Sarina Cotroneo

PhD student
University of Ottawa

As an Environmental Sciences undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa I became interested in hydrogeology, geochemistry, and environmental remediation.  My undergraduate honours research with Dr. Danielle Fortin focused on iron and zinc biogeochemistry in the context of biogenic iron oxides (BIOS). For this project, I characterized the redox stability, mineralogy, and microbial composition of BIOS, and their potential applications in the remediation of Zn contamination of surface waters.

My master’s research with Dr. Marc Laflamme at the University of Toronto took me down a very different path, investigating the formation of Mazon Creek siderite concretions (307Ma), which are famous for their soft-bodied fossils. Through this work I gained experience with stable isotope (C, O, S) geochemistry and several analytical mineralogy methods which have provided a strong foundation of knowledge for my PhD research.

Currently, I am a PhD candidate in Dr. Ian Clark’s lab in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Ottawa. I use calcium and magnesium isotopes to investigate dolomite formation and the migration of deep crustal fluids in a site near Kincardine, Ontario, where a deep geologic repository for nuclear waste is planned. When I’m not in the lab or in the field, I serve as the Director of Communications for the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences, sharing Earth Science news with the public through social media and blogging.