Biographical Sketch: I completed my B.Sc. (Agr.) at the University of Guelph (Soil Science and Chemistry) in 1981, and my Ph.D. at the University of Western Ontario (Geochemistry) in 1986. After postdoctoral research at the University of California, Riverside (1987) and at the University of Western Ontario (1988-1989), I joined the Geological Institute at the University of Berne, Switzerland, as Oberassistent. I completed my Habilitation (Geochemistry) at the University of Berne in 1995. In October of 2000, I joined the University of Heidelberg as Professor, becoming Director of the Institute of Environmental Geochemistry.
Since October 2011, I hold the position of Bocock Chair in Agriculture and Environment at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, in the Department of Renewable Resources. I am also a participant in the Land Reclamation International Graduate School (LRIGS) program sponsored by NSERC CREATE.
Major Responsibilities / Research Interests:
Geochemistry of the Soil Environment: Cycling of trace metals (Pb, Sb, As, Cd, Ag, Tl and Hg) at the interface between lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere; fractionation of elements during chemical weathering; soils as a source of trace metals to the atmosphere; soils as sources and sinks for trace metals to and from natural waters
Archives of Environmental Change: Reconstructing natural and anthropogenic sources of trace metals to the atmosphere using sphagnum moss, peat bogs and polar ice; variations with climate change during the Holocene
Isotope Geochemistry: Application of radiogenic isotopes (Pb, Sr) for studying chemical weathering, evolution of natural waters, and tracing natural and anthropogenic aerosols; fallout radionuclides (137Cs, 210Pb, 241Am) for dating of peat cores from bogs
Analytical Geochemistry: Environmental applications of ICP sector-field mass spectrometry (ICP-SMS)
Sedimentary Geochemistry: pH and redox chemistry of soil solutions and sediment pore waters; understanding natural enrichments of trace elements (As, Cu, Hg, Mo, Ni, Se, U, V) in wetlands
Agriculture and the Environment: Application of the fundamental research topics listed above to understand the impacts of agricultural systems on the environment, and the effects of environmental change on agriculture, at local, regional, and global scales
Global soil and water resources and their current rates of degradation. The main processes of degradation (erosion, loss of organic matter, salinization, pollution) and their causes. Consequences of degradation and conservation of resources through improved land use practices. Prerequisite: REN R 210.Winter Term 2022
Directed study in the multiple aspects of renewable resources. Open to fourth year or graduate students upon consent of instructor.Winter Term 2022
Global soil and water resources and their current rates of degradation. The main processes of degradation (erosion, loss of organic matter, salinization, pollution) and their causes. Consequences of degradation and conservation of resources through improved land use practices. Not to be taken if credit received for REN R 360.Winter Term 2022