Current PhD Students

Amnah Al Zbedy

Research into fluorinated compounds using ICP-MS/MS

Ali Alzahrani

Ali joined TESLA in 2019, He graduated from Umm-Alqura University, Saudi Arabia with BSc in Chemistry. His MSc in Analytical Chemistry 2014 from Laurentian University, Canada. Ali worked as Quality Assurance Manager 2016-2018 at the Forth milling Company, Saudi Arabia. He works now as Lecturer at Al-Baha university. Ali is a 1st year PhD student and funded by Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. His project is supervised by Professor Jörg Feldmann.

Iodine is one of the essential elements required for a healthy human body. Iodine Deficiency (ID) is a worldwide problem causing goitre, cretinism and many other diseases. Urinary iodine (UI) is used to assess short-term change of iodine level in Human body. Our goal is to develop a method to determine iodine level in hair using LA-ICP-MS. The suggested method has many advantages over UI starting from storage, transportation and sampling.

contact Ali

Ahmed Alanazi

Ahmed joined University of Aberdeen in 2018, He graduated from Al-joiuf University with BSc Chemistry and after that he got his MSc in Analytical Chemistry in 2017. Ahmed worked in Saudi Arabia in analysis of wells water in 2012. Ahmed is a 1st year PhD student and funded by Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. His project is supervised by Professor Jörg Feldmann and Eva Krupp.

Project

Ahmed’s research project is titled ‘measuring nanoparticles metals in biological, environmental and microbiological samples. As nanoparticles science becomes more popular around the world due to of huge domain of uses. The most recent searches is taken seriously the possible related of nanoparticles with cancer. The other area for nanoparticles’ researches is the wide using of them in water treatments. Thus, the techniques which allowed to detect and measure nanoparticles are become very important nowadays. Asymmetric flow field flow fractionation couples with ICP-MS becomes more popular around the world because it has high efficiency on separation samples depends on size. The coupling of flow field-flow fractionation (AF4) with UV, multi-angle light scattering (MALS) and ICP-MS provides highly sensitive and element specific detection of these nanoparticles. The single particle mode ICP-MS (sp-ICP-MS) also been used to provide accurate distribution of nanoparticle size and volume distribution.

 

Abdullah Abkar Akhdhar

Abdullah joined TESLA in 2017, He graduated from King Abdulaziz University with BSc Chemistry. His MSc in Analytical Chemistry 2015. I am a 1st year PhD student and funded by Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Abdullah is a member of Royal Society of Chemistry and Member of Hand-By-Hand Volunteer Organization. Abdullah attended ASC 2015 and ARF17 conferences. His PhD project is being carried out under the supervision of Prof. Jörg Feldmann and Dr. Eva Krupp.

Project

Since high amounts of fluoride is toxic and Humans are exposed to fluoride through food and drinking water. We are investigating organofluorine compounds in environmental under the research title determination of total fluorine of organofluorine compounds using high resolution continuum source atomic absorption which has a flame and transversely heated graphite tube atomizer. The spectrometer consist of a special high-pressure 300 W xenon short arc lamp operating in a hot-spot as a continuum source providing a wavelength range from 190 to 900 nm.

Angstone Thembachako Mlangeni

Angstone Mlangeni joined the University of Aberdeen in October 2015 after serving as a lecturer in basics sciences (2008-2011), programme leader for basics studies (2011-2013) and head of natural resources department (2013-2015) at NRC campus, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi.

Angstone graduated from the University of Malawi with a MSc in Environmental Sciences (MSc thesis in soil enrichment) and a Bachelor of Education (Sciences) (B.Ed.) majoring in chemistry in 2000. His education included a 3-months teaching practice at Bambino High school.

He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Instructional Technology from Mzuzu University, Malawi. Angstone’s studies at TESLA are funded by the UK government through the Commonwealth Scholarship commission.

Research

Angstone is investigating levels of arsenic and other trace element in rice using mass spectrometry methods”. Of special interest are the interactions between zero valent iron (Fe°), rice cultivar and irrigation regime and their influence on As and Cd uptake in order to identify rice cultivars and Fe°/irrigation regimes that reduce uptake of As and Cd in rice grain.

Another area of research is the validation of the field performance of a field deployable method (FDM) for screening rice on-site. The result achieved in the field (usually directly on the producing farm) are compared with results achieved by laboratory based reference methods (i.e. HPLC-ICP-MS).

 The project is supervised by Professor Jörg Feldmann, Eva Krupp and Dr Gareth Norton.

Camilla Faidutti

Camilla joined TESLA in 2017 as a third-year undergraduate student for a summer project on arsenic quantification in Laminaria digitata samples. She graduated from the University of Aberdeen with BSc (Hons) Chemistry in 2018, and she started her PhD in October 2018.

