M.Sc. project - Photodegradation of pesticides at the surface of vegetation after crop spraying

Pesticides and their transformation products are often detected in surface water and groundwater, where they represent a major threat to public health and ecosystems. Most of the studies on the presence, degradation or toxicity of pesticides have focused on herbicides, while fungicides usually receive less attention. Yet they are also regularly applied to crops and they are detected in water, raising questions about their potential toxicity. To explain the environmental fate of these compounds, sunlight-induced degradation is an important route for pesticide dissipation, especially in surface waters. However, photodegradation at the surface of vegetation after crop spraying is rarely taken into account. Given the potential major role played by this process in the degradation of pesticides following their application, research about the photodegradation of fungicides at the surface of vegetation and the associated toxicity is both necessary and relevant. The goal of this MSc project is to determine the extent of photodegradation at the vegetation surface of fungicides commonly applied in Quebec, using laboratory and field experiments. A combination of approaches based on the monitoring of transformation products, compound-specific isotope analysis to follow degradation (13C/12C, 37Cl/35Cl) and ecotoxicological tests will be used to achieve this objective.

Additionnal information
• Collaborative project UQAM between Violaine Ponsin, Maikel Rosabal and Matthieu Moingt.
• Requirements: Bachelor’s degree (BSc) in environmental sciences, chemistry, or in a relevant field completed by April 30th 2024.
• Assets: Knowledge in isotope geochemistry and/or in ecotoxicology.
• Field and laboratory work.
• Competitive MSc scholarship (20,000$/year) for a 2-year period.
• The student will be a member of the research centres EcotoQ and Geotop, which offer a comprehensive and dynamic working environment with numerous opportunities for additional funding, access to state-of-the-art equipment, courses and seminars. The student will also have access to the LAE analytical platform.

To apply send your CV and transcripts (BSc) by February 23rd 2024 to:
Violaine Ponsin, Département des sciences de la Terre et de l’atmosphère, Université du Québec à Montréal
Email: ponsin.violaine [at] uqam.ca (ponsin[dot]violaine[at]uqam[dot]ca)


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