About the Project
Although PTE-mixture toxicity has received increasing attention, most interactions are reported for aquatic environments. The PTE interactions might lead to synergism (i.e. enhanced toxicity of mixture) or result in antagonism (i.e. reduced toxicity of mixture). However, the PTE effects on biota are controlled not just by the PTE mixture composition, but also by the characteristics of receiving environment. This poses a formidable challenge for terrestrial risk assessment as soil properties vary. As a result, the soil-based PTE mixture toxicity data are limited and the joint effects of PTEs in Scottish soils remain largely unknown.
This study will evaluate the effect of binary and ternary PTE mixtures on soil biota. A particular attention will be paid to the factors controlling sorption of PTE mixtures in soils, their partitioning into soil solution and subsequent detrimental effects on soil microorganisms and crops. The environmental fate of PTE mixtures will be assessed by distribution coefficients, which reflect the net effect of various reactions occurring at the soil solid-solution interface. The biological effects will be addressed by a suite of biological tools and quantified by ecotoxicity values and bioconcentration factors.
The research will be carried out at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, and led by Dr Lenka Mbadugha. The project co-supervisors are Dr Paul Williams (Queen’s University Belfast) and Dr Gareth Norton (University of Aberdeen).
The suitable candidate should have a solid background in environmental sciences. The project will heavily engage with the disciplines of environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology. Consequently, demonstrable research experience in these disciplines is highly desired. The successful candidate will gain advanced analytical skills to assess PTE contamination in soils. Analytical skills will be complemented by a hands-on training in ecotoxicology. The School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, has a solid track record of bioassay development and optimisation, and hosts analytical facilities, which complement a wide range of environmental research. Benefitting from the strong training programme in QUADRAT, career opportunities on completion of the PhD span from further research and academic career to advanced environmental modelling in government organisations or consultancy firms.
More project details are available here: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/projects/quantitative-environmental-risk-assessment-of-binary-and-ternary-heavy-metal-mixtures-in-agricultural-soils/
How to apply: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/how-to-apply/
Before applying please check full funding and eligibility information: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/funding-and-eligibility/
Maderova, L., Paton, G.I., 2013. Deployment of microbial sensors to assess zinc bioavailability and toxicity in soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 66, 222-228.
Nkoa, R., 2014. Agricultural benefits and environmental risks of soil fertilizations with anaerobic digestates: a review. Agronomy and Sustainable Development 34, 473-492.
Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.
Based on your current search criteria we thought you might be interested in these.
ESRC Wales DTP Collaborative studentship in Business and Management - Development and testing of the PAtient SafeTy risk Assessment (PASTA) tool to maximise learning from patient safety incidents in healthcare organisations