MSc projects available at CERAD

  • Word clous for MSc projects
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    Yevgeniya Tomkiv

Training and education of new researchers is an essential ingredient in CERAD. Radioecology is a multidisciplinary science and provides students with a wide range of carrier opportunities. Here are some of the master thesis projects we propose.

MSc projects

Are you a chemistry, physics of biology fan? We have something for everyone! All master projects are available in both Norwegian and English.

Plant adaptation to radioactivity

Line Nybakken - line.nybakken@nmbu.no

Plants grow and thrive at places where the radioactivity is so high that human habitation is banned. Most studies of plants from high radioactivity sites deal only with uptake and concentrations of the pollutant, and very few have looked at how the plants are actually affected, i.e. damage without death or potentially adaptation to the high radiation levels. We study different plant traits (morphology, gene expression, DNA damage, defense mechanisms) in controlled experiments and in field samples, and invite master students to take their thesis as part of our projects!

Mobility, biological uptake and transport of radionuclides in the environment

Hans-Christian Teien - hans-christian.teien@nmbu.no; Lindis Skipperud - lindis.skipperud@nmbu.no

How does speciation of radionuclides combined with environmental and biological factors influences their mobility, uptake and accumulation in the organisms? We focus on improved understanding of dynamic transfers in aquatic ecosystems and terrestrial ecosystems and replacing transfer constants based on equilibrium concepts with time functions.

This project covers naturally occurring radionuclides as well as transuranic and fission products and might include fieldwork in Norway or other countries.

Radioactivity in the environment: Source terms and release scenarios

Ole Christian Lind – olelin@nmbu.no

We work with characterization of radionuclides released from different sources under different release scenarios with respect to their physico-chemical forms. This information can then be used to better determine the potential implication for air/water dispersal and further environmental transfer through development of integrated models.

Several master projects are possible, for example but not limited to:

  • characterization of nanometer-micrometer sized radioactive particles using techniques such as digital autoradiography, electron microscopy and micro X-ray fluorescence
  • source identification of radionuclides such as uranium or plutonium in water, soil, sediment or biota by means of alpha and mass spectrometry
  • sequential extraction of radionuclides and trace elements to determine potential mobility and bioavailability.

Characterization of radioactive particles from diverse nuclear sources using advanced techniques

Ole Christian Lind - olelin@nmbu.no

To assess environmental impact of radioactive contamination of ecosystems, information on the source term (including the isotopic composition and radionuclide speciation) and ecosystem characteristics is needed. A major fraction of refractory radionuclides released from nuclear sources such as nuclear weapons tests and reactor accidents will be present as radioactive particles. To assess the impact of radioactive particle contamination of the ecosystem and to implement cost-efficient measures, information is needed on particle characteristics and on the behaviour of particles and associated radionuclides in the ecosystem.

The main objective is to identify, isolate and analyse environmental low level radioactive particles from soil and sediments contaminated by different sources (e.g. Europe, Central Asia, North America, Polar regions)

Methods to be used are typically: light microscopy, alpha-,beta-, gamma-detectors, scanning electron microscopy with x-ray microanalysis (ESEM-EDX), micro-x-ray fluorescence, gamma spectrometry, radiochemical separations, alpha spectrophotometry and/or ICP-MS. Lab experiments will be performed at NMBU.

NB! Shorter or longer stays in Ukraine to participate in courses or laboratory experiments in Kiev and/or field work in the Chernobyl exclusion zone is possible through a SiU project that can cover the travel and accommodation costs.

Spesielle krav til kompetanse:
Radiochemistry, inorganic and/or analytical chemistry

Ionization radiation sensitive transgenic real time biomonitor zebrafish

Peter Aleström - peter.alestrom@nmbu.no

Biomonitor fish (Glofish; Gong et al. 2003) has been produced to demonstrate in real time the presence of chemical pollutants in water. Transgenic laboratory model biomonitor zebrafish can (i) be studied under controlled conditions in the lab; (ii) be exposed at field sites, or to field relevant ecosystem parameters; (iii) Transgenic zebrafish designs can be used for transformation to species better adapted to monitor field site exposures. 

We hypothesize that we can produce a gamma radiation specific biomonitor fish using results on novel potential biomarkers from our ongoing CERAD research project. By genetic crosses between different “biomonitor fish” lines this project can lead to a family of environmental multiple stressor monitoring fish that allow real-time monitoring of environmentally relevant co-exposures.

Subgoal 1 (master student project): Design and validation of transgenic Gamma-miR-monitor fish that carry a reporter gene (transiently expressed in F0 for validation) with a miRNA target sequence. Induced expression of biomarker miRNA will knock-down reporter gene signal (GFP/LUC/other). miR-430 will serve as control and gamma induced miRNA candidate(s) will be selected from CERAD project results (Martin et al. in prep). For zebrafish transgenesis, a combination of established and novel methods (Crispr/CAS9) will be used.

Subgoal 2: Results with potential for commercial innovation will continuously be evaluated.

Published 28. September 2017 - 12:59 - Updated 15. March 2018 - 12:44

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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