Dr. Vendula Smolikova
Development of speciation tools for evaluation of bioavailability and toxicity of As and Se in aquatic ecosystems
My research revolves around the problems of environmental pollution by trace elements – their sources, monitoring, geochemical cycling, and bioavailability. In my work, I combine active and passive sampling approaches with a focus on the Diffusive Gradients in Thin-films (DGT) technique. I have extensive experience in developing the DGT technique for the determination of arsenic and uranium utilizing novel commercial sorbents, their mixtures, or experimental sorbents such as nanomaterials. In my current project I aim to develop novel tools for speciation of As and Se by combining the DGT technique with the HPLC-ICP-MS.
What is however an inherent part of my research is the application of the DGT technique in natural environments in order to describe the fundamental aspects of biogeochemical cycling of trace elements. I have joined several geochemical sampling missions in collaboration with Orano Mining which were dedicated to the monitoring of concentrations of radio elements (uranium and radium) and other trace elements in surface waters in the vicinity of former mining sites in France where I had the possibility to perform field testing of DGT designs developed for uranium. I also regularly join sampling missions on board the research vessel Belgica which is dedicated to the investigation of cycling and geochemistry of trace elements in water and sediments of the Belgian continental shelf and Scheldt estuary. I am also using computer-based speciation modeling (i.e., Visual Minteq) to get a better insight into the (de)sorption mechanisms and speciation dynamics of trace elements in complex environmental matrixes.
- Joint PhD – Agricultural Chemistry (Mendel University in Brno) & Environmental Chemistry (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), 2022
- Master (Ing.) in Food Quality and Safety, Mendel University in Brno (Czechia), 2017
- Bachelor (Bc.) in Food Chemistry and Technology, Mendel University in Brno (Czechia), 2015