Project

Camilla is working together with Louise Hair, on a project which is part of the BRAVE (Bangladesh Risk of Acute Vascular Events) programme, funded by the University of Cambridge. The BRAVE study is a large-scale case-control study aimed at investigating the effects of environmental, genetic, lifestyle and biochemical factors on coronary heart disease in Bangladesh. The PhD project involves the analysis of toenails, as biomarkers of toxic element exposure, in order to investigate the association between toxic metals and cardiovascular disease. ICP-MS and HPLC-ICP-MS are used for total element concentrations and arsenic speciation, respectively.

 

Daniel Ruhland

I joined TESLA in December 2015 after graduating from the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse (a French chemical engineering school). My education included a 6-month end-of studies internship at the global headquarters of Bayer CropScience (Monheim, Germany), where I developed an HPLC method to analyse standards for crop protection products.

Project

As conventional petroleum sources are increasingly difficult to exploit, non-conventional sources such as heavy crude oils and gas condensates are becoming viable options for the petroleum industry. However, these more difficult materials may contain significant amounts of mercury ; even tiny amounts can have serious consequences, including equipment corrosion, catalyst poisoning and particulate emissions.

These concerns have led to the development of mercury removal units as well as analytical methods for the determination of total mercury; however, the behaviour of mercury strongly depends on its speciation, which is still debated right now regarding gas condensates.

This project is the result of a partnership between the University of Aberdeen and the multinational specialty chemicals and sustainable technologies company Johnson Matthey; its aim is to investigate the mercury speciation in gas condensate samples.

The project involves various analytical methods and instruments such as gas chromatography, ICP-MS, or field-flow fractionation.

Dennis Tuyogon

Dennis graduated from Ghent University (Belgium) sponsored by the Belgian government scholarship and De La Salle University (Philippines) sponsored by the Philippine Department of Science and Technology with a master of science degrees in Physical Land Resources (soil chemistry) and Chemistry, respectively. During his master’s he specialized in the effect of rice farming’s water saving management on greenhouse gas emissions and micronutrient availability in Philippine paddy soils (Belgium) and the synthesis and characterization of novel chitosan derivatives for Cu(II) adsorption: equilibrium and kinetic studies (Philippines).

Before studying abroad, he worked an assistant scientist in the soil chemistry section at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). IRRI is the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. His previous work was in the field, greenhouse and laboratory experiments on enriching rice grain Zn through Zn fertilization and water management (doi:10.2136/sssaj2015.07.0262).

He is a member of both the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) and Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). He is also a STEM ambassador, a volunteer resource teacher of science, technology and mathematics in the UK. He is currently doing his dual PhD degree at the University of Liverpool and NTHU (Taiwan) in cooperation with the University of Aberdeen.

 

 

Project

Dennis is investigating the chemical speciation of metalloids arsenic and antimony in natural systems. Metalloids like arsenic (As) and antimony (Sb) are naturally present at low concentrations but the increased use of this metalloids in the environment has led to environmental soil and groundwater contamination issues. Despite its toxicity, As and Sb received little analytical attention compared to other toxic heavy metals. The speciation of metalloids is however often limited to the differentiation of oxidation states, not so much about the complexation of these hydroxy-species with ligands. This is due to the fact that analytical methods for measurements in natural conditions of pH are lacking. A plant growth room experiments were used to quantify the effects of arsenic (As) and antimony (Sb) stress on the growth of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Xylem saps of each plant were collected and stored at -80°C. Chemical speciation will be done using voltammetry and for comparison with hyphenated technique i.e. LC-MS.

The project is supervised by Dr. Pascal Salaun of University of Liverpool and Prof. Jorg Feldmann of the University of Aberdeen.

 

Elizabeth Griffin (Lizzie)

Lizzie joined TESLA in 2016, having graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with BSc (Hons) Chemistry. Her interest in trace element analysis began with a summer studentship, jointly funded by RSC, BMSS and ChromSoc, investigating Dried Blood Spots as a sampling method for metalloprotein analysis by SEC-HPLC-ICP-MS. This research was continued, and was the topic of her final year undergraduate project.

Lizzie is an Associate Member of the RSC, and is on the committee of the Analytical Science Network, a branch of the RSC established specifically for early career analytical scientists. She has also been involved in various public outreach events for the RSC and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Project

Lizzie’s PhD project is entitled ‘Quantitative determination of trace elements and phosphoproteins by ICP-MS/ES-MS application to isoforms of tau protein’ and is part of a wider EU funded project investigating the role of metals and metal containing biomolecules in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

The project involves use of chromatographic and mass spectrometric methods, which will be developed over time to work towards a standard metrological method that allows accurate and reproducible results to be obtained, therefore facilitating inter-laboratory comparisons when using biological material analysis to make an effective medical diagnosis.

