Researcher: Gaganprit Gill, PhD (2017–present)
Risk assessment tools used to predict the toxic form of a metal and associated toxic effect concentrations for different organisms have proven invaluable in appropriate assessment of metals risk in surface waters but they do require measurement of many different parameters. The probes I am developing will allow measurement of the toxic fraction of a metal directly and provide real-time data to allow water managers to make informed decisions without requiring additional time-consuming water chemistry surveys. These probes are based on specially designed DNA molecules that bind metals and generate electrochemical or optical signals proportional to metal bioavailability. Our first planned deployment of prototype probes will be at the Ptarmigan mine site outside of Yellowknife.