Environmental Biogeochemistry Lab

Part of C.A.R.E.

K.C. Irving Center, Acadia University

Quantifying environmental processes that control the fate of mercury and other toxic chemicals in ecosystems

Dr. O'Driscoll New Students Current Team Research Lab Pricing Lab News & Pics



If you want to join our research team please read all the following.

Note NSERC scholarship deadline: Mid-November (applications should be started 1-2 months in advance)

 What will you learn in my lab?

Students in my lab learn field and lab techniques for the analysis of (i) mercury speciation, (ii) dissolved organic matter function and structure, (iii) solar radiation quality and attenuation, and  (iv) meteorological variables. These techniques and others are applied to a variety of ecosystems to better quantify environmental processes that control the fate and distribution of mercury and other contaminants. All students will learn lab safety, quality control, hypothesis formation and the scientific method. Your own interests will influence the direction your project takes, and this will expose you to important aspects of project management and self-directed education. Many projects will be multidisciplinary in nature so you will develop familiarity with a range of disciplines and collaborations. It is expected that all research will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. This is a great opportunity to develop writing and editing skills as well as effective communication of results.

 What opportunities will this provide?

Mercury contamination in the environment is a global issue. My research program has projects in Canada and collaborations internationally. Both field and lab work will be a part of most projects. You will be expected to present your work at conferences (both local and international). As such, you will build a network of contacts and opportunities for future employment. You will receive a strong foundation in biogeochemistry research which will  lead to opportunities for further research (e.g. PhD, post-doctoral research, career in government or academia), or work in an applied field such as policy development or regulation (e.g. government), risk assessment (e.g. government or private industry), or advocacy (e.g. work with NGOs). My students have a strong record of finding positions upon completion (see Current Team link above)

 How will your studies and research be funded?

I encourage all students to apply for postgraduate scholarships from NSERC. However funding is also available from my research grants combined with teaching assistantships provided by Acadia University. I guarantee my students a stipend at least as much as curreent NSERC scholarship standards (approx. $17,500 / year for program duration) and more if external scholarships are obtained.  Currently I also have funding for several positions available through our NSERC CREATE graduate program. Ultimately you are responsible for your own finances so make sure you have calculated all the costs (tuition, living expenses) and are aware of the available funding.

I am available to help with NSERC proposal writing and editing, and this process should be started well in advance of NSERC deadlines. Please see the NSERC site (Click here for NSERC website info)  and the Acadia Graduate Sites (Click here for Acadia Graduate Studies website) (Click here for Admissions site) for details and eligibility.

How do you apply?

The first step is to read the project descriptions and other information on this website. Then contact me by e-mail with your CV,  your academic record (scans of transcripts), and a brief statement of your areas of research interest. If you meet the eligibility requirements and decide to proceed, the next step is to meet in person and discuss your research interests and potential projects. After this point if I decide to take you as a student and if you are interested in working in my lab you will begin to develop a proposal for your research. You may also begin the NSERC application process (Click here for NSERC website info). You will need to apply to Acadia University before February 1st in order to be considered for teaching assistantships for the following September (Click here for Acadia Graduate Studies website).



This site was last updated 09/21/12