Positions Available

Interested candidates are invited to provide their transcripts, CV, a brief statement of research interests, and copies of publications (if available). For further information regarding these positions, please contact Steve Holland


This MSc position will investigate the effectiveness of organic-carbon cover systems on sulfide-rich tailings at an active base-metal mine site. This student will characterize aspects of site hydrology, geochemistry, mineralogy, and microbiology, estimate the potential impact of the cover system on future loadings from the tailings impoundment to the adjacent environment, and apply new tools to improve quantification of contaminant loadings. This MSc position includes an opportunity for an exchange to the other Network institutions.

This position is hosted at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. David Blowes and Dr. Carol Ptacek.

Microbial community studies examining trace element mobility and sequestration in mine-waste disposal areas and remediation systems. The successful applicant will use culture-based and culture-independent techniques to characterize microbial communities in mine wastes and study the influence of these microbes on trace element biogeochemistry. Note that both MSc and PhD project options may be available for this project.

This position is hosted at the University of Saskatchewan under the supervision of Dr. Joyce McBeth.

Synchrotron-based studies of mine waste materials. The successful applicant will learn how to use synchrotron tools such as PXRD, micro-XRF imaging, and XANES to characterize and study the chemistry of mine waste materials.

This position is hosted at the University of Saskatchewan under the supervision of Dr. Joyce McBeth.

Permeable reactive barrier and saturated fill systems for treatment of mine drainage. The successful applicant will complete lab studies of saturated fill to identify optimum mixtures of reactive media to remove selenium and nitrate from mine-impacted water.

This position is hosted at the University of Saskatchewan under the supervision of Dr. Joyce McBeth.

This MSc position will study the effectiveness of geosynthetic clay-liner covers on sulfide-rich tailings at an abandoned base-metal mine site. This student will characterize aspects of site hydrology, geochemistry, mineralogy, and microbiology, estimate the potential impact of the cover system on future loadings from the tailings impoundment to the adjacent environment, and apply new tools to improve quantification of contaminant loadings. This MSc position includes an opportunity for an exchange to the other Network institutions.

This position is hosted at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. David Blowes and Dr. Carol Ptacek.

This PhD position will focus on the influence of prior contamination on the performance of remediation activities at an abandoned metal mine. This project will investigate the biogeochemical processes which contribute to the sustained release of contaminants from tailings stored under cover systems. Results of this project provide novel insights into the long-term performance of systems for the management of acid-generating mine wastes. This PhD position includes an opportunity for an exchange to the other Network institutions.

This position is hosted at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. David Blowes and Dr. Carol Ptacek.

This PhD position will focus on emerging contaminants in mine-impacted waters. This student will measure concentrations of blasting residuals and other emerging contaminants in water samples from waste-rock and tailings impoundments. This research will lead to an enhanced understanding of the distribution of blasting residuals and other emerging contaminants in receiving water bodies, thus providing a basis for determining whether these measurements can be used as tracers of anthropogenic activity. This PhD position includes an opportunity for an exchange to the other Network institutions.

This position is hosted at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. David Blowes and Dr. Carol Ptacek.

This PhD position will focus on permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) for treatment of mine drainage. This student will conduct field sampling at existing PRB installations that were installed 10-15 years ago to determine their ongoing effectiveness, and to evaluate whether predictions made more than a decade ago accurately represent field performance. In addition, this student will conduct laboratory-based testing and numerical modelling to evaluate new PRB materials. This PhD position includes an opportunity for an exchange to the other Network institutions.

This position is hosted at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. David Blowes and Dr. Carol Ptacek.

This PDF position will focus on hydrogeochemical characterization of arsenic-bearing mill tailings at an abandoned gold-mine site, and the development and pilot-scale implementation of passive-remediation strategies for attenuating arsenic. This PDF position includes an opportunity for an exchange to the other Network institutions.

This position is hosted at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. David Blowes and Dr. Carol Ptacek.