Project summaries - 2008 Environmental Research - seeding grants
This seeding project is to explore the feasibility of using Inductively Coupled Plasma/Quadruple Mass Spectrometric (ICP/QMS) for measuring stable lead isotope ratios at concentration levels that are commonly found in environmental samples. In order to realise this, it is necessary to overcome some of the inherent difficulties of using this technique for such purpose. This project is to use reactive gas in combination with an internal standard isotope correction technique for overcoming the mass drift and fluctuations problems in ICP/QMS. Currently, stable lead isotope ratios are measured using Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (TIMS), which is not suitable for routine uses. Positive outcomes here will not only provide the environmental scientists a cost effective method for measuring stable isotope ratios but also a complementary or optional fingerprinting approach for environmental forensic investigations, particularly when chemical finger printings are unstable or have been interfered by sample matrices.
University of Western Sydney
Tracking down a biodiversity killer - the Red-Eared Slider Turtle
A North American endemic, the ubiquitous 'pet terrapin' Trachemys scripta elegans is traded internationally. Escaped animals form the basis of feral populations with subsequent disastrous impacts on aquatic biodiversity. Although established within Sydney, their distribution is unknown. Surveys, even within 'known' slider sites are costly and 'hit and miss'. I have encountered a blood parasite in native species known only from a few North American species including the Red-Eared Slider, however, data on Australian turtle parasites are limited. I propose to explore the use of this blood parasite as a rapid assessment tool for sliders to underpin efficient pest management.
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Page last updated: 27 February 2011