Danielle VanMensel

After obtaining a BSc at Wilfrid Laurier University in Biochemistry/Biotechnology with a minor in Biology, Danielle joined the Weisener group in 2013 to begin her MSc in Environmental Science. She completed this degree while studying the structure and diversity of microbial communities within oil sands processed material and their compositional response to a novel detoxification approach (i.e. gamma-irradiation) in a mesocosm study.

Danielle is currently a doctoral student in the Weisener lab, focusing her research on subsurface biogeochemistry of contaminated freshwater environments. Particularly, she aims to address the implications to aquatic and human health from freshwater pathogens within near shore freshwater environments (i.e. public beaches) by incorporating both microbial and physicochemical analyses. Genomic and transcriptomic approaches are being used to analyze the microbial ecology within the sediment-water interface, the gene expression of these communities and their contribution to nutrient cycling, as well as investigations of the sediment compartment potential as a possible sink for biological contaminants (i.e. bed sediment) or transport vessels for nutrients and/or pathogens (i.e. suspended sediment via erosion, deposition, resuspension).

During her time in the Weisener group, she has also contributed significant fieldwork assistance on several other projects with her colleagues and participated in a number of public outreach programs.

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