Geological Science and Engineering

Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering
Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

Bas Vriens

Office Miller Hall 219
Phone 613-533-6185




I am an environmental engineer and earth system scientist by training and interested in the sources, behavior and environmental footprints of large-scale waste streams. The main goal of my research is to quantify the environmental impacts of anthropogenic pollutants by studying their occurrence and transport and transformation processes in natural and industrial context. I use an interdisciplinary combination of concepts from environmental (bio)geochemistry, hydrology, analytical chemistry, civil and environmental engineering, et cetera. 

Supervising Information

I am actively recruiting students to join the newly established Geo-Environmental Engineering group at Queen's and all interested students are encouraged to contact me directly.

Please note that my research group is currently full and I am no longer accepting students for 2021-2022.

Current group members:

  • Jacob Pinter [MSc]
  • Colton Bentley [MSc]
  • Jaabir Ali [MSc], co-supervised by Dr. Leybourne
  • Matias Silva [Msc]
  • Tassiane Junqueira [PhD] , co-supervised by Dr. Leybourne
  • Nima Saberi [PhD]
  • Dr. Thamali Kariyawasam [postdoc]
  • Dr. Adriana Guatame-Garcia [postdoc]

Former group members:

  • Bailey Jones
  • Rachel McLaughlin
  • Guangshu Jiang [MSc]

Research Interests/Current Research

My current research centers around metal contaminants. One project focuses on metal mobilization from mine wastes: the control and mitigation of mine waste (waste rock, tailings and wastewater) is a major environmental concern for mines in Canada and around the world. We work on projects aimed at preventing metal mobilization as well as recovery of valuable metals. We study the controls of biogeochemical reactions and mass transport limitations on mine effluent quality, upscaling phenomena in predictive models, and also address specific industry-driven engineering questions from mining partners in Canada and Peru.

A second project concerns emerging trace metal contaminants in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence drainage basin. In light of Canada’s recent efforts in improving the management of waste water effluent and biosolids, we collaborate with industry and government partners and examine discharges of major metals and emerging trace metals via wastewater. We conduct large-scale screenings of wastewater discharges and metal concentrations in municipal and industrial treatment plants and use geospatial statistics to establish regional budgets and identify societal sources.

Research projects for interested students can be tailored and range from analytical method development for (ultra) trace-level metal analyses, geospatial statistical modeling and environmental impact assessments to laboratory studies into attenuation and elimination mechanisms or recovery options for valuable metals.

Professional Associations

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • European Association of Geochemistry (EAG)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)