Area of Study / Keywords
economic geology geobiology geochemistry mineralogy sedimentology
I am a biogeochemist whose work focuses on environmental aspects of economic geology and on naturally occurring chemical sediments.
2022– Professor and Canada Research Chair in Biogeochemistry of Sustainable Mineral Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
2018– 2022 Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Biogeochemistry of Sustainable Mineral Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
2016–2017 Senior Lecturer (=Associate Professor), Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia
2015–2017 Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellow, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia
2011–2015 Lecturer (=Assistant Professor), Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia
2010–2011 NASA Astrobiology Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, U.S.A.
My research team and I use mineral behaviour (with a focus on crystal chemistry, isotope geochemistry and mineral–fluid–microbe interactions) to understand and manage environmental change in engineered and natural landscapes.
We are working to understand and tailor cycling of volatile nutrients, metals and metalloids in natural landscapes, ore processing circuits and mineral wastes. This allows us to develop new science for recovery of valuable metal resources from mineral wastes, mitigation of metal and metalloid mobility in mining environments, and mineral carbonation (CO2 sequestration) using waste materials. Our applied studies in mining environments are complemented by fundamental research including mineral behaviour experiments and field-based studies in natural sedimentary systems, particularly saline lakes and fast weathering, sterile rocks such as meteorites. We have been using meteorites to study first colonization of sterile mafic–ultramafic rocks by environmental microorganisms.
Our technical strengths are in applied and environmental mineralogy (including clay mineralogy), quantitative X-ray analytical techniques, aqueous and sediment geochemistry, and stable isotope geochemistry. Our research employs field sampling and laboratory analyses as well as experiments in the field, laboratory and at synchrotron light sources.
You can learn more about our work and the research team here.
I currently teach in the Environmental Earth Sciences and Geology programs at the University of Alberta. I teach EAS 224, which gives an introduction to minerals and their essential role in the formation and biogeochemical evolution of planets. I co-teach EAS 354 in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, which provides advanced training in environmental monitoring, sampling and mapping within the fields of quaternary geology, environmental geochemistry and geobiology.
Fall 2021: EAS 224 Mineralogy I
Summer 2021: EAS 354 Environmental Earth Science Field School
2014 Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (Higher Education)