Andrea Goold's master's thesis is a dream project – one that combines biology, environmental studies, and even politics.
Goold is working with Biology Professor Peter Lee to monitor Hogarth Pit Lake near Atikokan, Ontario. The Lake has become chronically toxic following iron ore mining that took place under the Lake from 1944 to 1979.
“I feel fortunate to be working at Lakehead U's Aquatic Toxicology Research Centre,” says Goold. “I appreciate the holistic approach: being able to collect data and analyze my own samples, rather than sending them off to some far-away lab.” (ATRC is the only Canadian university-based toxicology test facility accredited by the Canadian Association of Environmental Analytical Laboratories.)
Goold's investigations into the toxicity of the Hogarth Pit Lake will be applied to an ecological risk assessment of the area. Her research is critical since continuously rising waters in the lake are expected to outflow into the adjacent Seine River system by 2030.
Lakehead University has been working with the Ministry of Natural Resources to address this problem since 1999. Research indicates the cause of toxicity is likely due to cationic metals such as copper, lead, nickel, and zinc. Several solutions have been proposed, including wetland remediation to remove the toxic metals from the water.
For more information contact the Lakehead University Environmental Laboratory at 807-343-8368.