Sabina Rakhimbekova

Role of groundwater-surface water interactions on the fate of arsenic and nutrients in inland coastal environments

Groundwater-coastal interactions play an important role in controlling the fate of chemicals in nearshore aquifers and the subsequent flux of these chemicals to receiving coastal waters. While the importance of the subterranean estuary and hyporheic zone on the fate of reactive pollutants has been widely recognized, processes governing fate of chemicals in the reaction zone at the groundwater-lake interface is poorly understood. Lakes are unique ecosystems with distinct processes that differ from river or marine settings. An improved understanding of these processes is needed to more accurately estimate the flux of pollutants discharging to lake waters. The objective of this research is to develop a fundamental understanding of the processes controlling the fate of pollutants at groundwater-lake interface and how these processes may be affected by climate change induced hydrological and geochemical perturbations. Research will focus specifically on arsenic and nutrient, but the findings will be broadly relevant to inorganic pollutants discharging from groundwater to surface waters in inland coastal environments.

Personal Background

Sabina graduated from University of Miami in May, 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering and minors in Business Administration and Marine Science. While at University of Miami, Sabina has been actively involved in National Science Foundation Autonomous Net-Zero Water project focused on converting wastewater into potable water using low energy treatment mechanisms. Sabina also completed 6-month professional internship at Bouygues Civil Works Florida working on the Port of Miami Tunnel Project. In September 2014, Sabina joined RESTORE research group to pursue her master’s degree. In 2015, Sabina transferred to Doctoral degree. She is actively involved and holding leadership roles in several environmental organizations focusing on raising awareness about environmental issues and implement sustainable initiatives at Western.

Awards


  • Western’s Ideas for Sustainability and the Environment (WISE) Competition, 2019
  • EAG Student Travel Award to attend EGU meeting in Vienna, Austria, 2019
  • Civil Seminar Award, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2018
  • 3rd Place National Engineering Month University Challenge Winner, 2018
  • AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award, 2017
  • A.E.R. Scholarship Collaborative Environment and Sustainability Program, 2017
  • Environment and Sustainability Travel Award, 2017,
  • Western Green Award, Sustainability Western, 2017
  • AER Environment & Sustainability Global Opportunities Award, 2016
  • Best Student Paper Award, Great Lakes Beach Association Conference, 2016
  • Environment and Sustainability Graduate Student Award, 2016
  • Geotechnical Research Centre R. M. Quigley Award, 2015

Conferences


  • “Geochemical controls on occurrence of arsenic in nearshore groundwater in the Great Lakes region”, IAGLR, Brockport, June, 2019 (Oral)
  • “The role of groundwater-lake interaction on the discharge of nutrients to large lakes”, EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, April 2019 (Oral)
  • “The impact of hot phenomena on the fate of pollutants at the groundwater-lake interface”, AGU Fall Meeting, Washington DC, December 2018 (Invited, E-Lightening talk)
  • “The effect of interacting hydrologic and geochemical processes on the distribution of nutrients at the groundwater-lake interface”, AGU Fall Meeting, Washington DC, December 2018 (Oral)
  • “Influence of groundwater-coastal water interactions on fate of septic-derived nutrients in a nearshore aquifer”, Goldschmidt, Boston, USA, August 2018 (Oral)
  • “Effect of hot phenomena on groundwater derived nutrients in the nearshore aquifer in the Great Lakes”, IAGLR, Toronto, June, 2018 (Oral)
  • “Impact of varying wave conditions on the mobility of arsenic in a nearshore aquifer on the Great Lakes”, AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, December 2017 (Oral)
  • "Influence of wave-induced groundwater flows on behavior of arsenic in a nearshore aquifer", Goldschmidt, Paris, France, August 2017 (Oral)
  • “Effect of varying wave conditions on the mobility of arsenic in a nearshore aquifer on theGreat Lakes”, IAGLR, Detroit, MI, June 2017 (Oral)
  • "Effect of transient wave forcing on behavior of arsenic in a sandy nearshore aquifer",American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 2016 (Poster)
  • "Transport of septic-derived nutrients to the Great Lakes through a permeable beach aquifer", Great Lakes Beach Association (GLBA) Conference, Marquette, MI, October 2016 (Oral)
  • "Fate and transport of septic-derived nutrients to the Great Lakes through a permeable sandy aquifer", Great Lakes Beach Association (GLBA) Conference, Marquette, MI, October 2016 (Poster)
  • “Fate and transport of septic-derived nutrients to the Great Lakes through a permeable sandy aquifer”, International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) Annual Conference on the Great Lakes Research, University of Guelph, Guelph, June 2016 (Poster)
  • “Prevalence of Arsenic Enrichment Near the Sediment-Water Interface Along Shorelines of the Great Lakes”, The Canadian National Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH-CNC) Conference, Waterloo, October 2015 (Poster)

Publications


  • Rakhimbekova S., O'Carroll D., Andersen M., Wu M., and C. Robinson (2018). Effect of transient wave forcing on the behavior of arsenic in a nearshore aquifer, Environmental Science & Technology, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b03659