Human exposure to trace organic contaminants in the environment and their biotransformation processes

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Dr Fisher Wangx.wang18@uq.edu.au

Comprehensive understanding of exposure pathways is essential for chemical risk assessment and management/mitigation. Humans can be exposed to trace organic contaminants such as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) via air inhalation, dust ingestion and dermal contact. Furthermore, transformation of their precursors and/or derivatives in the environment and humans leads to indirect exposure pathways which are not well characterised.

This PhD project aims to characterise trace organic contaminant exposure pathways of air inhalation, dust ingestion and dermal contact for exposed cohorts, and evaluate the role of precursor exposure and biotransformation as a source for body burden of end products.

Specific skills and knowledge the successful candidate will gain, through this PhD, include how to characterise trace organic contaminant levels and profiles in environment matrices; how to identify the products and processes of biotransformation of environmental chemicals; how to assess human exposure to environmental chemicals via different pathways; and how to communicate research outcomes with affected communities.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of mass spectrometry particularly with accurate mass suspect screening experience would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 4, 2021. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

Apply now