PhD: Geochemical controls on the dermal absorption of organic soil contaminants
Location: I am hosted at the British Geological Survey in Keyworth and enrolled at the University of Nottingham
I completed my Master’s in Chemistry (MChem) at the University of Warwick, during which my master’s project focused on the synthesis and characterisation of renewable polymers from modified oleic acid monomers. In doing so, I used techniques including 1H and 13C NMR, MS, FTiR, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry and gel permeation chromatography. After graduating I spent a few years in industry working as the lead Quality Assurance Technician for a Home Fragrance company. My roles included developing and testing products, creating SDSs and CLP for products, as well as helping the company create a production line onsite. I however love nature and being outside, and have always wanted to help the environment, hence my change to environmental sciences and geochemistry.
The aim of my PhD research project is to optimize the measurement of the human dermal bioavailability of certain organic soil containments present in former brownfield gasworks sites. This will be accomplish by using in vitro laboratory-based extractions and analyses, followed by creating predictive numerical modelling techniques to demonstrate the geochemical controls that release the hazardous compounds from the soil. There are current methods existing for pure chemical compounds, but not for the use of real-world contaminated soil which we want to establish to create a realistic model. To achieve the objective of this project I will be working with Dr Chris Vane and Dr Darren Beriro at the British Geological Survey, Dr Matthew Jones at the University of Nottingham, Dr. Paul Nathanail at LQM and Prof. Russell Thomas at WSP as my CASE partner (funded by National Grid.