This project is being carried out under the supervision of Dr Andrea Raab, Prof Jörg Feldmann and Prof Bettina Platt.

Ibrahim Almosa

Ibrahim has joint TESLA January of 2019. He obtain his MSc in 2011 from Huddersfield University in the UK. He has a scholarship to do his PhD from his employer SASO (Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization). He has a long experience of 16 years in Quality Control Labs in SASO. He was trained with different organizations around the world such as KSA, TSE, AAEA, UOB, GCC, TUNAC, and EAEA. He participated in different activities in chemistry and quality control like conferences, seminars, forums, exhibitions and lectures. The training for new colleagues and students from universities in labs was part of his work in SASO. He is accredited assessor in ISO 17025 by SAAC and he did assessment work for private laboratories in Saudi Arabia to licence them. In addition, he participated in technical visits to evaluate many factories for Quality Mark purposes. He is accredited auditor for ISO 9000 from EOQ through TSE since 2014. He is a member of some committees in SASO.

Project

 Zinc is an important and essential element for humans. It is necessary for a healthy immune system and it helps stimulate the activity of at least 100 different enzymes and it constitutes a structural element for more than 3000 proteins. Moreover, Zinc is the second most abundant trace mineral in the body.

 The focusing on its impacts was increased when zinc deficiency in humans was discovered in 1961.  Zn and especially its kinetics can be studied in humans using stable Zn isotopes (67Zn and 70Zn) as tracers. This project partly focus on Zn uptake kinetics through the instinal barrier and works on simulating the uptake by using Caco2 cell cultures.

 

The project is under the supervision of  Professor. Jorg Feldmann,  Dr. Eva Krupp , and Professor. John Beatie.  

 

Contact Ibrahim

Kenneth Nwoko (Ken)

Ken joined TESLA in January 2016, facilitated by a joint award of the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone PhD grant, and the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) PhD scholarship of the Nigerian government. Previous education includes an MSc in Geochemistry (Newcastle University, UK 2010) sponsored by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and a BSc in Biochemistry (Imo State University, Nigeria, 2002). Before joining TESLA, he taught diploma level chemistry and biochemistry courses at the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri Nigeria (2011-2015).

He is an associate member of both the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON), and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)..

Project

Ken’s research project is titled ‘metallic nanoparticles in biological, environmental and microbiological samples’. European Union legislation (2011/696/EU) highlights the need for particle number and size characterization of nanomaterials used in various consumer products. In addition, the diverse applications of engineered nanoparticles across medical, cosmetics, environmental sectors coupled with their unique properties (high surface area to volume ratio, high reactivity) makes their study an imperative.

Nanoparticle research at TESLA utilises a multi-technique approach in order to tell a compelling story. Postnova Analytics’ asymmetric flow field flow fractionation (AF4) system, equipped with UV-vis and multi-angle light scattering detectors is capable of separation, detection  and generation of nanoparticle size distributions,  even in complex sample matrices. Online coupling to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) provides highly sensitive and element specific detection of these nanoparticles. Single particle mode ICP-MS (SP-ICP-MS) also provides precise elemental nanoparticle counting and size distribution.

Ken attended a training course on the AF4 technology at Postnova Analytics’ European Application Centre (EAC) Landsberg, Germany in September 2016 in order to gain adequate mastery of the technique. Current projects include  the characterisation of Fe-oxide based nanotherapeutics in rat blood; selenium and silver nanoparticles in fungal media, as well as contributions to a novel study using the AF4-ICPMS and other techniques (TEM, SEM, and laser ablation ICPMS) to investigate the occurrence of nanoparticulate mercury in gas condensates.

He has presented conference talks and posters on aspects of his research work at various fora such as the RSC Analytical Research Forum (ARF), and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) scientific symposium.

His PhD research is supervised by Prof. Joerg Feldmann, Dr Eva Krupp, with various collaborators in the Chemistry Department and the Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen.

Louise Hair

Louise joined the TESLA research group in April 2018 to start her PhD project. She graduated in 2013 with a BSc in Ecological and Environmental Science from the University of Edinburgh and went straight to industry in order to gain some laboratory experience.

While in industry, she was lucky enough to be sponsored for an MSc in Oil and Gas Chemistry at the University of Aberdeen and it was there that she found her interest in analytical chemistry and an environment she wanted to conduct research in. Her PhD project is being carried out under the supervision of Prof. Jörg Feldmann and Dr. Eva Krupp.

