Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory

Grant awarded - £628

The Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory is based in the Geochemistry Centre at Durham University.

Coasts have been subjected to increasing nutrient and contaminant loads due to growing human populations and their associated activities. As a consequence, coastal environments are under increasing pressures of pollution, some of which are serious and, probably, irreversibly affecting the integrity of human activities and the ecological status of the coastal system.

This project will develop on the use of nitrogen isotope signatures in macroalgae (i.e. seaweed) as a bio-monitoring tool for detecting and quantifying anthropogenic inputs to coastal regions in the north-east of England. The motivation behind this is that macroalgae is a simpler and less expensive bio-monitoring tool. Macroalgae samples will be collected along the north-east coast of England from Scarborough to Bamburgh. The working hypothesis is that macroalgae nitrogen isotope signatures will vary along the coast according to human activity: the isotopic data generated will be compared to levels of industrialisation, nutrient inputs from farming, and coastal activities.

The outcome of this project will enable continuous, efficient and a low-cost method for monitoring coastal pollution, not only in the north-east but all regions of the United Kingdom. 


This project is still running and hasn't been evaluated yet.

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