Elliott Skierszkan

PhD Geological Sciences

EOS-South 060

I am interested in the environmental geochemistry of contaminants. My PhD focusses on the behavior of trace metals in mining waste-rock impoundments. Controlling water quality is the principal environmental liability associated to metal mining activities as a result of the oxidation of metalliferous sulfide minerals in mine waste impoundments. Proper understanding of metal geochemistry in mine wastes is therefore paramount in ensuring their adequate environmental management.

My research develops the use of metal stable isotope analyses to track the fate of metals at mine sites. Metal stable isotopes are fractionated during chemical reactions such as adsorption and mineral precipitation, and therefore provide clues into the processes that control metal mobility in the environment.

My work is conducted in using the Antamina Mine, Peru, and the Thompson Creek Mine, Idaho, as field sites. Field-based data are supported by laboratory experiments that are conducted using the facilities available through the Hydrogeology lab and the Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research, both at UBC’s Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

I am also a part of the Multidisciplinary Applied Geochemistry Network (MAGNET) program, which is a NSERC-funded initiative to integrate academic and industrial geochemistry research. 


Skierszkan EK, Stockwell J.S., Dockrey J.W., Weis D., Beckie R.D., Mayer K.U.. 2017. Molybdenum (Mo) stable isotopic variations as indicators of Mo attenuation in mine waste-rock drainage. Applied Geochemistry. In Press


Skierszkan E.K, Mayer K.U, Wise S, Beckie R. 2016. Molybdenum and zinc stable isotope variation in mining waste rock drainage and waste rock at the Antamina mine, Peru. Science of the Total Environment. 550:103-113.


Skierszkan E.K, Amini M., Weis D.. 2015. A practical guide for the design and implementation of the double-spike technique for precise determination of molybdenum isotope compositions of environmental samples. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 407:1925–1935.


Skierszkan EK, Irvine G, Doyle JR, Kimpe LE, Blais JM. 2013. Is there widespread metal contamination from in-situ bitumen extraction at Cold Lake, Alberta heavy oil field?The Science of the total environment. 447:337–44.

Korosi J.B, Irvine G., Skierszkan EK, Doyle J.R, Kimpe L.E, Janvier J., Blais J.M. 2013. Localized enrichment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil, spruce needles, and lake sediments linked to in-situ bitumen extraction near Cold Lake, Alberta. Environmental Pollution. 182:307–315.