Robust environmental fate prediction and risk assessment for agrochemicals plays a key role in assuring food security without polluting surface water resources. Climate change will affect many of the processes determining the fate of crop protection products. This project will investigate the climate-change sensitivity of various factors in environmental fate models to identify those factors with the greatest impact on water pollution risk assessment outcomes in a changing climate.
The project will start with a literature review and desk study to review existing knowledge on this topic. Enviresearch Ltd, an innovative risk assessment service provider, will assist with a scenario analysis using state-of-the-art models to simulate the environmental fate of crop protection products in a changing climate. This will lead to a data gap analysis identifying the greatest uncertainties. Depending on the outcomes, the student will then design laboratory experiments and/or field experiments at the University farms to close the most significant knowledge gaps. For example, this could mean measuring the influence of raising surface water DOC on the photochemical degradation of agrochemicals, or it could mean measuring the temperature dependency of sorption or biodegradation rates for agrochemicals with field experiments, or it could mean simulating the effect of more intense wet-dry weather cycles on the agrochemical mobility and biodegradation in soils, etc. With the help of the industrial partner, the student will be trained in chemical fate modelling and risk assessment, scenario analysis, and statistical methods. In addition, through the experimental and fieldwork, the student will be trained in experimental design and analytical methods such as coupled liquid or gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.
This project is part of the ONE Planet DTP. Find out more here: View Website