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EURAXESS

MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc-PhD Position #CD22-31: Anthropogenic fibers, Microplastic and Tire Wear Particles in stormwater: comparison of the contamination levels and impact of stormwater management practices between France and Canada

13/10/2022

Job Information

Organisation/Company
Université Gustave Eiffel
Department
GERS-EE
Research Field
Environmental science
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Country
France
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
Temporary
Job Status
Full-time
Hours Per Week
35
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND
Marie Curie Grant Agreement Number
101034248
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?
No

Offer Description

Since the 1980s, numerous studies have demonstrated that urban stormwater contributes to the deterioration of the quality of receiving environments. Early investigations of stormwater more generally focused on aggregate parameters and nutrients, as well as conventional pollutants such as metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. During this last decade, investigations of stormwater by a wide range of metallic and organic pollutants were carried out. These pollutants include many pesticides, endocrine disruptors such as phthalates, alkylphenols, and bisphenol A, and priority pollutants of the European Water Framework Directive (Gasperi et al., 2022).

Very recently, following studies demonstrating that microplastics, plastic particles < 5 mm in size in any one dimension are widespread in marine and freshwaters, and may also have negative ecological impacts, question raise on the microplastic issue in urban hydrosystems and more especially in stormwater. Some recent experimental studies suggest nevertheless that urban stormwater runoff can be a significant pathway for microplastics in the environment. Although numerous sources of plastic in urban stormwater are indeed found (tire wear, road wear, plastic litter, artificial turf, paints, building materials, footwear, pre-production pellets and powders, industrial waste, spills from trash collection, and landfill leachate), knowledge on the contamination of stormwater by microplastic is very limited.

In the past, urban stormwater runoff received little to no intentional treatment before discharging. By replacing the traditional stormwater management paradigm, green infrastructures which are fully promoted, have been advanced as an innovative, complementary strategy to reduce pressure on stormwater systems and secure cleaner runoff to water bodies. The benefices of green infrastructures in microplastic mitigation in comparison to the other stormwater water management practice, if it is expected, remains unknow. However, these knowledges are of prime importance to both identify the microplastic pathways, and to design and elaborate appropriate mitigation strategies at various levels of decision making (national, regional, and local).

In close collaboration the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering of The University of Toronto (Canada) and the Water, Environment and Urban Services Laboratory (Paris, France), the overall objectives of this PhD is to investigate and compare the pollution of urban stormwater by microplastics both in France and in Canada and assessing in-depth the impact of different stormwater strategies (traditional stormwater control systems vs. green infrastructure, or between different green infrastructures such as stormwater ponds, bioretention cells, etc.). Both laboratories have strong expertise and international recognition on this subject and have already published papers (Smyth et al. 2021 – 31 citations and Treilles et al. 2021 – 19 citations). The novelty of this work is to combine the assessment of stormwater quality for one emerging class of pollutants in France (Nantes and Paris) and Canada (Toronto), and to compare different stormwater strategies by studying contrasted monitoring sites in both countries.

Different definitions of microplastic are nowadays available. Depending on the organization (WHO, US-EPA, etc.), in addition to the microplastic fragments which are systematically considered in the studies, the definition can also include microfiber pollution released form the wearing and washing of textiles made from synthetic and non-synthetic fibers, as well as tire wire particles emitted during regular vehicle use due to the friction occurring between tires and the road surface. Here, we proposed to adopt a very large definition of microplastic by investigating anthropogenic fibers (synthetic and non-synthetic fibers), microplastic and tire wear particles. Investigating in the same time such a broad range of microparticles in runoff is one major strength since the rare studies dealing with microplastics in stormwater generally consider only one of the three sub-categories. In France and Canada, microplastic and anthropogenic fibers will be analyzed by infra-red micro spectroscopy (µ-IRTF) following a co-constructed and validated protocols between the different labs. Tire wear particles will be analyzed only in France by Pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC-MS).

The knowledge provided by this work are of prime importance to both identify the microplastic pathways, and to design and elaborate appropriate mitigation strategies at various levels of decision making (national, regional, and local). By investigating the impact of green infrastructures in comparison to the tradition stormwater management paradigm, such a study will provide data and support for the enhancing resilience in the built environment.

Requirements

Research Field
Environmental science
Education Level
Bachelor Degree or equivalent
Skills/Qualifications
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
Languages
FRENCH
Level
Basic
Languages
ENGLISH
Level
Excellent

Additional Information

Benefits
  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.
Eligibility criteria

Applicants must fulfil the following eligibility criteria :

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must fulfil the transnational mobility rule: incoming applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 previous years.
  • One application per call per year is allowed.
  • Applicants must be available full-time to start the programme on schedule (November 1st 2023).
  • Application rules are enforced by the French doctoral system which specifies a standard duration of 3 years for a full-time PhD together with the MSCA standards and the OTM-R European rules as follows.
  • Citizens of any nationality may apply to the programme.
  • There is no age limit.
Selection process

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants available on the CLEAR-Doc website: https://clear-doc.univ-gustave-eiffel.fr/how-to-apply/useful-documents/

Additional comments
  • The first step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor
  • International mobility : International mobility planned at the University of Toronto.
  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer
  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply
  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email: clear-doc@univ-eiffel.fr
Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
1
Company/Institute
Université Gustave Eiffel
Country
France
City
Bouguenais
Postal Code
44340
Street
Allée des Ponts et Chaussées
Geofield

Contact

City
Marne-La-Vallée
Website
Street
5, Boulevard Descartes
Postal Code
77454
E-Mail
johnny.gasperi@univ-eiffel.fr