Source and Fate of Micropollutants
To understand contaminant formation, transport and fate processes, and to quantify how these influence human and wildlife exposure and associated risks across different spatial, climatic and temporal scales.
- To inform anthropogenic contaminant management strategies that protect the environment and human health, using strategic and applied research.
- To improve predictions on contaminant behaviour and risks, founded on innovative field and laboratory studies, state-of-the-art analytical and modelling approaches.
- To investigate impacts of chemical stressors on wildlife populations within a multidisciplinary framework.
- To advance qualitative and quantitative understanding of how source release pathways, co-contaminants, and environmental factors impact the distribution and fate of chemicals, with focus on tropical agricultural regions, marine and groundwater resources.
- To develop suitable approaches for evaluating wildlife exposure and sensitivity to organic and inorganic contaminants.
- To quantify the contribution of environmental transformation/formation processes to global POP releases.
- To expand our capabilities in state-of-the-art modelling techniques regarding chemical fate, processes and risks.
- To enhance our analytical capabilities for non-target and emerging contaminants in low contaminated and complex matrices.
Some recent highlights
The Rivers to Reef to Turtles Project …
For more information and project updates visit: WWF
To view the latest internet sensation - an endangered green turtle swimming on the Great Barrier Reef Turtle Cam. Filmed via a Go Pro camera attached to her back by suction cup.
ARC Discovery grant on “Unintentional surfactant facilitated solubilisation and transport of apparently immobile chemicals” (2012-2014)
This research investigates poorly understood mechanisms by which apparently immobile contaminants can migrate through soil to groundwater (Figure 1). Such transport can be facilitated by surfactants, which find widespread application in industrial, urban and agricultural products. Surfactants can fundamentally change the behaviour of chemicals, allowing the least mobile to rapidly reach groundwater. Field evidence indicates that surfactant facilitated transport may occur across a variety of land-use areas, posing risks for human and environmental exposure. In collaboration with Dr Michael Finkel at the University of Tübingen and Prof Beate Escher at Entox, The University of Queensland, we propose an integrated experimental and modelling approach to understand, quantify and predict the extent of this phenomenon relevant to conditions under which surfactants are commonly released.
ARC International Collaboration Award with Dr Michael Finkel, University of Tübingen (2012)
Michael is the developer of the mathematical model SMART for simulating the coupled transport of organic contaminants and surfactants. SMART (Streamtube Model for Advective and Reactive Transport) is a multicomponent transport model that builds on a Lagrangian method and allows separate treatment of conservative transport and reactive processes. It accounts for the hydraulic as well as physico-chemical heterogeneity of porous media. This ICA facilitates collaboration with Michael to develop and validate a mechanistic model that describes surfactant facilitated transport of superhydrophobic organic compounds. For more information on Michael’s research, visit http://www.d-site.uni-tuebingen.de/pages/dsite.htm