Dr Charlotte Braungardt

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.

Professional membership

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'

Teaching interests

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.

Research interests

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.

Other research

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

Current funding

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).

Past funding


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.

Research groups

  • Biogeochemistry Research Centre (BGC)

Key publications are highlighted

Fernandez-Rojo L, Héry M, Le Pape P, Braungardt C, Desoeuvre A, Torres E, Tardy V, Resongles E, Laroche E & Delpoux S 2017 'Biological attenuation of arsenic and iron in a continuous flow bioreactor treating acid mine drainage (AMD)' Water Research , DOI PEARL
Pearson HBC, Comber SDW, Braungardt C & Worsfold PJ 2017 'Predicting copper speciation in estuarine waters – Is dissolved organic carbon a good proxy for the presence of organic ligands?' Environmental Science & Technology , DOI PEARL
Pearson HBC, Galceran J, Companys E, Braungardt C, Worsfold P, Puy J & Comber S 2016 'Absence of Gradients and Nernstian Equilibrium Stripping (AGNES) for the determination of [Zn2+] in estuarine waters' ANALYTICA CHIMICA ACTA 912, 32-40 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Braungardt CB 2015 'Evaluation of Analytical Instrumentation. Part XXVI: Instrumentation for Voltammetry' ANALYTICAL METHODS 7, (4) 1249-1260 Author Site , DOI
Rieuwerts JS, Mighanetara K, Braungardt CB, Rollinson GK, Pirrie D & Azizi F 2014 'Geochemistry and mineralogy of arsenic in mine wastes and stream sediments in a historic metal mining area in the UK' Sci Total Environ 472, 226-234 Author Site , DOI
Turner A, Turner D & Braungardt C 2013 'Biomonitoring of thallium availability in two estuaries of southwest England' Mar Pollut Bull 69, (1-2) 172-177 Author Site , DOI
Robson TC, Braungardt CB, Rieuwerts J & Worsfold P 2013 'Cadmium contamination of agricultural soils and crops resulting from sphalerite weathering' Environ Pollut 184, 283-289 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Robson TC, Braungardt CB, Keith-Roach MJ, Rieuwerts J & Worsfold P 2013 'Impact of arsenopyrite contamination on agricultural soils and crops' Journal of Geochemical Exploration 125, 102-109 , DOI
Anagboso MU, Turner A & Braungardt CB 2012 'Fractionation of thallium in the tamar estuary, south west England' Journal of Geochemical Exploration , DOI
Money C, Braungardt CB, Jha AN, Worsfold PJ & Achterberg EP 2011 'Metal speciation and toxicity of Tamar Estuary water to larvae of the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas' Mar Environ Res 72, (1-2) 3-12 Author Site , DOI
Braungardt CB, Howell KA, Tappin AD & Achterberg EP 2011 'Temporal variability in dynamic and colloidal metal fractions determined by high resolution in situ measurements in a UK estuary' Chemosphere 84, (4) 423-431 Author Site , DOI
Tappin AD, Barriada JL, Braungardt CB, Evans EH, Patey MD & Achterberg EP 2010 'Dissolved silver in European estuarine and coastal waters' Water Res 44, (14) 4204-4216 Author Site , DOI
Braungardt CB, Achterberg EP, Axelsson B, Buffle J, Graziottin F, Howell KA, Illuminati S, Scarponi G, Tappin AD & Tercier-Waeber M-L 2009 'Analysis of dissolved metal fractions in coastal waters: An inter-comparison of five voltammetric in situ profiling (VIP) systems' MARINE CHEMISTRY 114, (1-2) 47-55 Author Site , DOI
Mighanetara K, Braungardt CB, Rieuwerts JS & Azizi F 2009 'Contaminant fluxes from point and diffuse sources from abandoned mines in the River Tamar catchment, UK' JOURNAL OF GEOCHEMICAL EXPLORATION 100, (2-3) 116-124 , DOI
Braungardt CB, Achterberg EP, Gledhill M, Nimmo M, Elbaz-Poulichet F, Cruzado A & Velasquez Z 2007 'Chemical speciation of dissolved Cu, Ni, and Co in a contaminated estuary in southwest Spain and its influence on plankton communities' Environmental Science & Technology 41, (12) 4214-4220
Beckers JM, Achterberg EP & Braungardt C 2007 'Comparison of high spatial resolution trace metal distributions with model simulations for surface waters of the Gulf of Cadiz' Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 74, (4) 599-609
Braungardt 2007 'The chemical speciation of dissolved Cu, Ni and Co in a contaminated estuary in southwest Spain and its influence on plankton communities' Environmental Science and Technology 41 (12), 4214-4220 , DOI
Badr ESA, Achterberg EP, Tappin AD, Hill SJ & Braungardt CB 2003 'Determination of dissolved organic nitrogen in natural waters using high-temperature catalytic oxidation' Trac-Trends in Analytical Chemistry 22, (11) 819-827
