Inorganic contaminants (including radionuclides and metals) have been introduced into terrestrial and aquatic environments as a result of technological activities such as nuclear fuel production, coal combustion, and vehicle usage. Investigations have been driven by concerns focused on both human and ecosystem health. Materials and environments of particular focus have been:
Uranium mill tailings, naturally occurring radioactive materials, and low-level radioactive waste;
Traffic-derived contaminants, and their impacts on watershed soils and storm water ponds.
Studies have included characterization of host phases of such contaminants, and mobilization of contaminants by the physiological activities of microorganisms.