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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.
I am looking for one MSc student to join the Geo-Environmental Engineering group at Queen's in 2023. Students with an interest in surface water quality, watershed modeling and field work are encouraged to contact me directly.
Current group members:
- Nathan Beckner-Stetson [MSc]
- Jaabir Ali [PhD], 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:
- Jacob Pinter [MSc]
- Colton Bentley [MSc]
- 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 understanding of emerging contaminants and management of wastewater effluent and biosolids, we collaborate with industry and government partners and examine baseline occurrence patterns of trace element solutes in the Great Lakes and its tributaries, and study discharges of major metals and emerging trace elements via wastewater. We conduct large-scale screenings of surface water concentrations, wastewater discharges and metal loads 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.
- American Geophysical Union (AGU)
- European Association of Geochemistry (EAG)
- American Chemical Society (ACS)
- Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO)