Tamara Sorell

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Toxicologist, Environmental Consultant

Brown & Caldwell

During my career as a toxicologist and environmental consultant I have worked for a number of environmental consulting firms, ranging in size from 300 to tens of thousands of employees. My current employer is Brown and Caldwell.

I have a range of technical skills, but my primary areas of expertise are human health and environmental toxicology risk assessment and contaminant migration (such as vapors entering buildings from beneath). I also do risk communication and have experience evaluating a large range of environmental contamination situations including soil, water, air and contaminated sediments in waterways.

Here’s just a bit of what we can cover in our PivotPlanet sessions:
• What academic credentials are required? How do I structure my course of study to position myself for this industry?
• What other credentials and training can I pursue that will differentiate me?
• How do I network effectively? Which professional organizations are best for making the right contacts for this career?
• Who are some of the key employers in this business?
• Am I a good fit for this career? How do my personal attributes relate? If this is not a good target, what are some ideas for other pursuits with my skill sets?

Consulting offers a tremendous amount of flexibility. Many of my colleagues work less than full time and have great career growth. Working remotely is also an option. Consulting has a large creative component for a technical career, as we are always looking for better ways to do things for our clients. Creativity equals success.


I started in this career when I was still a graduate student. Because of the variety, flexibility and decent compensation, I have never changed careers.

I have a record of leadership in environmental organizations. I have given dozens of technical presentations at local and national levels and have been president of a chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. I participate on two teams developing guidance for the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC). In 2010, I received the ITRC Industry Affiliate Program Award.

Through my own personal efforts outside of work assignments (but always supported by my employers), I have become known in my field. A few years ago I introduced myself to a prominent risk assessor, and he said, “Oh, I’ve heard of you.” I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in my career and I look forward to help you in your own exploration in the fields of toxicology and environmental consulting.