Project

The first part of her PhD is part of a program called CAPABLE (Cambridge Programme to Assist Bangladesh in Lifestyle and Environmental risk reduction) {link to CAPABLE http://www.capable-bangladesh.org/} and the PhD project is specifically involved with the BRAVE (Bangladesh Risk of Acute Vascular Events) project.

The project involves the analysis of toenails for toxic elements and arsenic metabolites and their associations with cardiovascular disease, in this particular case, stroke (Cerebrovascular accident). ICP-MS will be utilised for the analysis of total elemental concentrations and HPLC-ICP-MS will be utilised for the analysis of arsenic speciation.

Magdalena Blanz

Magdalena first joined TESLA in 2014 as a third-year undergraduate MChem student at the University of Aberdeen for an RSC-funded summer project involving the speciation of mercury in archaeological hair samples from the excavation site of Nunalleq, Alaska, where she had volunteered as an excavator.

Following her interests in archaeological chemistry, Magdalena analysed archaeological glasses at the Otto Schott Institute of Materials Research in Jena in a summer project in 2015 (funded by DAAD and GDCh), and in the following year, Magdalena went on an Erasmus exchange to Austria, where she performed research on diagenetic changes of bones, supervised by Prof Prohaska.

Receiving seven awards for academic excellence during her five years of undergraduate studies, Magdalena graduated at the top of her year with an MChem degree from the University of Aberdeen in 2016, and has now begun a PhD in Archaeology.

Project

Entitled ‘Seaweed as food and fodder in the North Atlantic Islands: Past, present and future opportunities’, Magdalena’s PhD project mainly concerns the development of new analytical chemical methodologies to identify seaweed consumption by terrestrial domesticated animals (e.g. sheep, cattle) in the past, as well as studying past seaweed fertilisation practices.

This involves performing field experiments in the Orkney Islands and the analysis of modern environmental, vegetation and skeletal samples by mass spectrometric methods in order to identify significant differences between the skeletal remains of consumers of seaweed and consumers of grass and other terrestrial vegetation, followed by application to archaeological remains.

In a cooperation between the University of Highlands and Islands, the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, and the University of Aberdeen, Magdalena is supervised by Dr Ingrid Mainland (UHI), Dr Mark Taggart (UHI), Dr Philippa Ascough (SUERC), and Prof Jörg Feldmann (UoA).

Magdalena’s PhD is funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council.

Martin Mueller

Martin graduated from Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (Germany) with a master's degree in chemistry in 2016. During his master's he specialised in atmospheric analytical chemistry and conducted research on fungal spores in air samples for his thesis using HR-ESI-MS. Afterwards he spent 6 months at TESLA for an ERASMUS graduate placement and joined TESLA for his PhD in 2017.

Project

Martin's PhD consists of two projects: sulphur compounds of the genus Allium and solubility of elemental mercury.

Sulphur metabolites in shallots, onions and garlic are responsible for their flavour and have beneficial effects on the human health. Identification and quantification of these compounds is performed by coupled HPLC-ICP-MS/ESI-MS analysis. The aim of this project is to gain further insight into the sulphur metabolism of Allium plants and how it is influenced by different fertilisation or poisoning.

The solubility of elemental mercury in different solvents at varying temperatures is of interest because of the necessity to remove it from petrochemical products. The analysis is carried out by using CV-AFS after oxidation of the elemental mercury by chemical digestion.

Parinda Manorut (Da)

Parinda is a PhD student, has been granted the scholarship by the Royal Thai Government. Her part education includes M.S. Industrial Chemistry, Chiang Mai University, Thailand (2011) and B.S. Chemistry, Naresuan University, Thailand (2007) granted by Science Achievement Scholarship of Thailand.

After years of work as a lecturer in chemistry at Kamphaeng Phet Rajabhat University (2010 - 2013), it’s time for higher education, and she joined Tesla in 2015. During her PhD study, Parinda has attended conferences for poster presentations and achieved an award for the best oral presentation from the 6th Thai Student Academic conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The diverse environment in Tesla and Lab facility for trace element analysis will be valuable for her future career in National Institute of Metrology (Thailand).

Project

Parinda’s project is based on mercury analysis in rice, online hyphenation of SPE unit with HPLC-ICP-MS for trace mercury speciation and quantitative analysis of methylmercury using online SPE-HPLC-CV-AFS for Thai and Brazilian rice.

Savarin Sinaviwat (Nan)

Nan first joined TESLA in 2016. Previously, she had some experiences in the pharmaceutical industry and was a lecturer in microbiology before she started to work for the Thai government as a scientist. She has been awarded a Royal Thai Government scholarship in order to start her PhD.

