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Ingrid Rijk

Title: Doctoral Student School/office: School of Science and Technology


Phone: +46 19 303078

Room: B3120

Ingrid Rijk
Research subject Research environments

About Ingrid Rijk


Ingrid Rijk is a PhD student in Biology with a specialization towards environmental sciences. Her PhD thesis focuses on effects of contaminants (such as heavy metals) on the ecological functioning of soils. Ingrid holds a BSc in Biology and MSc in Toxicology and Environmental Health from Utrecht University (The Netherlands) and worked several years with risk assessment of environmental contaminants in consultancy and research before starting at Örebro University.


Soil is an essential part of the ecosystem and harbors a high biological activity and diversity. However, soil contamination may be disruptive to essential processes in soils, such as nutrient cycling. Current ecological risk assessment of contaminants, however, relies heavily on laboratory studies and modeling. Soil processes in particular, are very sensitive to disturbance by soil sampling, handling and storage, so that measurements are best to be made in situ.

The goal of this PhD thesis is to assess functional parameters related to carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling in field sites contaminated with heavy metals. A combination of (functional) soil, microbial and plant measurements are used to make a holistic assessment of the soil’s ecological status. Among other techniques, stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N and δ18O) are measured in various matrices. Stable isotopes are also used to enable measurements of substrate-induced soil respiration (SIR) to assess microbial activity in situ.

Cooperation and parterships

This PhD position has been set up together with the Swedish consultancy company Structor Miljöteknik AB to bring scientific techniques into practice as well as to feed the PhD with ideas and case-studies. Our joint aim is to improve ecological risk assessment of polluted sites, especially because the lack of knowledge of effects in the field makes it hard to weigh remediation measures against current ecological effects.

We also cooperate with the Swedish Geotechnical Institute (SGI) and other universities, such as the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).