Nawaf Nasser Returns from Fieldwork in Northwest Territories

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nawaf Nasser collecting peat core samples

Nawaf Nasser collecting peat core samples 


Ph.D. student Nawaf Nasser recently returned from doing fieldwork in the Northwest Territories. His field area was in the vicinity of the Tundra Mine site, which is located about 240 km northeast of Yellowknife. He travelled there with colleague Clare Miller, a Queen's University student in Heather Jamieson's lab. The purpose of their trip was to collect sediment-water interface sampled from several lakes to determine the current state of the sensitive bio-indicator, Arcellina. They also collected peat core samples to assess the impact of the mining operations on the testate amoebae communities.

Nawaf is studying the spatial and temporal response of Arcellina to arsenic levels in lakes and peatlands. He is building upon his M.Sc. project, which focused exclusively on lake Arcellina. He has since added  a new facet to his research by examining peat testates to determine their sensitivity to mine-induced stress. 

By assessing the relationship between the lake Arcellina community and Tundra Mine-induced heavy metals, especially arsenic, Nawaf will be able to confirm the validity of using this group of microorganisms as reliable bio-indicators for environmental stress caused by industrial operations such as gold mines. His previous fieldwork was also in the Yellowknife Region around the Giant Mine. His current analysis will reveal whether his previous results can be generalized.