VIU Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

Applied Environmental Research Laboratories

VIU- Mobile Mass Spectrometry Lab


The Applied Environmental Research Laboratories (AERL) is an internationally-recognized research facility that conducts pure and applied research in analytical mass spectrometry and environmental chemistry. The group develops new and improved strategies for the measurement of chemical determinants of environmental and human health. As an active group, the AERL team collaborates widely with international colleagues to carry out in-situ, real time chemical analysis in complex environmental samples, including air, surface and water applications.  The AERL is also making ground-breaking bioanalytical advances using paper spray mass spectrometry to quickly identify and quantify (at ppb levels) toxic constituents of street drugs that are responsible for thousands of overdose deaths in North America. Future directions include testing at harm reduction sites or as part of a mobile testing service.

The AERL facility includes a sample processing lab, a wet chemistry lab and a state-of-the-art instrument facility specializing in environmental chemical analysis by tradition and emerging methods. We are on the leading edge of an evolution in 'bringing high precision chemical measurements to the sample' rather than the other way around. The central innovations for this work is the use of direct mass spectrometry approaches, such as membrane interfaces, allowing continuous sample measurements, in real time.  With our mobile mass spectrometry laboratory, we can make chemical measurements resolved in space and time, allowing the mapping of chemical concentrations.

Co-Directors: Dr. Erik Krogh and Dr. Chris Gill

Website: Applied Environmental Research Laboratories