Measurement of Trace Metals in Samples from Aquatic Environments Laboratory

The Measurement of Trace Metals in Samples from Aquatic Environments Laboratory is used to characterize contaminants and aquatic organisms’ exposure to these substances as well as the effects of metal bioaccumulation in the aquatic environment.

This facility has the expertise and equipment required for research activities in biogeochemistry and ecotoxicology, including the dissolving of trace metals in the solid phase, determination of metals with elemental analyzers, or determination of the chemical speciation of metals in the aqueous phase.

The analyses conducted at the Measurement of Trace Metals in Samples from Aquatic Environments Laboratory make it possible to discriminate between the different “chemical forms” of metals in the ambient environment of organisms, on the surface of cell membranes, or even in the intracellular environment. If bioaccumulated metal is present, it can be located at the subcellular or subtissue scale.

Located at the INRS Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre in downtown Quebec City, the Measurement of Trace Metals in Samples from Aquatic Environments Laboratory has a variety of equipment, including:

  • An ultraclean room (class 1000) with class 100 workspaces for handling samples
  • An inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) equipped with a laser ablation system
  • An inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometer (ICP-AES)
  • A high-performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC)
  • An ICP-MS coupled to an HPLC
  • Solid- and aqueous-phase mercury analyzers
  • An ion exchange system for determining speciation of dissolved metals
  • Equipment for algal cell cultures under controlled conditions (temperature, agitation, light intensity and spectrum)
  • An ultracentrifuge
  • A particle counter
  • Radioactivity counters (beta and gamma emissions)

Measurement of Trace Metals in Samples from Aquatic Environments Laboratory equipment is available by reservation for INRS faculty and students.

The lab can also carry out certain specialized analyses upon request as part of R&D contracts or partnerships.

Contact us to learn more about the services available.

This lab can be used to carry out a variety of operations, ranging from extracellular speciation (i.e., determination of metal species present in solution) to intracellular speciation, which makes it possible to determine where the metal is in the cells and which types of molecules it is bonded to. The knowledge obtained helps provide a better understanding of the impacts of metal contaminants on aquatic organisms and identify parameters that influence the bioavailability of metals.

The Measurement of Trace Metals in Samples from Aquatic Environments Laboratory allows researchers to:

  • Understand the impact of metal contamination on aquatic organisms (e.g., algae, biofilms, invertebrates, fish)
  • Measure the concentration of metals in surface water, groundwater, soil, and biological tissues
  • Examine the relationship between a metal’s chemical speciation and its bioavailability under physicochemical conditions
  • Determine the cell fractions in which metals accumulated by aquatic organisms are found

Equipment for the Measurement of Trace Metals in Samples from Aquatic Environments Laboratory was obtained through grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) RTI program.

Contacts

Stéfane Prémont, M.Sc. Chemistry
Laboratory Manager
Phone: 418-654-2537
Email: stefane.premont@ete.inrs.ca

 

Claude Fortin
Professor and Scientific leader
Phone: 418-654-3770
Email: claude.fortin@ete.inrs.ca

 

Measurement of Trace Metals in Samples from Aquatic Environments Laboratory

Institut national de la recherche scientifique

Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre

490 rue de la Couronne

Quebec City, Quebec  G1K 9A9

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