The Phyto Lab
Assessing the Risk of Heavy Metal Accumulation in Edible Garden Plants
This research project investigates edible plant species and their potential to phytoremediate heavy metal contaminants from soils. The project assesses risks to food safety of domestic and urban gardens whilst also informing suitable species selection and application for bioremediation of heavily contaminated sites in Australia.
Lead Researcher: Annaclaire McDonald (BSc) – PhD Candidate – 2018 to 2020
Australian Mines: Contaminant Dynamics and Surface Phytomanagement
This project explores the viability of Australian native plants for use in the field of phytomanagement, in particular, the management of heavy metal contaminated soil left behind after coal mining. Using a combination of in-situfield work and manipulative glasshouse experiments, he aims to identify Australian native trees/grasses with the ability to accumulate or tolerate soils with high levels of heavy metal contamination.
The overarching goal of this project is to develop a practical, cost effective, and environmentally sustainable solution to a large scale global problem.
Lead researcher: Kieran Young (BSc) – PhD Candidate – 2017 to 2019
Investigating the Use of Biochar as a Phytoremediation Companion Treatment
This research project will assess the viability of bio-char as a potential technology to increase plant health and accelerate the rate of phytoremediation in heavy metal contaminated soils.
Focusing primarily on Australian natives, this project will utilise a controlled glasshouse experiment to quantify the capacity of species such as Acacia longifolia (Sydney Golden Wattle) and Callistemon linearis (Narrow-leaved Bottlebrush) to phytoremediate lead-contaminated soils. Having already seen promising results in Australia’s agricultural industry, will bio-char prove itself as the next big star in the land management field?
Lead researcher: Lincoln De Haas (BSc) – Master of Science Candidate – 2018 to 2020
Investigating Novel Solutions to Aquatic and Terrestrial Oil Spills Within an Australian Context
Juliette is undertaking a research internship in the Phyto Lab as part of her UTS Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation program. She will be investigating novel solutions to critical environmental problems like oil spills with connectivity between scientific research and community needs.
Lead researcher: Juliette Kidston-Lattari – Research Internship – 2019