Soil lysimeters (Nick Beresford)
Biogeochemical processes and radionuclide behaviour in soil-plant systems
The first component of the study will be to assess how the availability of radionuclides varies in soils over time. We will be investigating if short-term measurements can be used to predict the long-term availability of radionuclides in soils by testing our models in the Chernobyl exclusion zone (CEZ).
Novel approaches to estimate the radionuclide activity concentrations in the human foodchain & terrestrial and aquatic wildlife
The second component applies the concepts of ‘phylogeny’ and ‘ionomics’ and statistical modelling methods to describe uptake of a range of radionuclide into wildlife and human foods. The approach may make it possible to predict uptake for any plant or animal; this would be of great value as it is impossible to measure uptake for all wildlife, crops and farm animals.
Exposure of wildlife under field conditions
The third component seeks to improve the quantification of radiation exposure by investigating how animals within the CEZ interact with their environment and the consequences of this for their exposure to radiation.
Mechanisms of biological effect and trans-generational impacts of exposure to ionising radiation
The final component aims to investigate if knowledge from experiments on animals and plants in the laboratory is a good representation of what happens in the real world. A key element of this work will be the consideration of transgenerational effects.
In addition to our scientific research we will make a contribution to the one of the aims of the RATE programme which is to improve UK capacity in the field of radioactivity in the environment.