WEG 30 second news wrap

CHEM261-15B Students have muddy good time

CHEM261 Cave and Karst field trip - Tim Jones Plaisted (normally fair haired)
CHEM261 Cave and Karst field trip – Tim Jones Plaisted (normally fair haired)

It’s that time of year again when we take 2nd year students out for the Cave and Karst field trip. This is fast turning into something of a tradition involving some cave science and a lot of Waitomo mud!

Also seems to be a pretty good recruitment tool. And yes, we do actually do some chemistry along the way.

WEG researchers get go ahead for 5-year speleothem research project – QUEST

The European Commission (EC) love their acronyms and we have a new one to add: QUEST (QUantitative paleoEnvironments from SpeleoThems) is a 5-year EC and Royal Society of New Zealand funded project through the Research Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) scheme – told you they like their acronyms! We’re super stoked to be working with some top researchers in Europe on this interdisciplinary project to work on New Zealand speleothems (cave carbonates). Cheers to Sebastian Brietenbach at the University of Cambridge!

Super-duper-phosphate project rolls on

Nauru and Christmas Island Rock Phosphate samples courtesy of Balance
Adam’s Xmas present from Balanace – Nauru and Christmas Island Rock Phosphate samples for the Cd isotope project

I’m super excited by this project which is examining the accumulation of cadmium (Cd) from superphosphate fertilizer in NZ soils. I received a present in the mail this month from NZ fertilizer manufacturers Balance containing samples of rock phosphate from Nauru and Christmas Islands and 15 years of archived superphosphate samples from AgResearch. This is all contributing to our study which is developing an isotope end-member mixing model of soil cadmium in NZ. Ultimately we’ll seek to develop a tool to assess the changing accumulation of Cd in soils in order to understand what controls Cd accumulation and model how much Cd is present from fertilizer sources.

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