Kathleen S (Kathy) Smith, Ph.D.

My research approach is to examine processes that influence metal speciation, mobility, bioavailability, and toxicity by combining laboratory, field and modeling activities.


My research examines processes that influence metal concentration, speciation, bioavailability, and mobility in low-temperature aquatic systems. My general research interests include low-temperature aqueous geochemistry, environmental geochemistry, water/rock interactions, trace-element geochemistry, metal bioavailability, environmental toxicology of metals, characterization of mining wastes, leaching techniques, and sampling methodologies. My recent research topics include metal recovery from waste streams, metal sorption and transport in mined and mineralized areas, application of the biotic ligand model in mined and mineralized areas, and sampling and monitoring methods for the mine life cycle. Previous research topics include mine waste characterization, mine drainage characterization, geoenvironmental models, metal sorption onto iron oxyhydroxides, effects of fluvial tailings deposits on water quality, environmental effects of historical mining, and development of multi-disciplinary methods.

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