Nan really appreciates the peacefulness of the city of Aberdeen and the great research environment, as well as the nice colleagues. She hopes to improve her knowledge and her expertise thanks to this PhD. Moreover, she welcomes the opportunity to discover new traditions, a different atmosphere and new people to befriend.

Project

Nan’s projects are about the quantification and identification of arsenolipids in krill oil supplements, and the identification of arsenic compounds in biodegradable solutions originating from microbial media samples.

Samples were prepared by extraction and/or digestion and identified by HPLC-ICP-MS/ESI-qTOF-MS.

Sa adatu Abatemi-Usman

Sa’adatu is an alumnus of the University of Maiduguri (BSc Biochemistry) where she was first introduced to analytical chemistry as a module and University College London (MSc Environment & Sustainable Development).

Pursuant to a scholarship award by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigeria, she embarked on a study leave in 2016 at TESLA Institute for its expert training in trace elements speciation to enable her a holistic approach in her job function as an oil spill responder with the National Oil Spill Detection & Response Agency (NOSDRA), Nigeria on return.

Project

Sa’adatu initially studied (including homogeneity tests) a readily available commercial rice for methylmercury (MeHg) as a potential candidate for a laboratory reference material using the hyphenated HPLC-CV-AFS system.

MeHg is a potent neurotoxin identified recently as being present in rice grains which provide about one-fifth of the global nutritional energy requirement. There is however no standard reference material for MeHg in rice or its derivatives which would be necessary to assure implementation of appropriate legislation.

At present, she is studying corn plant (seeds, stem, roots and leaves) and farmlands soil sampled in the surround of a cement factory in Nigeria using the MP-AES and ICP-MS systems for metal contaminants including mercury which is released together with other pollutants from the kilns during cement production. Maize is grown in various agro-ecological regions and agricultural systems as staple food, and eaten by people with diverse food inclinations and socio-economic backgrounds in Nigeria.

Shaun Lancaster

Shaun joined TESLA in 2013 as a summer research student after his first year of undergraduate studies in chemistry at the University of Aberdeen. Since then, he has undertaken various projects over many fields of research in trace analysis chemistry during summer after each year of study. In 2015, he carried out a project funded by grants from the RSC and Carnegie Trust involving the investigation of mercury in rice by HPLC-CV-AFS, which he returned to in 2016 when he started a PhD between Aberdeen and London to experience method development and applications research in both academic and industrial settings.

Alongside education, Shaun has taken up various active roles in university societies such as fundraising coordinator for Childreach International, vice president of the circus society, and most recently a Latin social dance tutor.

Project

Shaun’s PhD project, entitled “Development and application of analytical instrumentation using atomic fluorescence spectrometers and mass spectrometry”, is split between the University of Aberdeen and the company P S Analytical Ltd. based in London.

The project involves the development of new methods for applications for mercury measurements by atomic fluorescence spectrometry with method validation using mass spectrometry. Currently, he is developing a method of vapour generation for mercury analysis using UV photolysis with low molecular weight organic acids, which would provide a cheaper and potentially more sensitive approach to that of conventional oxidation and reduction chemistry.

The project is supervised by Dr. Eva Krupp and Prof. Jörg Feldmann of the University of Aberdeen, and Dr. Warren Corns of P S Analytical.

Tengentile Nxumalo (Ngety)

My work is broadly centered on the subject of environmental analytical chemistry. My academic journey began as a chemistry and mathematics student at the University of Swaziland. My doctoral work in the TESLA group started in the fall of 2017 after a period of 4 years of teaching and consultancy at the Chemistry Department of the University of Swaziland. Before that, I did my masters in environmental analytical chemistry at the University of Aberdeen where I worked on isotope ratio mass spectrometry to investigate the uptake of inorganic verse organic forms of nitrogen by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) for my dissertation.

Project

The presence of dangerous fluorinated organic contaminants in industrial waste and consumer products continues to be a major environmental issue globally. This is even more prevalent in emerging and recently industrializing economies with weak regulations. Therefore, efficient and effective techniques for identifying and eliminating these compounds in the environment are needed.

In this work, we explore qualitative and quantitative techniques for identifying and accurately analyzing novel per-fluorinated alkyl compounds in various environmental samples.We make use of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with high resolution orbitrap mass spectrometry, and HPLC-ICP-MS/MS. Furthermore, the ICP-MS/MS will be used as a specific detector for fluorinated compounds which will then be characterized using high resolution orbitrap mass spectrometry.

My study at the university supported by a Commonwealth Fellowship.