Rare earth metals and platinum group elements are key ingredients in the technologies and industrial products we use every day—from smart phones to catalytic converters. But we don’t yet know enough about the environmental issues associated with mining them to create strong regulations.
Dr. Marc Amyot, Canada Research Chair in Global Change Ecotoxicology, aims to fill this gap by studying the fate of contaminants in a changing environment. By co-producing knowledge with Atikamekw, Innu, Naskapi and Inuit communities, he and his research team are trying to answer questions like: How do climate-related environmental changes affect the mobility of contaminants? How do contaminants bioaccumulate and move through the food webs of aquatic systems? How do changes in the diets of Indigenous communities affect their exposure to contaminants? And which remediation methods can best mitigate the impact of contaminants in fragile northern systems and southern agroecosystems? The answers they uncover will help inform future environmental regulations.