- Education and Engagement Officer
Hannah has been a member of iCRAG since 2020, and has been active through her research in Environmental Geochemistry, as the chair of the EDI committee from 2022 to 2023, and through various public engagement and education events. She will cover Elspeth Sinclair's maternity leave and cover the role of Education and Engagement Officer for a limited period. She is also working on finishing her PhD as part of the Environmental Geosciences Programme. Hannah graduated with a BSc Hons in Environmental Science in 2018 from University College Cork (UCC), followed by a one-year MSc (Res) in Environmental Science at UCC. She joined iCRAG in 2020 as a PhD researcher under the supervision of Dr Maria McNamara.
Urban recreational areas such as parks, playgrounds and sportsgrounds are important community amenities. My research will survey soil quality in such recreational areas across southern Ireland. X-ray analysis of soil samples will measure the type and amount of heavy metals present in the topsoil. By comparing the measured values to safe limits, and by testing how reactive the metals are, my research will help to protect communities, natural resources and ecosystems associated with these recreational areas.
Contamination of urban soils by heavy metals is caused by both natural and anthropogenic factors and can negatively impact the surrounding natural environment and the public. This research will determine the extent to which heavy metals contaminate urban soils in southern Ireland, which is a priority area for metal assessment and monitoring. By conducting a systematic field survey of soils in recreational areas at diverse sites, and by analysing samples using cutting-edge synchrotron-X-ray fluorescence, this study will map heavy metal concentrations across southern Ireland.
The research will also assess the bioavailability of selected heavy metals and will test for links between metal bioavailability, concentration and the type and amount of organic matter present in order to determine whether the latter is a proxy for the nature, or risk, of metal contamination in urban soils.
- Earth System Change
- Environmental Geoscience