Postgraduate research opportunities

Investigation of the interactions between microplastics and potentially toxic elements in terrestrial environments

This PhD project will investigate the chemical interactions between microplastics, soil/sediment, and potentially toxic elements (PTE) through laboratory and field experiments. It will involve aspects of analytical, physical and environmental chemistry.

Number of places

1

Opens

29 March 2021

Duration

A minimum of 36 months

Eligibility

Candidates should hold or expect to hold a first or upper second class (Bachelors or Masters) degree in a relevant discipline (chemistry, environmental chemistry or related areas).

Project Details

Pollution of the marine environment with plastic debris is recognized as an issue of global concern, and there is growing evidence that terrestrial systems are also contaminated. Recent research has detected the presence of microplastics in freshwaters, soil and even air. This PhD project will investigate the chemical interactions between microplastics, soil/sediment, and potentially toxic elements (PTE) through laboratory and field experiments. It will involve an analytical chemistry method development component (since there are as yet no internationally agreed protocols to sample microplastic particles from soil); weathering studies to assess the effects of the soil environment on microplastic chemistry and morphology; sorption/desorption studies to investigate PTE uptake and release by microplastics; and field studies in which soil samples will be collected for analysis from areas likely to be impacted by different types and sources of microplastic pollution.

The student will join an international team of environmental/analytical chemists. They will become an expert in the chemistry of microplastics and skilled in environmental chemical analysis. They will receive world-class training as an independent professional researcher through participation in Strathclyde’s extensive Researcher Development Programme.

Funding Details

The student will require to self-fund or hold a scholarship e.g. from an international body

Contact us

c.m.davidson@strath.ac.uk

j.j.liggat@strath.ac.uk