Daniel Alessi

Associate Professor & Encana Chair, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin

Contact

Associate Professor & Encana Chair, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin
Email
alessi@ualberta.ca
Phone
(780) 492-8019
Address
3-021 Centennial Ctr For Interdisciplinary SCS II
11335 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5

Overview

About

Since arriving at the University of Alberta in 2013 as the inaugural Encana Chair in Water Resources, I have established a research group that studies the water cycle in unconventional energy recovery and environmental geochemistry. With collaborators on campus, much of my group's current focus is on water practices in hydraulic fracturing, including (1) evaluating the chemistry of flowback and produced waters and its links to toxicity, (2) assessing the sources of microbial biofouling and biocorrosion in fluids associated with hydraulic fracturing, (3) the extraction of lithium from oilfield brines, and (4) modelling the transport and fate of fracturing chemicals in geologic media. The primary goals of the research are to develop new tools to characterize fluids in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle, inform risk management plans for wastewater handling and transportation, and produce leading science that will support reduced water use and improved costs for hydraulic fracturing operations.

Basic research in the Alessi laboratory investigates the surface chemistry of materials including biochar, microbes, minerals and sediments. A primary thrust is to develop surface complexation models, grounded in thermodynamic theory, that are able to predict the adsorption of metals from solution to the surfaces of these materials across a wide range of water chemistries. Secondly, we investigate the reductive immobilization of heavy metals including chromium and uranium, by biochar, Fe(II)-bearing minerals, metal-reducing bacteria, and in nature. Reductive immobilization is a promising remediation strategy for the removal of certain redox-active metals from groundwater, and we are particularly interested in identifying and understanding the long-term stability of immobilized and precipitated solids that form following metal reduction.


Education

Ph.D., Geochemistry, University of Notre Dame, 2009

M.Sc., Hydrogeology, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, 2006

B.Sc., Geology, University of Wisconsin - Parkside, 2000



Research

Current research areas include:

- Low-temperature geochemistry

- Water resources

- Environmental geomicrobiology

Courses

EAS 100 - Planet Earth

Introduction to the origin and evolution of the Earth and the solar system. Introduction to plate tectonics and the rock cycle. Simple energy balances and interactions between radiation and the atmosphere, land, oceans, ice masses, and the global hydrological cycle. Evolution of life, biogeography, and global climate in the context of geologic time. The carbon cycle. Human interaction with the Earth. Mineral and energy resources. Not available to students with credit in EAS 101, 102 or 201 or SCI 100 (Note: Students with credit in EAS 201 may take EAS 200.). [Faculty of Science]

Fall Term 2020
EAS 201 - Earth Science I

A non-laboratory introduction to the origin and evolution of the Earth and the solar system. Introduction to plate tectonics and the rock cycle. Simple energy balances and interactions between radiation and the atmosphere, land, oceans, ice masses, and the global hydrological cycle. Evolution of life, biogeography, and global climate in the context of geologic time. The carbon cycle. Human interactions with the Earth. Mineral and energy resources. Not available to students with credit in EAS 100, 101, 102, 210 or SCI 100. (Note: EAS 201 and EAS 200 are considered to be equivalent to EAS 100 for prerequisite purposes). [Faculty of Science]

Fall Term 2020
EAS 425 - Contaminant Hydrogeology

An introduction to the principles of groundwater chemistry, the chemical evolution of natural groundwater flow systems, sources of contamination, and mass transport processes. Hydrogeologic aspects of waste disposal and groundwater remediation. Prerequisite: EAS 323. [Faculty of Science]

Fall Term 2020
EAS 468 - Geochemical Processes

Application of geochemistry to Earth materials and geological settings. Topics vary: see www.eas.ualberta.ca/eas468 for details. May be taken more than once for credit provided no topic is repeated. Topics include: (1) Geochemistry of Ore Deposits; (2) Environmental Geochemistry (Not available to students with credit in EAS 420). Prerequisite: EAS 320 or consent of instructor. [Faculty of Science]

Winter Term 2021
EAS 568 - Advanced Geochemical Processes

Application of geochemistry to Earth materials and geological settings. Topics vary: see www.eas.ualberta.ca/eas568 for details. May be taken more than once for credit provided no topic in EAS 468 or 568 is repeated. Topics include: (1) Geochemistry of Ore Deposits (Not available to students with credit in EAS 434); (2) Environmental Geochemistry. Classes concurrent with EAS 468. [Faculty of Science]

Winter Term 2021
EAS 583 - Advanced Contaminant Hydrogeology

An introduction to principles of groundwater chemistry, the chemical evolution of natural groundwater flow systems, sources of contamination, and mass transport processes. Hydrogeologic aspects of waste disposal and groundwater remediation. Research project. Classes concurrent with EAS 425. Not available to students with credit in EAS 425. [Faculty of Science]

Fall Term 2020