Ingrid J. Pickering

Canada Research Chair in Molecular Environmental Science

Tier 1 - 2016-02-01
Renewed: 2020-07-01
University of Saskatchewan
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council


Coming to Canada From

Stanford University, USA

Research involves

Using X-ray absorption spectroscopy to understand how toxic elements interact with the environment at the molecular level.

Research relevance

By exploring how toxic elements are chemically changed in the environment, the research will provide a foundation for possible remediation strategies in contaminated areas.

Research summary

Several metals are essential to life, but many others are toxic. In each case, their action depends not only on the metal’s speciation but also on an intricate interconnectedness between the roles of elements, as they may counteract or magnify each other’s positive or deleterious roles. Dr. Ingrid J. Pickering will develop and deploy synchrotron techniques to investigate heavier elements in living systems, with a particular emphasis on selenium and its interplay with mercury. By taking a holistic approach, from laboratory studies through environmental outcomes to human cases, the research seeks to discover the molecular mechanisms underlying these intricate relationships.