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Phytoremediation and Industrial Hemp (Seminar)

Monday, June 22, 2009

12pm to 1pm

Seminar Details The human population continues to expand and two major by-products of this growth are fly ash (from the coal burning production of energy) and sewage sludge (from domestic waste). These waste products contain nutrients or properties beneficial to plant growth and the soil matrix, and are often used as agricultural amendments. Such applications can be controversial, as sewage sludge and fly ash may contain heavy metals, pathogens and/or organic solvent contaminants. This controversy has fueled significant research on the topic — scientists search to optimize the benefits and neutralize the hazards of these agricultural amendments. In this search, phytoremediation has emerged as a feasible option to turn these waste products into a reusable resource. Phytoremediation can be defined as the decontamination of soil, sediment or water using plant growth. Industrial hemp, Cannabis sativa L., is renowned for its ability to grow rapdily. In one growing season, fibre hemp can yield 250 to 400 plants per square metre, with each plant reaching up to 5 metres in height. As a result, hemp has been identified as a plant with the potential to serve as a phytoremediator. In this seminar, Nadine will share her Master's research on the benefits and hazards of hemp cultivation for the phytoremediation of soil amended with sewage sludge and fly ash.  

Lecturer Nadine Diner acquired her Masters in Plant Science from the University of Western Ontario (UWO), while she was employed at the UWO Greenhouse and the Environmental Research Field-station. At the field-station, she served as an assistant for on-site staff and professors in Plant Sciences, Arts, Genetics and Earth Sciences. As a Masters student, she was also responsible for teaching Biology laboratories and tutorials in the ecology, genetics, plant and animal science units. After completing this degree she enrolled at the University of Toronto to obtain her Bachelor of Education. In 2005, she completed this degree and began an internship with TVOntario (TVO), developing an environmental education package for Ontario teachers. From here, she moved to Vancouver where she was hired as a Greenhouse Technician at the UBC Botanical Garden Horticulture Research Greenhouse, from which she was promoted to her current position as the UBC Botanical Garden Education and Outreach Coordinator.  

Location At the Botanical Garden Reception Centre, near the main entrance (Directions to the Botanical Garden)  

Cost Free  

Please Note Bring a bag lunch. Coffee supplied. Please call 604-822-3928 or email the in advance to book a seat.