Lydia Niemi


PhD Researcher

E-Mail Address

Phone Number


Joined the ERI

November 1, 2016

Job Description

I am a PhD researcher at the University of Highlands and Islands, based at the Environmental Research Institute and James Hutton Institute (Aberdeen site). My research investigates the degradation, persistence and eco-toxicity of pharmaceutical compounds during wastewater treatment and in effluent-receiving waters. This work requires development of analytical techniques, including liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and quadrupole time of flight (LC-QTOF) mass spectrometry, polar organic chemical integrative (POCIS) passive sampling and novel bioassay (E-SCREEN) methods. The aim of my research is to gain new insight into pharmaceutical behaviour in engineered and natural water systems in order to improve current wastewater treatment technology and lessen the environmental risk of pharmaceuticals. This work is fully funded by the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation Programme, in association with the Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW).


2013 – 2014  MSc degree (with distinction) in Environmental Analytical Chemistry, the University of Aberdeen

2009 – 2013 BA (cum laude), the College of Wooster (Ohio, USA), major chemistry and minor music

During my undergraduate career, I was employed as a research assistant (Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant) with Dr. Melissa Schultz (deceased), and researched antidepressant persistence in treated sewage sludge. I was awarded the American Chemical Society Undergraduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry (2013) for my thesis and publication in Analytical Chemistry.


“Quantitative Determination of Antidepressants and Their Select Degradates by Liquid Chromatography/Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry in Biosolids Destined for Land Application”

Lydia M. Niemi, Katherine A. StencelMadigan J. Murphy, and Melissa M. Schultz

Anal. Chem., 2013, 85 (15), pp 7279–7286
DOI: 10.1021/ac401170s