Dr. Nelson O’Driscoll’s research group was awarded an NSERC RTI grant (~$61,000) for the purchase of a new ultra-high purity water system for trace-level analyses in the Mercury Lab at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre. The requested instrumentation will provide improved accuracy and detection limits that are much lower than currently available. This will allow for the examination of new research areas previously not possible due to background levels of some ions in water. Students will benefit from this state-of-the-art equipment for future thesis work. Current projects in the mercury lab include: (i) examining mercury retention in remediated wetlands; (ii) the photochemistry of mercury speciation in water, snow, soils, and vegetation; (iii) the identification of mercury temporal and spatial distribution patterns in air using lichens and trees as passive samplers; and (iv) factors affecting the accumulation of mercury in biota at mercury sensitive sites.

Dr. Nelson O’Driscoll is a past Canada Research Chair in Environmental Biogeochemistry & Professor in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Acadia University. He is director of the Environmental Biogeochemistry Lab, part of the Center for Analytical Research on the Environment (CARE) in the Irving Centre.