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Education and Outreach Programs

Neuqua Valley High School ESRP 2020

Heavy Metals in Lichen Samples


  • Students:
    • Kimmia Fotovat
    • William Fu
    • Kiana Mohammadian
    • Kevin Roberts
    • Muskan Sidhu
    • Sonia Suratkal
  • Teachers:
    • Daria Prawlocki
  • Mentors:
    • Denis Keane (Northwestern University, Advanced Photon Source, DND-CAT)

Advanced Photon Source Sector 5: DND-CAT

Lichens obtain much of their nutrients from the atmosphere and can bind to heavy metals and are therefore bioindicators for metals. Examining heavy metal content in lichen can help us better understand their ability to uptake these metals. By utilizing X-ray fluorescence, the elemental composition of metals in the lichen samples can be examined. Lichen samples collected in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, specifically common greenshield, hooded tube, and bottlebrush shield lichen will be examined.

*Note – This school group was unable to complete their project due to the COVID-19 pandemic.