Dr Vernon Phoenix
- Reader (School of Geographical and Earth Sciences)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Pollutant Transport and Fate
Characterising the transport and fate of pollutants is key to predicting and controlling pollution behaviour in the natural environment and in engineered systems such as waste water treatment plants. To develop better understanding of pollution transport, we utilize MRI to ‘look inside’ sediment, rocks and biofilms and image the movement of pollutants within. Our focus is on the use of paramagnetically labelled pollutants; the paramagnetic label making the pollutant readily visible to MRI. Using this approach we are imaging the transport and fate of nanoparticles, heavy metals and organics. This enables us to develop new understanding of the transport and fate of these pollutants in a diverse range of systems, ranging from river beds and aquifers to biofilms in waste-water treatment systems.
Microbial Geochemistry and Environmental Biotechnology
Bacteria play a fundamental role in controlling the cycling of (heavy) metals in natural systems. We are interested in how these organisms control metal cycling and mineral precipitation. In particular we are currently focussed on 1) microbial mineral plugging and 2) bioremediation of nanoparticles.
1) Microbial mineral plugging is the use of bacterially precipitated minerals to plug porosity in rock and sediment. We are developing this technique as a means to prevent pollutant migration in groundwater.
2) Despite the rapid increase in the use of industrial nanoparticles, there are no dedicated remediation strategies designed to deal with nanoparticle pollution events in ground-waters and soils. We are developing bioremediation methods designed specifically for nanoparticles.
We are also examining the role bacteria play in the weathering of historic buildings in Scotland
Past interests have focussed on the role of the bacterial surface as a reactive interface, and subsequently its role in metal adsorption
We examine how the Earth's earliest life forms, bacteria, inhabited our planet billions of years ago. We also examine how life have have evolved and may still exist on other planets such as Mars. To better understand how life survived in these extreme habitats we utilize modern day environments, such as the Chilean Altiplano, and laboratory simulations to provide contemporary analogous for these systems
Reader (August 2011 - present) University of Glasgow.
Lecturer (July 2010 - July 2011) University of Glasgow.
RCUK Academic Fellow (July 2005 - July 2010) University of Glasgow.
Research Associate (March 2004 – June 2005) University of Guelph, Canada.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (March 2001 – Feb 2004) University of Toronto, Canada.
Ph.D. (1997-2001) University of Leeds, UK.
M.Sc. Geochemistry (1996-1997) University of Leeds, UK.
Research and Development (1995-1996) Ayton Products Ltd, UK.
B.Sc.(Hons) Geology (1992-1995) University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK.
Ramanan, B., Holmes, W.M., Sloan, W.T., and Phoenix, V.R. (2012) Investigation of nanoparticle transport inside coarse-grained geological media using magnetic resonance imaging. Environmental Science & Technology, 46(1), pp. 360-366. (doi:10.1021/es2012726)
Phoenix V.R,. Toney, J.L. and Quince C (2013-2017) Preservation and detection of molecular signatures of life under cold, high-solar-flux, liquid-water unstable conditions. £103k. UK Space Agency (ST/L002183/1)
Phoenix V.R., and Holmes W.M. (2012-2015) The black box opened: non-invasive observation of nanoparticle transport in rock pore systems. £450k (EPSRC EP/J017493/1). Joint proposal with Tellham J.H., Stevenson CTE and Riley MS, University of Birmingham (total £650k).
Cusack, M., Phoenix V.R., and Kamenos, K.N. (2011-2015) Biomineralisation, protein and mineral response to ocean acidification £255k. Leverhulme Trust.
Haynes, H, ...Phoenix, V.R. (Co-I with 11 others) (2011-12). Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in interdisciplinary science and engineering research: 3D analysis of fluid-material interaction, £40k (Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland)
Phoenix V.R. and Holmes W.M. (2009-2010). Opening the black box: Imaging nanoparticle transport with magnetic resonance imaging. £29k (NERC NE/G010269/1).
Dorea, C., Pulford, I., Haynes, H. and Phoenix, V.R. (2009-2013) Towards a more rational design for Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems. Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith (Ph.D. scholarship plus £22,000 research costs).
Phoenix V.R. (2009-2011) Bug-free prostheses: Reducing infection risk and improving reliability £8k (EPSRC EP/H024603/1). PI, R. Lunn (Strathclyde), total: £202k.
Phoenix V.R. (2009-2013) Bacteriogenic barries to flow, £350k. Part of consortium bid (EPSRC EP/G063699/1). Biogeochemical applications in nuclear decomissioning and waste disposal. PI R.J. Lunn (Strathclyde) £2.1M
Phoenix, V. R., Holmes, W. M. and Sloan, W. T. (2009-2011) Magnetic resonance imaging of biofilm mass transport processes with gadolinium tracers. £296k (EPSRC EP/G028443/1).
Lee M.R. & Phoenix V.R. (2007-2010) The impact of climate change on weathering in urban environments: prediction and mitigation. NERC/CASE Ph.D. scholarship (NE/F006403/1). Co-Is, C. Kennedy (Historic Scotland) & E. Hyslop (BGS)
Phoenix V.R. Holmes W.M & Sloan W.T. (2007-2011). Quantifying Mass Transport in Biofilms with Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith (Ph.D. Scholarship plus £22,000 research costs)
Phoenix V.R. (2006) Coupled arsenic and ultraviolet radiation resistance in cyanobacteria from the El Tatio geyser field, Chile. £1.4k (Nuffield foundation URB/33085)
Phoenix V.R. (2006) Impact of solar radiation on near surface microbiology of the Chilean Altiplano: A Mars analogue. £1.9k (Carnegie Turst for the Universities of Scotland)
- Rebecca Skuce (PhD candidate)
- James Minto (PhD candidate)
- Nick Thomas (PhD candidate)
- Philippe Nauny (PhD candidate)
- Matsyendra Nath Shukla (post-doc)
- Dr. Laura Duthie (PhD candidate)
- Dr. Baheerathan Ramanan (PhD candidate)
- Dr Dominique Tobler (post-doc)
- Dr Susi Lakshmanan (post-doc)
- Dr Marnie Norris (PhD candidate)
- Earth Science 2P, materials (Level 2)
- Earth Science 2R, sedimentology (level 2)
- Sedimentology (level 3)
- Hydrogeology and Environmental Geoscience (level 3/4)
- Arran residential field class (level 2)
- Scarborough Petroleum Geology residential field course (level 4)