Dr Charlotte Braungardt
Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Environmental Science
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science & Engineering)
I am Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Environmental Science and my main roles in learning and teaching are in BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and MSc Environmental Consultancy.
I am a member of the Biogeochemistry Research Centre (BGC: http://www1.plymouth.ac.uk/research/bgc/Pages/default.aspx ), sub-group Biogeochemistry and Environmental Analytical Chemistry (BEACh: http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/research/beach ). My research activities centre around the geochemistry of mine waste and its impact on the environment, in particular rivers and coastal zones and agricultural systems.
In my previous career, I graduated as a Dipl.-Ing. Electrical Engineering/Communication Electronics in 1989 and worked as a project engineer in industrial process controll systems for the engineering consultancy Metallurgische Gesellschaft/LURGI in Germany until 1993.
I obtained a BSc Environmental Science at the University of Plymouth in 1996 and continued my scientific training with a Ph.D. in marine geochemistry (Metal biogeochemistry of a mine contaminated estuarine-coastal system in SW Spain) at the same University in 2000. Two EU-funded post-doctoral research fellowships followed between 2000 and 2003, on the projects MEMOSEA (UV digestion of metal complexing natural organic matter and humic substances) and IMTEC (In situ automated monitoring of trace metal speciation in estuaries and coastal zones).
Between 2001 and 2006, I took on various part-time lecturing roles in environmental science and marine science and obtained the LTHE (Learning and Teaching in Higher Education) qualification. My permanent position as lecturer at the University of Plymouth commenced in 2006.
MI - Marine Institute
ERF - Estuarine Research Federation
IMWA - International Mine Water Association
SETAC - Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
MBA - Marine Biological Association
Roles on external bodies
International Mine Water Association: Member of the scientific comittee.
Associate Editor for the journal 'Mine Water and the Environment'
My teaching activities centre around our BSc Environmental Science programme and the MSc Environmental Consultancy course. As a lecturer, my focus is on catchment science, geochemistry, water resources, scientific method and skills development; the latter including practical scientific investigations, providing opportunities for work experience, as well as introducing advanced IT skills, such as GIS, to the programme.
With the help of funds from the Centre of Excellence in Learning and Teaching (Experiential Learning CETL), I developed an interdisciplinary residential fieldcourse for Stage 2 students of our BSc Environmental Science course with partner universities in Hong Kong and PR China. The academic theme of this course is the environmental and social impact of rapid economic development and its links with post-industrial consumer societies. Students investigate air and water pollution, evaluate coastal conservation measures and use biomarkers to assess ecosystem health. The unique character of this field course, however, arises from the close collaboration of students from Sun Yat-sen University of Guangzhou, City University of Hong Kong and Plymouth University in the pre-field course preparation of research projects, which are then jointly carried out in the field and laboratories in China.
My research interests lie in the geochemistry and biogeochemistry of catchment systems, from headwaters to estuaries and into the coastal zone. Current research projects investigate point and diffuse sources of elements associated with metal mining activities and the impact of contamination on the aquatic environment, soils and the assessment of risk for humans from uptake of metals into agricultural products. For this work, collaboration with external partners include local organisations (e.g. Tamar Valley Service), as well as the Environment Agency, Camborne School of Mines, the British Geological Survey, the International Zinc Association and the European Copper Institute. The application of novel techniques to assess the impact of metal inputs into catchments have been the focus of recent activities. These integrate metal speciation measurements obtained with an in-situ voltammetric profiling system with speciation modelling and ecotoxicological studies on oyster embryo bioassays. The MARA bioassay (Microbial Assay for toxic Risk Assessment) is used to determine toxic effects of mixtures of metals and organic compounds.
Current research projects
1. Metal geochemistry in agricultural soils. PhD student Thomas Robson, co-investigators: Dr. Miranda Keith-Roach, Prof. Paul Worsfold and Dr. John Rieuwerts. Supported by QR funds and the Seal Hayne Educational Trust.
2. Trace metal fate and behaviour in a metal impacted estuary. Principal investigator: Dr. Sean Comber; co-investigator: Prof. Paul Worsfold. Supported by NERC funds and the International Zinc Association and European Copper Institute.
Recent conference presentations
Braungardt, C.B., Money, C., Achterberg, E.P.A.. Bioavailability and Toxicity of Metals in an Estuary Contaminated by Acid Mine Drainage. Goldschmidt Conference, 14-19 August 2011, Prague.
