture, fisheries and agriculture phosphorus assessments: A case study of Norway. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 20 (4).
- (2015) Assessment of food waste prevention and recycling strategies using a multi-layer systems approach. Environmental Science and Technology. vol. 49.
Part of book/report
- (2015) The recycling potential of phosphorus in Norwegian waste products in a system's context. RAMIRAN 2015 – 16th International Conference Rural-Urban Symbiosis. Abstract book. 8th – 10th September 2015 Hamburg University of Technology, Germany.
- (2016) Food waste recycling not always the best idea. gemini.no, forskning.no [Internett]. 2016-01-12.
- (2016) Å kutte matsløsing bedre enn biogass. ABCnyheter [Internett]. 2016-01-17.
- (2016) Bedre å sløse mindre enn å gjennvinne mat. NRK [Radio]. 2016-01-21.
- (2015) The recycling potential of P in Norwegian secondary resources in a system’s context. RAMIRAN 2015 – 16th International Conference. Rural-Urban Symbiosis, 8th – 10th September 2015, Hamburg, Germany ; Hamburg. 2015-09-08 - 2015-09-10.
- (2015) Fiskeoppdrett storforbruker av fosfor. http://gemini.no/2015/10/fiskeoppdrett-storforbruker-av-fosf [Internett]. 2015-10-20.
- (2014) Integrated fisheries, aquaculture and agricultural phosphorus assessments: Potentials for cross-sectoral utilization of P. Gordon Research Conference: Industrial Ecology ; 2014-06-01 - 2014-06-06.
- (2014) Investigating cross-sectoral synergies for phosphorus: Methodological advancements using Norway as a case. International Society of Industrial Ecology: Socio-economic metablism ; 2014-11-16 - 2014-11-19.
- (2013) Aquaculture: Methods for assessing sustainability. Dialogues on Aquaculture: The values of aquaculture - What is the price of growth? ; 2013-11-21 - 2013-11-22.