School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences

Bryne Ngwenya

Bryne Tendelo Ngwenya: B.Sc., PhD, FGS

Microbial Geochemistry Research Group

  • My group studies microbial geochemistry. Broadly we aim to understand the role of microbes (bacteria, fungi, algae) in driving and controlling geochemical processes in natural and engineered environments.

  • Fundamental efforts include (i) development of theorectical models for predicting metal interactions with microbes and their impact on metal mobility in soils and sediments, (ii) understanding how microbes control structure and types of biominerals that form as a result of microbial metabolism, (iii) unravelling the role of microbes in bioavailability of traditional and emerging pollutants to higher plants/animals and (iv) understanding the role of microbes in determining the fate and biogeochemical impact of natural and engineered nanomaterials in the natural environment.

  • The basic tools of our efforts include microscopic techniques, spectroscopic analysis (mainly synchrotron based at Diamond) and macroscopic modelling, which allow us to interrogate natural samples and experimental run products for critical information that reveal underlying biogeochemical processes.

Research Projects

  • 2013-2014 Understanding genesis of hREE deposits through eXperimental and Spectroscopic methods coupled with atomistic Simulations. 95629, NERC SoS Minerals Program Catalyst grant, with Simon Harley, Linda Kirstein (Edinburgh), Ian Butler (Edinburgh), Geoffrey Bromiley (Edinburgh), Kate Saunders (Edinburgh), Rachel Walcott (Nat. Museums Scot.), Andrew Walker (Leeds) and J Frederick Mosselmans (Diamond Light Source)

  • 2009-2012. Biobased geological CO2 Storage (CO2SOLSTOCK). EC FP7 Collaborative Project, with Ian Butler, Stephen Elphick, Rachel Wood and Stuart Haszeldine, Lead PI and Consortium Co-ordinator. 2.96 of which 853,000 to Edinburgh.

  • 2008-2012. Towards improved groundwater vulnerability assessment (IMVUL). EU Marie Curie Initial Training Network, with Stephen Elphick and Ian Butler, 3.2M of which 405,000 to Edinburgh.

  • 2005-2007. Macroscopic and molecular characterisation of lanthanide sorption to bacterial cells: A potential chemical biosignature. NERC Grant #NE/C519462/1, Lead PI, in collaboration with Prof. Fred Mosselmans, Diamond Ltd, R81522, 97,583. Associated with this project were 4 successful beamtime applications at Daresbury.

  • 2004-2006. High-resolution records of rapid climate change: combining stable isotope and trace element tracers in carbonates, NERC Equipment competition, grant # NE/C513385/1, with A.W. Tudhope (PI), M.E. Elliot, R.S. Ganeshram and K. Darling (253,855).

  • 2004-2005. Perturbation of early diagenesis in carbonate sediments through terrigeneous input: Implications for contaminant mobility and carbonate budgets, NERC grant # NER/B/S/2003/0235, with K.G. Taylor (PI) and C.T. Perry (Manchester Metropolitan University), 28,007.

  • 2000-2003. Methods for assessing salt intrusion and transport in heterogeneous and fractured aquifers (SALTRANS). EC Framework V, with Ian Main (PI) and Stephen Elphick, R81522, 175,812.

  • 2000-2003 Deep geodynamic laboratory – Gulf of Corinth, EC Framework V, with I.G. Main (PI) & S C Elphick (105,318).

  • 1999-2001. Self-organisation of fluid flow, chemical reactivity and rock strength in porous reservoir rocks", NERC ROPA, 113,212, with Ian Main (PI) and Stephen Elphick.

  • 1998-2000. Stress and diagenesis as fault sealing mechanisms (Stadia), Mobil US, Statoil, Shell, BP Amoco, Lasmo and JNOC, PI and co-ordinator, with Ian Main, Stephen Elphick and Brian Smart (Heriot-Watt University), 308,000.

  • 1998-2001. A quantitative determination of metal-bacterial interactions for modelling metal transport in soils and sediments. 20,668. NERC New Investigators (sore PI) Grant # GR8/3676.

  • 1998-2000. Stress-sensitive relative permeabilities" EPSRC Link Scheme in Oil & Gas extraction, with Ian Main, Stephen Elphick and Brian Smart (Heriot-Watt University) 280,000.

  • 1998-1999. Determination of flow and contaminant transport properties for the Granton Development site. 6,112, Edinburgh City Council, Lead by Dr. Rebecca Lunn

  • 1997-2000. Scale dependence of groundwater flow and contaminant transport in fractured rock, EC Framework IV, (139,734 to UoE).

  • 1997-2000. Contaminated Land Research and Remediation Centre, 500,000, SHEFC Research Development Grant, This SHEFC application was lead by Colin Pritchard in Chemical Engineering.

  • 1997-2000. Organic and inorganic interactions at the Benthic Boundary Layer, 87,220 NERC, with Gregory Cowie (PI).

  • 1997-1999. Fluid-rock evolution during diagenesis (FRED). Mobil US, with Stephen Elphick & Ian Main, 128,000. Transition from PDRA to Lecturer.