Who we are
CSI:ENVIRONMENT is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (more info...), funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework programme and has started on November 1, 2010. The network consists of 10 full partners (including one industrial and 9 academic partners) (more info...) and 4 associated partners (more info...) from 9 EU countries.
The composition of the network is well balanced between environmental chemists, microbiologists, biochemists, eco-toxicologists and modellers. As such, CSI:ENVIRONMENT will provide a training platform for 16 young researchers in the emerging field of environmental forensics and biogeochemistry using isotope techniques. Each early stage researcher will develop an individual career development plan in interaction with the supervisors and will get the opportunity to complete a PhD thesis.
What CSI:ENVIRONMENT is about
Linking sources and sinks of organic contaminants is a major challenge in contemporary environmental science. Chemicals can be released to the environment when leaving their field of application, intended or accidentally. It is a challenge to relate the origin of spills, transport and subsequent distribution in the environment and to analyse potential sinks and elimination pathways at a local, regional and global scale.
Isotope analysis offers a unique opportunity to obtain information of sources, transport, degradation pathways and sinks of contaminants in the environment which will be urgently needed in the future. Multi-element isotope fingerprinting of chemically complex substances can be used to elucidate transformation pathways making use of isotope fractionation processes altering the reactive position and to analyse the isotope composition of an organic molecule to track sources. Concepts and applications are available for the more simple organic contaminants such as BTEX, chlorinated ethenes and MTBE but not for more complex organic contaminants such as pesticides, brominated flame retardants, persistent organic chemicals (POPs) and emerging chemicals.
What CSI:ENVIRONMENT will deliver
The aim of this ITN is to train young scientist in development of concepts for the application of isotope tools to assess the fate of organic chemicals in the environment. Young scientists will be educated in the field of isotope forensics, pushing forward the frontiers of current isotope techniques to develop new areas of isotope applications in both fundamental and applied environmental sciences. We expect that CSI:ENVIRONMENT will contribute strongly to improving the quality of environmental monitoring and risk assessment concepts of organic contaminants in Europe.