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20002023

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Personal profile

Research interests

Lab and field based Microbial Geochemistry:

  • Microbe-metal-sediment interaction, transport and deposition
    • Biogeochemistry in glacierised and snow covered environments
    • Environmental engineering - Bioremediation in surface and groundwater; Subsurface geologic carbon sequestration, enhanced oil recovery

Recent Grants and funding:

  • NERC Standard Grant (2021 – 2024) Cryo365: Are There Perennial and Light-Independent Microbial Processes on Supraglacial Ecosystems? Co-Principal investigator (£624,675).
  • NERC Subglacial Lake CECs in Antarctica (2021-2025) Subglacial Lake Exploration: Diversity, Geochemistry, Ecology (SLEDGE) - Lake CECs Microbiology. Co-Principal investigator (£599,000).
  • Aberystwyth University Research Fund (2019-2020) Quantitative analysis of biologically synthesized selenium for application in Photovoltaics. Principal investigator (£9000).
  • HEFCW research capital investment grant. Chemical and Biological Interface Imaging facility. TEM-EDX and SEM-EDX facility development. Principal investigator (£405,000).
  • NERC Standard Grant (2019 – 2022) MicroMelt: How will glacial meltwater microbes come in from the cold in this “Peak Melt” century? Co-Principal investigator, Aberystwyth University (£723,000).
  • EDRF KESS PhD Studentship – 2020 – 2023 (PI and Host). The geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry of heat production and biofouling in mine water geothermal energy recovery. Partner. British Geological Survey (£52,400).
  • Royal Society Newton – SERB Postdoctoral Fellowship 2018 2020 (PI and Host). New insight into the microbial transformation of selenium for bio-remediation and bio-recovery – Dr. Pallavee Srivastara (£64,000).
  • Ser Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon Energy and Environment PI and organizer. Ser Cymru Distinguished Visiting Experts Scheme. Subsurface Biotechnology Workshop. Aberystwyth University. June 5th - 7th 2018. £9000.
  • EDRF KESS PhD Studentship – 2018 – 2021 (PI and Host). Metal recovery and CO2 sequestration with steel production waste materials. Partner. TATA Steel (£52,400).
  • EU Marie Curie COFUND postdoctoral fellowship 2017-2020 (PI and Host). KAT-TRAP: Kinetic And Thermodynamic controls on calcium carbonate formation during geologic carbon TRAPping project - Dr. Karina Sand (£198,000).
  • EU Innovative Training Networks (ITN). 2016-2020. ‘MicroArctic’. Microorganisms in Warming Arctic Environments. No. 675546. £3.8M. Work Package Leader and Co-Investigator.
  • Sêr Cymru National Research Network award for Low Carbon, Energy and the Environment 2015-2019. 'Geo-Carb-Cymru' The potential of low carbon subsurface energy in Wales. Manager / Principal investigator. Partners Cardiff University, British Geological Survey, The 'Big Pit' National Coal Museum of Wales. (£771,000).
  • HEFCW research capital investment 2013-16. Ex2EL Extreme Experimental Environments Laboratory. Manager / Principal investigator. (£350,000).

Prospective postgraduate students

Very interested to hear from any students with interests in microbe-mineral interactions, mineral formation and stability, metal and radionuclide pacification, carbon capture and storage, glacial biogeochemistry and microbiology. Possible sources of funding available.

Profile

Andy's interests are in the importance of microbes in regulating many common chemical reactions at the Earth's surface and in the deep subsurface, specifically through the interaction with mineral surfaces. He is particularly interested in how such processes allow microorganisms to survive in cold and icy environments and potentially on other planets. Andy also undertakes applied research into manipulating these biogeochemical processes for environmental engineering purposes, including metal and radionuclide pacification and geologic carbon capture and storage. Before coming to Aberystwyth, he was at Montana State University where he was an Assistant Research Professor in the Faculty of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Prior to this, Andy was a EU Marie Curie Fellow at the NanoGeoScience Centre, University of Copenhagen, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Microbiology, Montana State University, and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Geology, University of Toronto. Andy has travelled and worked all over the world, and is particularly drawn to mountainous areas and mountain sports.

Responsibilities

2016 - present. Co-Director - Interdisciplinary Centre for Environmental Microbiology

2019 - present. Director of Postgraduate Studies, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences. 

2017-2019. Director of Research (Science). Department of Geography and Earth Sciences. 

2013 - present. Manager - Extreme Experimental Environments Laboratory (Ex2El)

2017 - present. Associate Editor  - Frontiers in Geochemistry

2018 - present. UK Geo microbiology Society Committee Member

Teaching

Modules taught and coordinated*:

  • EAM1520. Geochemistry of the Primary and Secondary Environment*. M.Sc. Aqueous geochemistry and biogeochemistry. 2010-2015. Theory and practical classes on aqueous and solid phase geochemistry and biogeochemistry.
  • EA20410. Hydrochemistry*. 2010-2016. Calculation based course on aqueous geochemistry.
  • GS22720. Fundamentals Of Geochemistry. 2017-2020. Theory and practical classes on aqueous and solid phase geochemistry and biogeochemistry.
  • GS22210. Second Year Environmental Earth Science Tutorial*. 2010-2020.   Tutoring, academic skills development.
  • GS12520. An Introduction To Earth Materials*. 2010-2020. Introduction to hand specimen analysis and microscopy of rocks and minerals.
  • GS12410. Fieldwork Skills*. 2010-2020. 1 week residential fieldwork developing fundamental field skills in environmental science and environmental earth science (biogeochemical / environmental sampling, monitoring and analysis)
  • GS23110. Earth Resources And Environmental Impacts*. 2010-2020. Lecture based course on water resources, hydrology, energy resources and mineral resources.
  • GS35320. Environmental Earth Science Level 3 Fieldwork. 2010-2017. 1 week residential fieldwork on aqueous geochemistry sampling and analysis related to environmental impact of extractive industries.
  • GS35140. Independent Project For Environmental Earth Science / Environmental Science. Supervision of major final year BSc projects in biogeochemistry.

Previous learning and teaching roles:

  • Course Coordinator, Environmental Science B.Sc., Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University. Wales, UK. 
  • Course Coordinator, Environmental Earth Science B.Sc., Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University. Wales, UK. 
  • Course Coordinator, Environmental Monitoring and Analysis M.Sc., Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University. Wales, UK. 

Additional information

Prospective postgraduate students

Very interested to hear from any students with interests in microbe-mineral interactions, mineral formation and stability, metal and radionuclide pacification, carbon capture and storage, glacial biogeochemistry and microbiology. Possible sources of funding available.

Current PhD Students:

  • Andre Soares
  • Ian Stevens
  • Melanie Hay
  • Sarah Easter
  • Keegan Burrows
  • Joe Dean
  • Guglielmo Persiani

Current Postdoctoral fellows:

  • Dr. Sara Rassner (NRN-LCEE)
  • Dr. Pallavee Srivastara (Royal Society)
  • Dr. Karina Sand (EU Horizon 2020 COFUND)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

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