Heather Jamieson

Emerita Professor

Heather Jamieson

Contact Information

Office: Rm 304 Miller Hall 
Phone: 613.533.6181
Email: jamieson@queensu.ca

Mailing Address:
Department of Geological Sciences & Geological Engineering
Miller Hall, Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, Canada,
K7L 3N6

Emerita Professor in the School of Environmental Studies and the Department of Geological Sciences & Geological Engineering


I supervise Masters students in Environmental Studies, as well as MSc and PhD students in Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering. I also have co-supervised students in Civil and Mining Engineering. 

Completed MES Grad Students

Ryan Brunt
Paul Carey
Juliene McLaughlin
Amy Philip
Guy-Thierry Tenkouano
Zoey Walden

Research Interests

  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Environmental Impact of Metal Mining
  • Mineralogical Controls on Water Quality
  • Arsenic Mobility in Mine Waste
  • Metal Geochemistry in Northern Environments
  • Microanalysis of minerals including synchrotron-based tools

Current Research

The primary focus of my recent research has been the combination of microanalysis of metal-bearing minerals in mine waste, contaminated soils, sediments and dust with speciation analysis of co-existing waters to understand mineral-water interaction. One of our most important contributions has been to unambiguously identify secondary minerals at the microscopic scale. My students and I have done this by combining, near-simultaneously, 3 types of synchrotron experiment using a microfocused beam. The most novel of these is microdiffraction (microXRD). We have identified "environmental" minerals that form as poorly crystalline rims and cements that could not be identified by conventional XRD.

I have focused on pH-neutral mine waste environments, rather than the more commonly studied acid-generating tailings and waste rock. This has led to several major projects concerning arsenic and antimony, which are mobile at neutral pH and typically associated with gold mines. In recent years, I have focused on abandoned mine sites in Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories where As-bearing waste was deposited without any containment. There are more than 10,000 abandoned mines in Canada, many of them publicly accessible and near communities. 

Research projects will build on our experience in microanalysis by tackling metal-bearing colloids and windblown dust. Fieldwork remains central, with continued emphasis on the Canadian North.


ENSC 801 Methodological and Conceptual Basis for Environmental Studies 
ENSC 201 Environmental Toxicology and Chemical Risks
ENSC 407 Global Water Issues

GEOL 485/885 Environmental Aqueous Geochemistry
GEOL 365 Geochemical Characterization of Earth Processes
GEOL 835 Environmental Impact of Mining 
GEOL 841 Geochemistry of Mine Waste

Short Courses

Environmental Mineralogy, part of Environmental Geochemistry for Modern Mining, Society of Economic Geologists Short Course, Denver, CO, October 2010

Environment Mineralogy, part of GeoEnvironmental Ore Deposit Models, University of Ottawa, February 2010.

1.Jamieson, H.E., Walker, S.R., Andrade, C.F., Rasmussen, P. Beauchemin, S., Lanzirotti, A., Parsons, M.B., Wrye, L.A. Direct identification of metal compounds in contaminated soil, mine tailings, lake sediments and house dust using synchrotron-based microanalysis. Accepted by Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, September 2010.

2.Corriveau, M.C., Jamieson, H.E., Parsons, M.B., Hall, G.E.M. Mineralogical characterization of arsenic in gold mine tailings from three sites in Nova Scotia, Accepted by Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis, June 2010.

3.Drysdale, M., Jamieson, H.E., Ljung, K., Weinstein, P., Cook, A., Watkins, R. Evaluating the respiratory bioaccessibility of nickel in soil through the use of a simulated lung fluid.. Accepted by Environmental Geochemistry and Health, August 2010.

4.Corriveau, M.C., Jamieson, H.E., Parsons, M.B., Hall, G.E.M. Mineralogical characterization of arsenic in gold mine tailings from three sites in Nova Scotia, Accepted by Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis, June 2010.

5.Osborne, T.H., Jamieson, H.E., Hudson-Edwards, H.E., Nordstrom, D.K., Walker, S.R., Santini, J.M. 2010. Microbial oxidation of arsenite in a permafrost environment: diversity of arsenite oxidase genes and identification of a new psychrotolerant arsenite oxidiser. Accepted by BMC Microbiology, June 2010.

6.Fawcett, S.E., Jamieson, H.E. 2010. The Distinction between ore processing and post-depositional transformation on the speciation of As and Sb in mine waste and sediment Chemical Geology, Published online February 2010.

