SEGH Articles

SEGH2019 Sponsored Attendees: Jaskaran Kaur

26 August 2019
Jaskaran Kaur, a PhD researcher at the Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India shares her experiences of SEGH2019

First of all, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for Dr. Sanja Potgieter-Vermaak, Dr. David Megson and all other members for outstanding teamwork in organizing this lovely event. I had a rewarding and successful participation and an unforgettable stay in Manchester. It was a great honour for me to attend and participate in this respected conference.

It’s been a very fascinating and engaging 5 days. We had 5 quite different days. I gave an oral flash presentation and it was a great experience. There were many questions during poster presentation that created more scientific views and I think they motivated me to work more and harder to investigate my topic. There were fruitful discussions and findings.

This conference provided a platform for healthy scientific deliberations and interactions between various scientists, researchers, and students. This scientific meet focussed on the latest developments in the field of Geochemistry and Environmental Sciences and brought me to the attention of some of the pertinent issues concerning the ill-effects of environmental pollutants not only on human health but also on biodiversity.

Furthermore, I gleaned carrier guidance and tips for being a successful researcher from experienced mentors. Through discussions, I extracted knowledge about various fellowships and awards to carry forward my research after my PhD. This experience has enhanced my knowledge and built academic relations with fellow researchers and scientists, which will serve me well in the future.

Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude towards the conference organizing committee and SEGH society for providing me with funding. Without it, I would not be able to attend this wonderful event. These things have encouraged me to carry forward my research. I am humbled to have been part of this event.


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Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health

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    Abstract

    Chinese Medicinal Yam (CMY) has been prescribed as medicinal food for thousand years in China by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners. Its medical benefits include nourishing the stomach and spleen to improve digestion, replenishing lung and kidney, etc., according to the TCM literature. As living standard rises and public health awareness improves in recent years, the potential medicinal benefits of CMY have attracted increasing attention in China. It has been found that the observed climate change in last several decades, together with the change in economic structure, has driven significant shift in the pattern of the traditional CMY planting areas. To identify suitable planting area for CMY in the near future is critical for ensuring the quality and supply quantity of CMY, guiding the layout of CMY industry, and safeguarding the sustainable development of CMY resources for public health. In this study, we first collect 30-year records of CMY varieties and their corresponding phenology and agro-meteorological observations. We then consolidate these data and use them to enrich and update the eco-physiological parameters of CMY in the agro-ecological zone (AEZ) model. The updated CMY varieties and AEZ model are validated using the historical planting area and production under observed climate conditions. After the successful validation, we use the updated AEZ model to simulate the potential yield of CMY and identify the suitable planting regions under future climate projections in China. This study shows that regions with high ecological similarity to the genuine and core producing areas of CMY mainly distribute in eastern Henan, southeastern Hebei, and western Shandong. The climate suitability of these areas will be improved due to global warming in the next 50 years, and therefore, they will continue to be the most suitable CMY planting regions.

  • Application of stable isotopes and dissolved ions for monitoring landfill leachate contamination 2019-10-15

    Abstract

    We evaluated groundwater contamination by landfill leachate at a municipal landfill and characterized isotopic and hydrogeochemical evidence of the degradation and natural attenuation of buried organic matter at the study site. Dissolved ion content was generally much higher in the leachate than in the surrounding groundwater. The leachate was characterized by highly elevated bicarbonate and ammonium levels and a lack of nitrate and sulfate, indicating generation under anoxic conditions. Leachate δD and δ13CDIC values were much higher than those of the surrounding groundwater; some groundwater samples near the landfill showed a significant contamination by the leachate plume. Hydrochemical characteristics of the groundwater suggest that aquifer geology in the study area plays a key role in controlling the natural attenuation of leachate plumes in this oxygen-limited environment.

  • Lead transfer into the vegetation layer growing naturally in a Pb-contaminated site 2019-10-10

    Abstract

    The lead was one of the main elements in the glazes used to colour ceramic tiles. Due to its presence, ceramic sludge has been a source of environmental pollution since this dangerous waste has been often spread into the soil without any measures of pollution control. These contaminated sites are often located close to industrial sites in the peri-urban areas, thus representing a considerable hazard to the human and ecosystem health. In this study, we investigated the lead transfer into the vegetation layer (Phragmites australis, Salix alba and Sambucus nigra) growing naturally along a Pb-contaminated ditch bank. The analysis showed a different lead accumulation among the species and their plant tissues. Salix trees were not affected by the Pb contamination, possibly because their roots mainly develop below the contaminated deposit. Differently, Sambucus accumulated high concentrations of lead in all plant tissues and fruits, representing a potential source of biomagnification. Phragmites accumulated large amounts of lead in the rhizomes and, considering its homogeneous distribution on the site, was used to map the contamination. Analysing the Pb concentration within plant tissues, we got at the same time information about the spread, the history of the contamination and the relative risks. Finally, we discussed the role of natural recolonizing plants for the soil pollution mitigation and their capacity on decreasing soil erosion and water run-off.