Tomasek, Ines

Place of Origin

Durham University
Department of Earth Sciences
Science Labs,
Durham DH1 3LE

Appointment Time in VERTIGO
2014-09-01 – 2017-08-31
Project Title
Environmental and anthropogenic factors affecting the respiratory toxicity of volcanic ash
Project Description

This study will experimentally assess the synergistic effects of simultaneously inhaling anthropogenic pollution and volcanic ash, as well as how volcanic ash toxicity may be altered following interaction with volcanic gases. To simulate the interaction with urban pollutants, volcanic ash will be exposed to vehicle exhaust using a sophisticated exposure system developed by the UNIFR. A 3D multi-cellular model of the human epithelial airway barrier at the air-liquid interface will be used to assess the effects of the combined exposure of ash and diesel exhaust particles. The cellular response will be measured in regards to their cytotoxicity, pro-inflammatory stimulation and oxidative stress. To replicate the interaction of volcanic gases with volcanic ash in the plume, samples of ash varying in magmatic composition will be exposed to SO2, CO2, HCl and H2O in an ‘ash reactor’ at various temperatures representative of the cooling plume at LMU, Munich. Sub-samples will be leached in simulated lung fluid and MS conducted to determine the amount of adsorption of the species and their solubility in the lung. Other subsamples will be exposed to lung cells at UNIFR.

Research Interests

Medical Geology
Health and environmental impacts of volcanic ash
Human bioaccessibility of potentially toxic elements
Particle toxicology

About me

2011–2013 Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering, University of Zagreb, Croatia; Master of Geological Engineering (mag. ing. geol), module: Environmental Geology
2008–2011 Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering, University of Zagreb, Croatia; Bachelor of Geological Engineering (univ. bacc. ing. geol).
2004–2008 Zagreb Health School, Zagreb, Croatia; Medical laboratory technician (MLT). .