Dr. Tao Cheng is originally from China and has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing. He completed his Masters of Civil Engineering and PhD in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from the University of Delaware and held a number of post-doctoral fellowships at Auburn University, Alabama; the California Institute of Technology, and Yale University. He joined Memorial University as an assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences in August 2010 specializing in hydrogeology.
His research investigates the movement of contaminants in soil and ground water, as well as chemical reactions occurring at the rock-water interface.
“Adsorption, desorption, and mineral dissolution reactions at rock-water interfaces are important in controlling the scope of contamination and quality of water,” explained Dr. Cheng.
He was drawn to Newfoundland and Labrador by the many exploration and development activities in this province.
“Those will certainly cause contamination in surface and ground water and I feel there will be a lot of interesting environmental problems to be explored in this province,” he said. “This August I am going to an old mining site in Baie Verte. Because of the mine tailings stored at that site, surface water, soil, and ground water are contaminated. I will be studying the after effects of mining. But I also want to investigate how we can take measures to prevent contamination before activities like this even begin.”