Project properties

Title The fate of the carcinogenic mineral erionite in New Zealand soils
Group Soil Chemistry and Chemical Soil Quality
Project type thesis
Credits 24-39
Supervisor(s) Walter Schenkeveld (WUR) and Melanie Kah (University of Auckland)
Examiner(s) Prof..dr. R. Comans
Contact info
Begin date 2024/04/01
End date
Description Interested in studying the occurrence and environmental fate of a carcinogenic mineral in New Zealand? This project involving laboratory work at the University of Auckland may be for you!

Background: Erionite is a naturally occurring mineral fiber with a needle-like morphology that is linked with malignant mesothelioma: a disease typically associated with exposure to asbestos. Erionite was recently found at different locations of the North and South Island of New Zealand. There is thus an urgent need to look at the occurrence and fate of erionite in soil, with the aim of assessing and managing the risk to human health.

Master project opportunity: you will conduct tests that will help understand what happens to erionite once it is in soil and how weathering processes may affect its chemistry and, thus, toxicity.

You: our ideal candidate has a strong interest in soil chemistry and/or geochemistry and/or the environmental fate of contaminants. You are keen to integrate a multidisciplinary team of researchers and students, and you are willing to travel to New Zealand for a few months to conduct experiments (flights covered by the project + possible stipend).

The research team and supervisors: This is a collaboration between the University of Wageningen and the University of Auckland (New Zealand) where a large multidisciplinary team works on the occurrence, fate and risk associated with erionite.
Used skills Literature review, laboratory experiments under strict safety regime, data interpretation, thesis writing
Requirements See SOC MSc thesis course guide