Robert Kaplan

PhD student
University of Toronto

I started my PhD in biogeochemistry in 2015 at the University of Toronto, Canada, under the supervision of Dr. Bridget Bergquist. The focus of my research is mercury isotope chemistry, seeing how Hg isotope signatures change over time and conditions. In 2013, I received a grant from UNIDO (United Nations International Development Organization) to do mercury research related to Artisanal Gold Mining (AGM) with Dr. Marcello Veiga at UBC. I have written numerous reports and given presentations on the technical aspects of AGM, as well as the political and social implications of the industry. My MASc thesis in Mining Engineering was on the release, monitoring and bioaccumulation of mercury and heavy metals in the Puyango-Tumbes River Basin of Ecuador.

Before attending graduate school at UBC, I was a consulting biologist for both the private and public sectors. I have a BSc in biology from the University of Victoria. I started an environmental consulting company (8 years) that analysed and reported on fresh water and marine contamination from municipal, industrial, and natural sources. My last consulting project was on mining and log storage contamination of the Nanaimo River Estuary, British Columbia. Previous to my company, I performed detailed ecosystem surveys and classification, and Stage I and Stage II environmental contamination analysis. In another life I worked for five years in medical and forensic pathology before switching to environmental biology.