- Postgraduate Researcher
Luka Vucinic is a PhD researcher in the groundwater research spoke. Luka graduated with a BSc/MSc in Geological Engineering with specialisation in Hydrogeology in 2010 from the University of Belgrade (Serbia). After graduation Luka has been working in environmental and energy industry for several years. Before joining iCRAG under the supervision of Prof. Laurence Gill and in collaboration with Dr David O'Connell, Luka obtained MSc in Environmental Science at TCD. His research primarily investigates karst springs in Ireland with the objective to characterise the diffuse recharge from domestic wastewater treatment systems effluent in order to develop a better understanding of risk of the groundwater pollutant contamination. General research interests include karst hydrogeology, contaminant transport and fate in groundwater, aquifer recharge and water resources engineering.
Karst aquifers are one of the most important drinking water resources on the planet, but highly vulnerable to pollution. My research focusses on developing innovative ways to improve our understanding of groundwater contamination risks from on-site domestic wastewater treatment systems (mostly septic tanks) in karstic terrains in Ireland, which will ultimately help to protect this valuable resource. I examine flows and water quality of karst springs over a range of hydrological events and how on-site effluent contaminants move through complex karst systems. This allows me to evaluate pollutant transport and attenuation from human on-site effluent through karst catchments.
Project title: The impact of on-site wastewater effluent on karst springs
This research project primarily investigates karst springs in Ireland with the objective to characterise the diffuse recharge from domestic wastewater treatment systems effluent. Consequently, this will increase scientific understanding of groundwater pollutant contamination problems and linked risks to human health from such sanitation systems. Detailed assessment of several springs representative of karst networks of different scale and morphometry will be carried out in order to determine the contribution of on-site effluent contaminants by the use of chemical and microbiological fingerprinting methodologies. In addition, apart from the traditionally used indicators, the research project will monitor concentrations of various human-specific on-site wastewater constituents of concern in groundwater that will allow the quantification of on-site wastewater contribution to karst groundwater systems. Several novel techniques will be tested as a part of this project in order to assess the magnitude of human impact on groundwater quality.
- Postgraduate Researcher
- Earth System Change
- Connected Waters