Welcome to Dr. Maija Raudsepp who has joined the EEGL team a as Postdoctoral Research Fellow.
Maija is a geomicrobiologist who is working on the biogeochemistry of sediments in hypersaline lakes. She has a wealth of experience studying how microorganisms cycle sulfur, iron and methane in sedimentary environments, including in the deep subsurface via an IODP expedition.
You can learn more about Maija’s work here.
Applications are welcome for several M.Sc. and Ph.D. projects starting September 2018 in the Environmental Economic Geology Laboratory at the University of Alberta. Graduate researchers will join an interdisciplinary research team under the supervision of Dr. Siobhan (Sasha) Wilson.
We are looking for independent, creative and collaborative students who are interested in developing new ideas (1) to improve the environmental sustainability of mineral resource extraction, (2) that forward our understanding of how biology affects pore water chemistry and mineralogy in sedimentary environments, and (3) that provide insights into how the properties of minerals shape environmental change from tiny pores to the landscape scale.
Applicants should have an Honours bachelor’s degree (for the M.Sc.) or a master’s degree (for the Ph.D.) in Earth or environmental sciences, chemistry, materials science or a closely allied field. Previous laboratory or field research experience is advantageous. Successful applicants will have opportunities to conduct experiments in the laboratory, field and/or at synchrotron light sources as well as fieldwork in natural and/or mining environments in Canada and possibly abroad. Research students will have opportunities to work together on projects to build new expertise and to collaborate with postdoctoral subject experts on the team.
How to apply:
Applicants must meet the entry requirements for the relevant degree at the University of Alberta. To apply, please provide (1) a copy of your full CV, (2) a short cover letter describing your research experience and interests (this can be in the form of an email), (3) copies of university transcripts (unofficial ones are fine), and (4) the names of no less than 3 academic references. These should be sent to Sasha Wilson at email@example.com. Please address questions about research projects to the same email account.
Commitment to diversity:
The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.
Applications are now open for three postdoctoral research positions in the geochemistry/biogeochemistry of accelerated carbonation of ultramafic mine wastes. One position will be held at each of Trent University, the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia in Canada. All applications will be considered together and full details can be found here.
Review of applications will commence on 15 January 2018 and continue until the positions are filled. Applications and queries regarding the positions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
The lab is relocating to the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada for January 2018. We’ll have two nodes, one at the University of Alberta and one at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia for the first few months of 2018. By February or March 2018, all of our work will be done at our new base at the UofA.
Our focus has always been on the (bio)geochemistry of ore deposits, how ores and mineral wastes react at Earth’s surface, as well as drawing lessons from the geochemistry of natural analogue systems, particularly chemical sediments – from the bottoms of lakes to the cements that form on meteorites. The long term goal of our work is to use an Earth Systems approach to help embed environmental stewardship into every step of the mining life cycle, not just the end stage of remediation. Our name has changed a little with the move to better reflect our strengths in this area: we are now the Environmental Economic Geology Laboratory. In keeping with tradition, our acronym is still pronounced “eagle”.
Please feel free to contact us to learn more about this new chapter for our research.
Hot off the press: In a new study led by Alastair Tait, we have shown that environmental microorgansims from Australia’s arid Nullarbor Plain very commonly colonise stony meteorites that have fallen to Earth. Microbes take advantage of the composition and properties of minerals in meteorites to scavenge water, regulate pH, and derive nutrients and energy. They also leave behind a variety of biomarkers (geochemical records of their presence). Because stony meteorites are amongst the best studied rocks in our solar system, we might be able to use them as a sort of “standard” to detect biomarkers on Mars and beyond.
You can learn more about this work here: 10.1016/j.gca.2017.07.025.
New results from our lab show that the geochemistry and physical properties of a sterile rock control which microorganisms are able to colonise that rock. In a study led by Alastair Tait, we show that the structure of the microbial community in stony meteorites collected from Australia’s Nullarbor Plain is controlled by the substrate and will not reach homeostasis with the community in Nullarbor soils, even after ~35,000 years. This work shows that meteorites, which are sterile when they fall to Earth and other planets, can be used to test ideas relating to first colonisers.
Read more here (it’s open access): 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01227.
Recent results from our group show that portable X-ray diffraction can be used for accurate field-based accounting of carbon sequestration in minerals. This study, led by Connor Turvey, shows that crystallographic carbon accounting results can be comparably accurate using portable and laboratory-based X-ray diffractometers.
Find out more here: 10.2138/am-2017-5953.
Our lab has published new results that show the regrowth of arsenate–sulfate effloresences on the walls of processing plant buildings at an historical arsenic–tin mine in New South Wales. This result is interesting because it shows that simply removing the efflorescences will not remediate the processing site.
You can learn more here: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2017.01.015.
Check out our recent results on metal mobility during carbon mineralisation! This study was led by Jess Hamilton. It shows that potentially hazardous first row transition metals are immobilised within the crystal structures of carbonate minerals, and adsorbed to Fe-oxyhydroxides, under conditions relevant to carbon mineralisation in ultramafic landscapes and industrial reactors.
You can read more here: 10.1016/j.ijggc.2016.11.006.