Robson, T.C., Braungardt, C.B., Keith-Roach, M. Rapid Weathering of Arsenopyrite in Agricultural Soils. Goldschmidt Conference, 14-19 August 2011, Prague.
Turner, A.J.M., Braungardt, C.B., Rieuwerts, J. Dissolved Metals and As from Metal Mine Waste - Laboratory vs. Field Determinations. Goldschmidt Conference, 14-19 August 2011, Prague.
Braungardt, C.B., Butterfield, M., Wajrak, M. On-site mine water analysis: application note for the PDV6000plus. International Mine Water Conference, 5-9 September 2010, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Braungardt, C.B., Turner, A.J.M., Rieuwerts, J., Worsfold, P., Williamson, B., Potter, H. Acid mine waters at Wheal Betsy, an abandoned Pb/Zn mine in southwest England (poster). International Mine Water Conference, 19-23 October 2009, Pretoria, South Africa.
Turner, A.J.M., Braungardt, C.B., Worsfold, P., Rieuwerts, J., Williamson, B., Potter, H. Dynamic up-flow percolation tests - a model for mining waste leachate generation (oral). International Mine Water Conference, 19-23 October 2009, Pretoria, South Africa. Winner of best student platform presentation.
Braungardt, C.B., Mighanetara, K., Rieuwerts, J., Azizi, F., Pirrie, D., Turner, A. Contaminant export potential of selected mine waste in SW England (oral). International Mine Water Conference, 02-05 June 2008, Karlovy Vary, Czec Republic.
Braungardt, C.B., Mighanetara, K., Money, C. Mine waters in estuarine environments (oral). International Mine Water Symposium, 27-31 May 2007, Cagliari, Italy.
In line with my research and teaching interests, I review manuscripts for scientific journals, including Mine Water and the Environment, Journal of Geochemical Exploration, Environment International, Journal of Environmental Management, Marine Chemistry, The Science of the Total Environment, Scientia Marina, Water Resource Management, Chemosphere, Environmental Chemistry Letters.
I support the International Mine Water Association as member of their scientific committee in the organisation of conferences and am Associate Editor for their Journal 'Mine Water and the Environment'.
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
Alison JM Turner: Diffuse Mine Water Pollution: Quantification and Risk Assessment in the Tamar Catchment. PhD, April 2011. Funded by Great Western Research and the Environment Agency of England and Wales.
Krongkaew Mighanetara: Impact of Metal Mining on the Water Quality in the Tamar Catchment. PhD, December 2008. With Dr. John Rieuwerts and Dr. Fethi Azizi. Funded by the Royal Thai Government and the School of Engineering and Technology at Plymouth University.
Cathryn Money: Trace Metal Chemical Speciation and Acute Toxicity to Pacific Oyster Larvae. PhD, December 2007. With Prof. Paul Worsfold and Prof. Eric Achterberg (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton). NERC Case studentship.
Grants & contracts
Trace metal fate and behaviour in a metal impacted estuary (with Dr. Sean Comber (PI), Prof. Paul Worsfold). Supported by NERC funds and the International Zinc Association and European Copper Institute.
Geochemical transformation of toxic metal-rich mining waste in agricultural soils: implications for crops (with Dr. Miranda Keith-Roach, Prof. Paul Worsfold, Dr. John Rieuwerts).
Geoprocessing of contaminant transport in catchments affected by abandoned metal mines, KTP collaboration with the British Geological Survey, funded by the Environment Agency and HEIF3.
Sustainable management of minewater pollution from headwaters to estuaries (with Prof. Paul Worsfold and Drs John Rieuwerts, Benedict Williamson (Camborne School of Mines) and Hugh Potter (Environment Agency)), GWR Studentship co-funded by the EA.
The legacy of metal mining in the Tamar Valley: Impact on environmental quality and solutions (with Drs John Rieuwerts, Fethi Azizi and John Summerscale). Scholarship from the Royal Thai Government.
Novel integration of trace element speciation measurements and marine bioassays (with Profs. Eric Achterberg (NOC), Awadhesh Jha, Paul Worsfold). Nerc Case Studentship.
- Biogeochemistry Research Centre (BGC)
Key publications are highlightedJournals