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Colton Vessey

Image of Colton Vessey MAC 2021 Scholarship recipientColton Vessey graduated from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) in 2017 with his B.Sc. (Honours) in Geological Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. During his B.Sc. program he worked with Dr. Matthew Lindsay studying the implementation of reclamation covers to mitigate oil sands tailings contamination.

Shortly after, Colton then began his M.Sc. under the supervision of Dr. Lindsay at University of Saskatchewan. His M.Sc. project examined the mobility of toxic vanadium species in the presence of key mineralogical phases relevant to mine waste reclamation. During this time, Colton specialized in using synchrotron X-ray absorption (XAS) methods applied to environmental and geological materials. He completed his M.Sc. in 2019, and began his Ph.D. program at the University of Alberta (Canada) under the supervision of Drs. Siobhan (Sasha) Wilson, Anna Harrison, and Maija Raudsepp.

Colton’s Ph.D. research focuses on the partitioning of trace metals during recrystallization of metastable phases induced by CO2 sequestration and storage. Storage of CO2 in benign Ca and Mg phases (i.e., mineral carbonation) is a safe and proven method for offsetting emissions; however, Colton’s work has shown that trace metal incorporation can impact carbonation rates and efficiency through formation of low temperature Mg-Fe phases.

Colton’s Ph.D. research is motivated by social and political pressures surrounding sustainable resource extraction, his work will support continued and safe development of CCUS technologies. Furthermore, this work provides a detailed understanding of metal mobility in carbon-sulfur-silica (C-S-Si) systems that can contribute to our understanding of economic deposit formation and metal extraction from potentially economic tailings.