Development of a Quantitative Lab and Field-Based Microbial Tool to Determine Arsenic Speciation in Seawater

Arsenic (As) is a contaminant found in ecosystems and drinking water throughout the world; it is a potent human carcinogen. Arsenic levels and speciation are controlled by a series of abiotic and microbial processes. Arsenic toxicity depends on its speciation and proper risk management is linked to predicting As speciation in various environmental matrices. Laboratory speciation of arsenic is expensive and requires tedious collection methods to preserve in-situ conditions. Marine ecosystems are affected by As contamination but few tools are adapted to its detection. Our goal is to develop a novel arsenic biosensor capable of determining the speciation of inorganic arsenic in seawater while rapidly estimating the quantity of bioavailable arsenic at concentrations regulated by the World Health Organization.

Faculty Supervisor:

Alexandre Poulain


Martin Pothier






University of Ottawa


Globalink Research Award

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