Arsenic in drinking water. Lead in the atmosphere. Uranium leaking from nuclear waste. A little too much of some trace elements in the environment can have fundamental effects on human and environmental health. However too little of others can have equally disastrous consequences, leading to issues such as malnutrition in large areas of the developing world.
In his inaugural lecture, Dominik Weiss will discuss a career investigating the past and present movement of trace elements around our environment. This will include research reconstructing atmospheric trace element deposition that might contribute to the naming of a new geological time epoch, and revealed the chemical composition of natural atmospheric dust.
He will look at work on inorganic mass spectrometry to explain how valuable metals for our health are taken up by rice plants, and reveal the chemistry of oxyanions such as arsenic and uranium that might help find a safe place for our nuclear waste and a new device to improve water quality.
Dominik Weiss read Natural Science at the ETH Zurich and graduated with a diploma in 1993. After two years as research associate in industry (Novartis) and academia (Weizmann Institute of Science, University of Basel) working on organic and inorganic groundwater pollution and colloid chemistry, he went on to the University of Bern for postgraduate studies in Isotope Geochemistry under the supervisions of William Shotyk and Jan Kramers. He received a PhD with distinction in Earth Sciences submitting a thesis on the reconstruction of past atmospheric lead cycles. He moved for post-doctoral studies to MIT to work under the guidance of Ed Boyle on the lead isotope evolution in North Atlantic surface waters.In 2000, he joined the faculty at Imperial College London. Dominik has been awarded the Cox Fellowship from Stanford University in 2013 and the Researcher in Residence Fellowship at the KimaKampus at the University of Hamburg in 2012. Dominik serves currently on the Editorial Board of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta and is an elected councilor of the European Association of Geochemistry and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
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