Yu (Swain) Wang, PhD Candidate

Thesis title: Colloid-facilitated transport mechanism of trace elements in the Athabasca River mixed zone

Colloids such as dissolved organic matter and Fe-rich colloids play a critical role in the speciation, transport, and fate of metals, nutrients, and pollutants in the aquatic system. And these colloid-trace element interactions are highly dependent on the environmental physicochemical conditions. In the lower Athabasca River basin, DOM-rich tributaries and salinity groundwater are mixing with the mainstem. The changes in physicochemical conditions in these mixed areas have a profound impact on colloidal geochemical behavior and the speciation of trace elements in the Athabasca River. The primary objectives of my research are to quantify the size-based speciation of trace elements and the colloid-trace element interactions in the mixed zone. The results will reveal the colloid-facilitated transport mechanisms of trace elements and help us predict the mobility ability of trace elements in the Athabasca River, in order to improve watershed management.

Yu (Swain) Wang completed his BSc and MSc at the Chinese University of Geosciences (Wuhan) from 2012 to 2019. He is now undertaking a PhD program supervised by Dr. William Shotyk, focused on environmental processes and nano-geochemistry research using multiple methods including field-flow fractionation, ICP-MS, TEM-EDS, etc.