Welcome to our blog!

Hi there and welcome to our new blog site for the Water Sciences Group at the University of Birmingham. We are a group of researchers who are interested in all things watery from ecology to water chemistry to hydrology and on! We hope that this page will be a place where we can discuss issues and advances in the science, provide some details of the research that we are doing and keep everyone informed of conferences, publications and such like that are coming up. Please feel free to post as much or as little as you want.

Friday, 27 May 2011

River Temperature Meeting

A British Hydrological Society National Meeting on
the subject of River Temperature Management and
Research in a Changing Climate was held in the
School on 18th May. Papers and posers presented by
representatives from academia, environmental
regulators and consultancy highlighted work which is
attempting to understand and mitigate the effects of
a changing climate on water temperature and its
biological and chemical dependents. The Meeting
was well attended by a wide range of stakeholders
from disciplinary backgrounds that included
hydrology, engineering, forestry science, ecology,
climatology and freshwater biology. A detailed
summary of papers and posters presented at the
Meeting will be published in the British Hydrological
Society’s newsletter, Circulation, in Autumn. The
conveners, PhD students Grace Garner, Phillip Blaen
and Kieran Khamis, gratefully acknowledge the
support of staff within the School, and; financial
assistance from the University of Birmingham
Graduate School Roberts Fund, and the British
Hydrological Society.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

New Publication

A new article has been published in Environmental Pollution demonstrating the toxicity of silver nanoparticles to Lemna minor (or duckweed) which is a key component of the river ecosystem.  An experimental approach was used to investigate the effect of both concentration and size of silver nanoparticles to the plant under test conditions.  Growth measurements proved that the nps were toxic at low concentrations and that size of the np was important.
·         Silver nanoparticles wer shown to pose a potential environmental risk based on modelled environmental concentrations.

Gubbins, E., Batty, L.C., Lead, J.R. 2011 Phytotoxicity of silver nanoparticles to Lemna minor L. Environmental Pollution 159, 1551-1559

New Research Funding!

New River Sediment Pollution Project: SILTFLUX

Damian Lawler and colleagues at University College Dublin and the Irish Central Fisheries Board have been awarded a research grant of ½ million Euros by the Environmental Protection Agency in Ireland to carry out the first comprehensive assessment of the magnitude and dynamics of fine sediment transport and resultant sediment pollution problems in key Irish rivers.  Silt in the water column (e.g. see photo) is now seen as a major aquatic pollutant. The work will include intensive, automated field instrumentation of key determinands. Part 2 of this major project will test for competing and switching dominance of in-channel, catchment and land use controls on sediment fluxes, both between rivers and over time, at seasonal, subseasonal and storm-event timescales.

The project will help to set standards for suspended solids flux and concentrations for the protection of sensitive catchments in Ireland and, eventually, elsewhere. The team will also advise EPA Ireland on management solutions and options. The project starts on 1 May 2011, and will run till May 2015. The kick-off meeting is on Tuesday 10 May in Dublin, at which EPA and Steering Group members (including Profs Des Walling and Steve Ormerod) will be present.

new member of the group

Welcome to Quentin Grail, who will be working in the Water Sciences Group for 3 months. Quentin is currently in the 4th year of his 5 year Masters programme in Water and Environmental Engineering at the Ecole Nationale du GĂ©nie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement de Strasbourg.  Quentin will be working with Dr Stephanie Handley-Sidhu, Dr Joanna Renshaw and Prof Lynne Macaskie, investigating the remediation of nuclear effluent and contaminated groundwaters using a novel biomineral ion exchanger. This work is part of the EPSRC/NERC funded BANDD project (Biogeochemical Applications in Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Disposal) involving the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, Glasgow, Manchester and Strathclyde, and BGS.

we are back!

Hi all, we have been rather quiet of later but we are now back and we will posting lots of information about our activities.