The topics offer a multidisciplinary research of current environmental issues within the Environmental and Isotope Geochemistry Group, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, CULS Prague. Each of the PhD positions starts in October 2019. Within the 4 years study period, the PhD students will be rewarded with 20,000-25,000 CZK/month net (785-980 EUR) + bonuses. We would welcome motivated specialists in our friendly and specialized team. The detailed information is available in the separate pdf files provided below.
The following topics are ready to be explored:
- The use of nano zerovalent iron (nZVI) for soil remediation
The project aims to examine the use of nano zerovalent iron for soil remediation. The experimental approach will consist of complex set of experiments covering the geochemistry interactions together with interactions with microbes and plants and in situ experiments.
- Isotope fractionation as a tool for evaluating the behavior of Cd and Zn in contaminated soils
The use of Cd and Zn isotopes is a powerful and novel tool for tracing the fate of these pollutants in the environment. However, soil with its numerous biogeochemical processes, e.g., sorption onto solid phases, complexation, biological processes etc., acts as a “black box” and their influence on isotope fractionation is thus crucial.
- Global Cd and Pb signal in the Pan-Arctic - Influence of local and distant sources
In this project, we propose to define Cd, Pb isotope signals dominating in the Northern Hemisphere and its historical development. We will sample 11 sites around the Arctic Circle where we will collect snow samples, soils, lichens and gasoline and diesel from local sources. The snow sampling campaign will be performed at all sites simultaneously. We will combine traditional radiogenic isotope systems (Sr, Nd) with Pb and Cd isotopes to distinguish between regional, crust derived, anthropogenic and local and more distant sources of Pb and Cd in the Pan-Arctic.
- The use of composite sorbents for remediation of contaminated soils – simulation of various environmental conditions
The project aims to describe the behavior of biochar-based composite sorbents in soils and assess (i) the effects on metal/metalloid immobilization and (ii) the overall impacts on soil properties. The complexity of soils makes the investigation of such amended matrix demanding. The candidate shall characterize the composite materials and their transformations in soils from (bio)geochemical and mineralogical points of view with respect to seasonal changes in soil moisture content, pH, Eh etc.
- Simulation of transport of selected metals in remediated soil using the reaction-transport HPx model
While numerous studies have investigated metal uptake from solution by biochar (including the sorption mechanisms description; see the Figure), almost none of these have developed a modeling approach of the metal binding to biochar. In this study, we are, therefore, trying to describe the interaction of free metals with a biochar surface as (i) specific sorption to functional groups; (ii) non-specific accumulation of (counter)ions near the surface by electrostatic forces; and as (iii) (co-)precipitation, when for each specific biochar are these mechanisms individual.
How to apply
The applicants have to apply via the admission procedure at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences and will be guided by Ms. Petra Kadlecova. Do not hesitate to contact her per email email@example.com or visit our webpage for detail information.
Application deadline: March 10 2019
- Motivation letter
- Academic letter of recommendation (by your supervisor)
- Diploma + Diploma supplement (Transcript of records)
Desired skills and experience:
- Diploma in a relevant natural or environmental science discipline (e.g., chemistry, soil science, biology, geochemistry)
- Solid analytical background
- Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team of various fields of biogeosciences