Congratulations to University of Arizona (UA) Superfund Research Program (SRP) graduate students Linnea Herbertson and Corin Hammond on receiving prestigious awards this year. Both Herbertson and Hammond are working on doctoral degrees in the UA Superfund Research Program (SRP). Both of their research projects focus on phytostabilization of mine tailings at the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site in Dewey-Humboldt, Ariz., and are part of the UA SRP project, Phytostablization of Mine Tailings in the Southwestern United States: Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions and Metal Speciation Dynamics .
NSF fellowship support for Herbertson
Herbertson received a 2013 Graduate Research Fellowship Program award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) . As an NSF fellow, she will receive three years of funding support, including stipend, travel, and tuition, and have access to a variety of professional development activities.
Herbetson is part of the environmental microbiology laboratory of Raina Maier, Ph.D., Director of the UA SRP. Her research explores whether the bacterial community on the roots of plants grown in mine tailings can aid in the sequestration of toxic metals. He is also investigating how these bacterial communities can as act as an indicator of plant health and phytostabilization vitality.
ARCS scholarship support for Hammond
Corin Hammond received a scholarship from the Phoenix chapter of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation for the 2013-2014 academic year. Her award will provide tuition, travel funds, and a stipend. Hammond is a doctoral student training in the environmental chemistry lab headed by UA SRP lead researcher Jon Chorover, Ph.D.
Hammond’s graduate work is focused on characterizing the biogeochemical transformation of metal(loid)s during phytostabilization of mine tailings. High acidity, high heavy metal content, and low organic matter content are among the factors that complicate the phytostabilization process. To assess the changes in biogeochemistry associated with the phytostabilization strategy, members of Chorover’s lab analyze soil cores, by laboratory and synchrotron X-ray techniques, to investigate contaminant transport and soil genesis as a function of time and depth.