Achterberg EP, Herzl VMC, Braungardt CB & Millward GE 2003 'Metal behaviour in an estuary polluted by acid mine drainage: the role of particulate matter' Environmental Pollution 121, (2) 283-292
Braungardt CB, Achterberg EP, Elbaz-Poulichet F & Morley NH 2003 'Metal geochemistry in a mine-polluted estuarine system in Spain' Applied Geochemistry 18, (11) 1757-1771
Howell KA, Achterberg EP, Braungardt CB, Tappin AD, Turner DR & Worsfold PJ 2003 'The determination of trace metals in estuarine and coastal waters using a voltammetric in situ profiling system' Analyst 128, (6) 734-741
Howell KA, Achterberg EP, Braungardt CB, Tappin AD, Worsfold PJ & Turner DR 2003 'Voltammetric in situ measurements of trace metals in coastal waters' Trac-Trends in Analytical Chemistry 22, (11) 828-835
Elbaz-Poulichet F, Braungardt C, Achterberg E, Morley N, Cossa D, Beckers JM, Nomerange P, Cruzado A & Leblanc M 2001 'Metal biogeochemistry in the Tinto-Odiel rivers (Southern Spain) and in the Gulf of Cadiz: a synthesis of the results of TOROS project' Continental Shelf Research 21, (18-19) 1961-1973
Achterberg EP, Braungardt CB, Sandford RC & Worsfold PJ 2001 'UV digestion of seawater samples prior to the determination of copper using flow injection with chemiluminescence detection' Analytica Chimica Acta 440, (1) 27-36
Achterberg EP, Braungardt CB & Sandford RC 2001 'UV digestion of seawater samples prior to the determination of copper using flow injection with chemiluminescence detection' Analytica Chimica Acta 440, (1) 27-36 , DOI
Elbaz-Poulichet F, Dupuy C, Cruzado A, Velasquez Z, Achterberg EP & Braungardt CB 2000 'Influence of sorption processes by iron oxides and algae fixation on arsenic and phosphate cycle in an acidic estuary (Tinto river, Spain)' WATER RESEARCH 34, (12) 3222-3230 Author Site , DOI
Achterberg EP, Braungardt C, Morley NH, Elbaz-Poulichet F & Leblanc M 1999 'Impact of Los Frailes mine spill on riverine, estuarine and coastal waters in southern Spain' Water Research 33, (16) 3387-3394 , DOI
Achterberg EP & Braungardt C 1999 'Stripping voltammetry for the determination of trace metal speciation and in-situ measurements of trace metal distributions in marine waters' Analytica Chimica Acta 400, (SI) 381-397 , DOI
Elbaz-Poulichet F, Morley NH, Cruzado A, Velasquez Z, Achterberg EP & Braungardt CB 1999 'Trace metal and nutrient distribution in an extremely low pH(2.5) river-estuarine system, the Ria of Huelva (South-West Spain)' SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT 227, (1) 73-83 Author Site , DOI
Braungardt C, Achterberg EP & Nimmo M 1998 'On-line voltammetric monitoring of dissolved Cu and Ni in the Gulf of Cadiz, south-west Spain' ANALYTICA CHIMICA ACTA 377, (2-3) 205-215 Author Site , DOI
Braungardt C, Achterberg EP & Nimmo M 1998 'On-line voltammetric monitoring of dissolved Cu and Ni in the Gulf of Cádiz, south-west Spain' Analytica Chimica Acta 377, (2-3) 205-215
Achterberg EP, Braungardt CB & Howell KA 2002 'Field application of an automated voltammetric system for high-resolution studies of trace metals distributions in dynamic estuarine and coastal waters' in Rozan TF; Taillefert M Environmental Electrochemistry Analyses of Trace Element Biogeochemistry American Chemical Society 73-102
Conference Papers
Fernandez-Rojo L, Casiot C, Desoeuvre A, Braungardt C, Torres E, Le Pape P, Morin G, Tardy V, Resongles E & Delpoux S 2016 'Iron and arsenic removal rates in a continuous flow reactor treating As-rich acid mine drainage (AMD)' //0 //0 874-880
Turner AJM & Braungardt C 2012 'Best left to leach? Geochemical understanding of waste tips at abandoned metal mines' //0 //0 343-350
Turner A, Braungardt CB & Potter H 2011 'Risk-based prioritisation of closed mine waste facilities using GIS. International Mine Water Association' International Mine Water Conference Aachen, Germany 04/09/2011 11/09/2011 667-672
Turner AJM, Braungardt C & Potter H 2011 'Risk-Based Prioritisation of Closed Mine Waste Facilities Using GIS' //0 //0 667-672
Braungardt CB, Martin B & Wajrak M 0 'On-site mine water analysis: application note for the PDV6000plus' Wolkersdorfer C; Freund A International Mine Water Association Symposium - Mine Water and Innovative Thinking Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 01/09/2010 01/09/2010 Syndey, Canada CBU Press 331-335
Turner A, Braungardt CB, Worsfold P, Rieuwerts J, Williamson B & Potter H 0 'Dynamic Up-Flow Percolation Tests - A Model for Mining Waste Leachate Generation' International Mine Water Conference Pretoria, South Africa 19/10/2009 23/10/2009 Pretoria, South Africa Water Institute of Southern Africa & International Mine Water Association 858-867