Leonardo Mena-Rivera

Postgraduate Student

  • Office Number: W417
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 3316795
  • Fax: +44 (0)117 925 1295
  • Email: lm17420@bristol.ac.uk


I graduated with a degree in Industrial Chemistry from Universidad Nacional (Costa Rica) in 2009 (BSc) and 2011 (Licenciate). My final year research project was conducted under supervision of Prof. Juana Coto-Campos in the Water Resources Management Laboratory, and involved the use of water quality indicators to identify critical areas in support of integrated water resources management processes in small catchments.

From 2009 to 2017, I worked in the School of Chemistry (Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica) as a member of the analytical chemistry section. Also, from 2009 to 2013 I was the technical director of the Laboratory of Chemical Analysis and since 2013 a researcher at the Water Resources Management Laboratory.

In September 2017, I moved to University of Bristol (UK) as postgraduate researcher at the Organic Geochemistry Unit under supervision of Professor Richard Evershed FRS and Dr. Ian Bull.

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Rivers are a major link between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and transport large amount of organic matter, in both dissolved and particulate fractions, to the ocean. Notably, the transport, storage and degradation of particulate organic matter is of increasing concern due to the anthropogenic impacts in the landscape and increasing urban and agricultural pollution that can influence the ecology and biogeochemistry of continental aquatic ecosystems.

My PhD project focuses on the molecular characterisation of particulate organic matter in rivers using multiple analytical techniques, including: high-resolution mass spectrometry and NMR. This characterisation will provide essential information to better understand the role of the particulate organic matter in the aquatic ecosystem and to better estimate biochemical inventories. This work is complementary to the NERC funded DOMAINE project (Characterising the nature, origins and ecological significance of dissolved organic matter in freshwater ecosystems).

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Mena-Rivera, L., Salgado-Silva, V., Benavides-Benavides, C., Coto-Campos, J. M., & Swinscoe, T. H., 2017. Spatial and Seasonal Surface Water Quality Assessment in a Tropical Urban Catchment: Burío River, Costa Rica. Water, 9(8), 558. https://doi.org/10.3390/w9080558

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