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​Trace metals in Southeast Asia: regional, local and zonal aspects

Published on: 16-Oct-2020

Event Type: Seminar
Event Date: 16 October  2020 - 4:00pm
Venue: Online (via Zoom)
Speaker: Dr Gonzalo Carrasco

About the speaker:

Gonzalo joined Xianfeng Wang’s group at EOS in 2020 to work on peat-related and coastal monitoring projects. Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher at TMSI/NUS (2019) and at CENSAM/SMART (2014-2018). He is studying the concentrations, sources and bioavailability of trace metals (Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu, Fe) in the regional marine environment. For this he has worked in several environments, including mangroves, seagrasses, rivers, coastal seawater and open ocean water around Singapore and from the Malacca Straits to the South China Sea. Before coming to Singapore, he was a postdoctoral associate at MIT (2010-2014), where he studied the changes in sources of a range of pollutant and micronutrient trace metals (Pb, Zn, Cd, Ag, U) in coastal environments near urban areas in the Arabian Gulf, Brazil and the Gulf of Maine, as well as working on the sources and decay of Zn complexing ligands from rivers along global ocean water masses in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. He got his MS (2007) and PhD (2010) in Chemical Oceanography at Old Dominion University studying the chemical speciation and bioavailability of pollutant and micronutrient trace metals Zn, Cd and Cu in open ocean, coastal and polluted environments in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and the Chesapeake Bay.


About the event:

Trace metals from natural and anthropogenic sources can have nutrient and toxic roles. Understanding their concentrations, sources and chemical speciation (and bioavailability) is essential to understand their biogeochemical cycles and interaction with coastal cities and communities. The presentation will review recent and current work from global scale of control of bioavailability of some metals by organic complexing ligands, regional scale of natural sources of ligands in Southeast Asia (and a link to peat land sources to explore further), local Singapore-scale sources of metals and temporal variability, zonal Singapore mangrove accumulation of metals in sediments and plants, with bioaccumulation studies in vegetables grown near a landfill in India. All in all, the goals are to explore mechanisms by which the natural and anthropogenic metal biological role is controlled by natural complexing ligands I am currently investigating at different fronts, and to highlight the importance of marine pollution studies, normally relevant to coastal cities and communities, but particularly relevant  in these times of need for food independence and resilience.

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