International Post-Doctoral Support Program

This year the IIES is pleased to support a new cooperation between post-doctoral fellows and partner universities, the IIES International Post-Doctoral Support Program.

The program facilitates post-doctoral fellows to work with collaborative groups from various IIES universities, each post doc is supervised by two or more faculty from the coordinating universities.  A portion of the year is spent at each of the participating institutions, where the post-docs gain international experience and foster cooperation between the partners. The participating universities include: Nanjing University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Johns Hopkins University, Trent University and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The IIES would like to introduce the four post-doctoral fellows currently participating in the program:


Yini Ma

Yini Ma received her PhD in 2013, from Purdue University in Indiana, USA. Ma is currently working as an Associate Researcher and as a joint post-doctoral fellow with Nanjing, Johns Hopkins University (USA) and Trent University (Canada)

Her research interests include: 1) Environmental Fate of persistent organic pollutant in soil systems; 2) Environmental impacts and risk assessments of micro/nano plastics; 3) Forest ecosystem C and N cycling, especially soil organic matter formation and stabilization. Her latest research included using stable and radioactive isotopes coupled with molecular biotechnology to study emerging pollutants micro/nano plastics on the bioaccumulation and biodegradation of flame-retardants and PAHs in soil and aquatic environments.

Wenli Tang

Wenli Tang received her PhD from Nanjing University in 2018. Tang is currently working as a research assistant and as a joint post-doctoral fellow with Nanjing University and Trent University (Canada). She stayed in Trent University for one-year exchange in 2017 to study mercury isotope tracing technique. She also won the National Scholarship for Graduate Students (PhD student).

Her research mainly focuses on the biogeochemistry of mercury in rice-paddy soil system. Her main research interests include: the effects of straw amendment on the accumulation in rice and the possible mechanism; the mechanism of Se-Hg antagonism in rice-paddy soil system; demethylation in rice plant and possible mechanism response for that process with stable isotope tracing technique.

Chao Wang

Chao Wang received his PhD from Nanjing University in 2017. His post-doctoral fellowship is coordinated with Nanjing University, University of Eastern Finland (Finland) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA).

His primary research interests are the degradation and transformation of persistent organic pollutants. His recent interests include: immobilization of Fe(III)-TAML and its application for degradation of persistent organic pollutants; synthesis of polyaniline-clay composite and its application in Fenton-like reactions; the transformation of pollutants in natural environment.

Kriistina Väänänen

Kristiina Väänänen is a Finnish researcher with a background in biology and in aquatic ecotoxicology. She is doing her post-doctoral research in co-operation with the IIES, the University of Eastern Finland and Nanjing University. For the first six months, Kriistina will be conducting environmental chemistry experiments at NJU with the support of Professor Gu. Her research will focus on the speciation and effects of metals in aquatic environments and the interaction with different kinds of ligands. After her research period in China, Kriistina will continue to study the ecotoxicological and toxicological effects of these compounds in Finland.

Besides research, Kriistina works as a coordinator for the University of Eastern Finland developing the working life relevance of doctoral training in Finland (TOHTOS project). She hopes that her time in Nanjing will offer opportunity to learn new research methods, foster relationships with her new colleagues and to expand her existing knowledge of the Chinese language.

You can follow her journey on her research-oriented blog. Kriistina’s research is funded by the IIES, Nanjing University and Outi Savonlahti fund.

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