Vivian Lai

Research Assistant

EOS-Main 332
(604) 827-3043


  • I am a team member of PCIGR. My duties include:
  • Keeping the daily operation and maintenance of ELEMENT2 (high resolution ICP-MS, Thermo Finnigan), Agilent 7700x (Quadrupole ICP-MS) and AttoM (high resolution ICP-MS, Nu Instruments)
  • Preparing rock samples for trace element analysis and isotopic analysis (e.g Sr, Nd, Pb and Hf);
  • Performing trace element analysis (e.g. HFSE, REEs) on rock samples by using Element 2, Agilent 7700x and AttoM (high resolution ICP-MS, Nu Instruments);
  • QA/QC for trace element analysis; analyzing lab blanks from cleanlabs;
  • Training students, technicians, postdocs, and other researchers within EOS, other departments in UBC and other Universities to perform analysis by using ICP-MS.


  • BSc.(Hons.) - Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia 
  • MSc. - Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia (Research topic: Arsenic Speciation in Freshwater and Marine Algae)

Past experience

  • Research Assistant, Environmental Chemistry Group, Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia (under W. R. Cullen) : Arsenic speciation in the environment
  • Research Assistant, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia (joint project between W. W. Mohn and W. R. Cullen) : PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls) analyses in PCBs-degrading microbial cultures



Teaching experience

  • Teaching assistant for UBC Chem 311 lab-3rd year analytical chemistry course (instrumental analysis)
  • Provide technical support and guidance to to UBC Chem 449 students (Chemistry BSc Hons. thesis course) in the topics of Environmental Chemistry and various undergraduate students' summer projects (1st year to 3rd year level)






Rukhlov, Alexei S., Fortin, Gabe Fortin,  Kaplenkov, Gennady N., Lett, Ray E., Lai Vivian W.-M., Weis, Dominique. Multi-media geochemical and Pb isotopic evaluation of modern drainages on Vancouver Island. Geological Fieldwork 2019, British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, British Columbia Geological Survey Paper 2020-01, pp. 133-167.


Smith, Kate E., Weis, Dominique,  Amini, Marghaleray, Shiel, Alyssa E., Lai, Vivian W.-M., Gordon, Kathy.  Honey as a biomonitor for a changing world. Nature Sustainability, 232 VOL 2, MARCH 2019,  223–232.


Schudel G, Lai V, Gordon K, Weis D. 2015. Trace element characterization of USGS reference materials by HR-ICP-MS and Q-ICP-MS. Chemical Geology.

Selected Publications (before 2014)

Moriarty, Maeve M., Lai, Vivian W.-M. Koch, Iris, Cui, Longpeng, Combs, Chris, Krupp, Eva M., Feldmann, Jörg, Cullen, William R., Reimer, Kenneth, J. Speciation and toxicity of arsenic in mining-affected lake sediments in the Quinsam watershed, British Columbia. Science of the Total Environment, (2014), 466-467, 90-99.

Lai, Vivian W.-M., Kanaki, Katerina, Pergantis, Spiros A. Cullen, William R. and Reimer, Kenneth J. Arsenic speciation in freshwater snails and its life cycle variation. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, (2012), 14, 743-751.

Albert, Courtney A., Williams, Tony D., Morrissey, Christy A., Lai, Vivian W.-M., Cullen, William R. and Elliott, John E. Dose-dependent uptake, eliminiation, and toxicicity of Monosodium methanearsonate in adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guitata).  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, (2008), 27(3), 605–611.

Albert, Courtney, Williams, Tony D., Morrissey, Christy A., Lai, Vivian W.-M., Cullen, William R. and Elliott, John E. Tissue Uptake, Mortality, and Sublethal Effects of Monomethylarsonic Acid (MMA(V)) in Nestling Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata) MMA(V) Toxicity To Nestling Zebra. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, (2008), 71, 353-360.

Koch, Iris,  Sylvester, Steven, Lai,  Vivian W.-M. Owen, Andrew, Reimer, Kenneth J. and Cullen, William R. Bioaccessibility and excretion of arsenic in Niu Huang Jie Du Pian pills. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (2007), 222(3),  357-364.

Morrissey, Christy A.; Albert, Courtney A.; Dods, Patti L.; Cullen, William R.; Lai, Vivian W.-M.; Elliott, John E.   Arsenic  Accumulation in Bark Beetles and Forest Birds Occupying Mountain Pine Beetle Infested Stands Treated with Monosodium Methanearsonate.  Environmental Science & Technology  (2007),  41(4),  1494-1500. 

Government Report:

Morrissey, C.; Dods, P.;Albert, C.; Cullen, W.; Lai, V.; Williams, T.; Elliott, J. Assessing forest bird exposure and effects from Monosodium Methanearsonate (MSMA) during theMountain Pine Beetle epidemic in British Columbia. Technical Report Series Number 460, 2006.

Other report:

RMC, UBC. An Environmental Investigation of the Quinsam Watershed, April 2010.