Dr Anirban Basu | Lecturer in Earth Sciences
“My why… exploring environmental sustainability and its biogeochemical controls to safeguard vital natural resources."
My research combines hydrogeology, isotope geochemistry and microbiology, and integrates laboratory experiments with field-scale investigations. My goal is to improve on models of geochemical reactions such as metal cycling and formation of ore deposits for efficient resource management. The important research questions I am addressing are ‘how do fluid-rock chemical and biological interactions affect solute transport and fluid flow?’ and ‘how isotope proxies provide a powerful tool for understanding fundamental geochemical processes such as microbial metal cycling?’ I bring these into my teaching and students are curious about the answers to these questions, and often take part in this research in their third year projects. My research is based at the world-class mass spectrometry and geobiology laboratories at Royal Holloway. I use non-traditional stable isotopes of metals and non-metals as tracers to understand fundamental processes responsible for contaminant remediation related to water quality issues, nutrient cycling in the environment, radioactive waste management, metal-microbe interaction, and sustainable mining practices toward C-neutral energy – such as bio-mining or in-situ recovery uranium mining. These isotope systems are proxies of chemical and biological processes in the environment and understanding them will help predict biological/chemical reaction mechanisms, rates, and transport of dissolved and often exceptionally toxic metals/ non-metals in soils, sediments and natural waters.