7.Lange, K., Rowe, R.K., Jamieson,H., Flemming,R., Lanzirotti, A. 2010. Characterization of geosynthetic clay liners using micro-analytical methods: Implications for metal mitigation. Applied Geochemisty. 25, 1056-1069.

8.Clyde, E.J., Champagne, P., Jamieson, H.E. 2010. The use of passive treatment alternatives for the mitigation of acidic drainage at the Williams Brothers Mine, California: Bench-Scale Study. Applied Geochemistry 25, 958-971.

9.Meunier, L., Walker, S.R., Koch, I., Wragg, J. Parsons, M.B., Jamieson, H.E., Reimer, K.J. 2010. Effects of Soil Composition and Mineralogy on the Bioaccessibility of Arsenic from Tailings and Soil in Gold Mine Districts of Nova Scotia. Environmental Science Technology 44, 2667-2674.

10.Andrade, C.F., Jamieson, H.E., Praharaj, T., Fortin, D., Kyser, T.K. 2010. Biogeochemical cycling of arsenic in mine-impacted sediments and co-existing pore waters. Applied Geochemistry 25, 199-211.

11.Akabzaa, T.M., Jamieson, H.E, Jorgenson, N., Nyame, K. 2009 The Combined Impact of Mine Drainage in the Ankobra River Basin, SW Ghana. Mine Water Environment 28, 50-64.

12. Fawcett, S.E., Gordon, R., Jamieson, H.E. 2009. Optimizing experimental design, overcoming challenges and gaining valuable information from the Sb K-edge XANES region. American Mineralogist 94, 1377-1387.

13.Walker, S.R., Parsons, M.B., Jamieson, H.E., Lanzirotti, A. 2009. Arsenic mineralogy of near-surface tailings and soils: Influence on arsenic behaviour and bioaccessibility in the Nova Scotia gold mining districts. Canadian Mineralogist. 47: 533-556

14.Sidenko, N.V., Cooper, M.A., Sherriff, B.L., Jamieson, H.E. 2009. Formation and Stability of (Na,K)2Zn3[Fe(CN)6]2nH2O in Gold Heap Leach Mine Waste. Canadian Mineralogist 43, 1157-1170.

15.Lange, K., Rowe, R.K., Jamieson, H.E. 2008. Diffusion of Metals in Geosynthetic Clay Liners. Geosynthetics International 16, 11-27.

16.Lange, K,. Rowe, R.K., Jamieson, H.E. 2007. Metal Retention in Geosynthetic Clay Liners Following Permeation by Different Mining Solutions. Geosynthetics International 14, 178-187 (Honourable Mention for Best Paper of 2007).

17.Laird, B.D., Van De Wiele, T., Corriveau, M., Jamieson, H., Siciliano., S.D. 2007 Gastrointestinal microbes increase arsenic bioaccessibility of ingested mine tailings using the Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME). Environmental Science and Technology 41, 5542-5547.

18. Rollo, H.A., Jamieson, H.E. 2006. Interaction of Diamond Mine Waste and Surface Water in the Canadian Arctic. Applied Geochemistry 21, 1522-1539.

19.Walker, S.W., Jamieson, H.E., Lanzirotti, A., Andrade, C.F. 2005 Determining arsenic speciation in iron oxides derived from a gold-roasting operation: Application of synchrotron micro-XRD and micro-XANES at the grain scale. Canadian Mineralogist 43, 1205-1224

20.Jamieson, H.E., Robinson, C., Alpers, C.N., Nordstrom, D.K, Poustovetov, A., 2005. The composition of co-existing jarosite-group minerals and water from the Richmond Mine, Iron Mountain, California Canadian Mineralogist 43, 1225-1242

21.Sidenko, N.V., Sherriff, B.L., Jamieson, H.E., Shaw, S.C. 2005 Aluminum behavior in heap-leach piles at the Landusky gold mine, Little Rocky Mountains, Montana,USA. Canadian Mineralogist 43, 1157-1170.

22. Jamieson, H.E., Robinson, C., Alpers, C.N., McCleskey, R.B. Nordstrom, D.K., Peterson, R.C. 2005. Major and trace element composition of copiapite-group minerals and coexisting water from the Richmond mine, Iron Mountain, California. Chemical Geology 215, 387-405.

23.Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Jamieson, H.E., Charnock, J.M., Macklin, M.G. 2005. Arsenic speciation in waters and sediment of ephemeral floodplain pools, Ríos Agrio-Guadiamar, Aznalcóllar, Spain. Chemical Geology 219, 175-192.