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Mineral controls on the degradation and preservation of organic compounds in oxygen-depleted conditions

Project Description

Emerging organic pollutants constitute some of today’s most pertinent challenges, because of their persistence and accumulation in the environment. This project will address the degradation reactions exerted by green rust, a ubiquitous reactive mineral found in the environment, on a range of organic compounds. This will provide fundamental knowledge about green rust efficiency to remove contaminants, with direct implications for remediation strategies. Furthermore, green rusts have been recognised as major mineral species controlling the chemistry of ancient anoxic oceans. Organic transformations at green rust surfaces will therefore inform on the preservation of ‘biomarkers’, key molecular fossils which are used to reconstruct the coevolution of life and the environment in the deep past.

The student will undertake a highly topical project, with substantial implications for both modern environmental challenges and the early evolution of life, receiving high level training in a range of experimental, analytical and modelling techniques.

Ben Herbert (Stopford Energy and Environment) will be an additional Supervisor on this project.

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold a UK Honours degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in the fields of Environmental Science, Earth Science or Natural Sciences. We seek applicants with an interest/background in Biogeochemistry, Geobiology and/or Earth System Science, and willing to do experimental work.

Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and stipend (£15,009 2019/20 [tax free])) for UK/EU students for 3.5 years. Unfortunately funding is not available for International (non EU) students.

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