Laurie joined TESLA as a post-doctoral research fellow in March 2019, working on the Cambridge Programme to Assist Bangladesh in Lifestyle and Environmental risk reduction (CAPABLE), part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

His main interests are the behaviour and speciation of metal(loids) in the environment and their exposure to humans, with specific interest in the transfer of arsenic via atmospheric pathways. His research also focusses on the biogeochemical cycling of arsenic in rice paddy environments, which has included projects in China and Malaysia. Laurie obtained his PhD entitled “Arsenic inputs to terrestrial ecosystems through precipitation” from the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s University Belfast and continued working at the IGFS as a research fellow on a European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) funded project, focussing on the removal of arsenic from rice grain. This was in collaboration with industrial partner Bühler and included developing commercially viable methods at their Application Centre in India.

Project

To address the rapid growth of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Bangladesh, the CAPABLE project focuses on the intertwined risk factors present such as water and air pollution, nutritional disorders and risk behaviours that contribute to NCDs. Rice, water and atmospheric particulates will be analysed as sources of arsenic, with toenails, sampled from three distinct regions in Bangladesh, analysed as biomarkers of human exposure to toxic elements.  

Wladiana joined TESLA in 2019 as academic visitor. She is Professor in analytical chemistry at Universidade Federal do Ceará in Brazil. Her research group in Brazil, Laboratório de Estudos em Química Aplicada (LEQA), works on development of new analytical methods for trace elemental analysis using emission and absorption atomic spectrometric techniques for different types of matrices.

POST-DOCTORAL PROJECT

Since seafood is the largest source of arsenic to many human populations and Brazil is the largest producer of shrimp aquaculture in Latin America, the project of Wladiana aims to conduct a study of As speciation, including arsenolipids, in wild and farmed shrimps from Brazil. Strategies for analysis of both water and fat soluble As species from shrimp samples will be studied.