Background and activities

 

Research

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Energy and Process Energy within the Industrial Ecology Program.  

My research interests lie in analyzing the metabolism of nutrients and energy within the anthroposphere and, in particular, how these flows interact with and affect natural systems. This is with the aim of developing methods for reducing resource consumption, closing resource loops and reducing the environmental impacts of human activities.

My research is centered on the following areas:

Phosphorus (P): P is a both a finite nutrient that is essential for plant production and a pollutant if accumulated in sensitive aquatic compartments. Because Norway does not have primary P resources of their own, it is essential to improve the management of P in order to ensure food security and reduce environmental impacts.

Food waste: Globally, food waste amounts to the loss of one third of all produced food. Large inefficiencies, such as this, have severe environmental implications as food production systems rely on a host of natural resources for operation. The unnecessary use of land, water, minerals and energy to produce wasted food exacerbates resource scarcity and, with expected population growth, could result in significant food security issues.

Aquaculture and fisheries: Because of the high dependency of the Norwegian aquaculture industry on imported feed ingredients, the projected drastic increase in production will likely affect resources on a global level. Supply chain impacts and resource demands, both domestically and abroad, need to be sufficiently understood in order to realize this growth and ensure its sustainability.

Biogas: In Norway, secondary biomass is seen as a potential renewable energy feedstock and, thus, a means to reduce domestic climate impacts. In order to produce this feedstock, however, there is an upstream demand for nutrients, such as scarce P. This means that an increase in biogas production will result in increased nutrient consumption. Relationships between energy and nutrients, such as the example above, are poorly understood. Therefore, my research focuses modeling these systems with an aim to avoid problem shifting and optimizing the use of both.

Background

I have a B.S. in Chemistry from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Sustainable Technology from the Royal Institute of Technology. I have previously worked for Ecoinvent, the Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories.  My work there primarily revolved around developing LCI methods for the chemicals sector.  

Teaching

Projects co-supervised: 

- Regional Substance Flow Analysis for Assessment of Long-term Phosphorus Accumulation in Soil

- Feed alternatives and phosphorus efficiency of the Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture system

- MFA of omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA from a Norwegian resource perspective - Implications for future growth in fisheries and aquaculture toward 2050

-Energy and nutrient recovery potential from the Norwegian agriculture system

- Interactive data visualization of the Norwegian phosphorus cycle, coupling phosphorus with dry matter and energy in a multi-layered material flow analysis model

Teaching assistant for:

- TVM4162 Industriell økologi [Industrial Ecology]

- TEP4275 Industriell økologi [Industrial Ecology]

 

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications

Others

  • Hamilton, Helen Ann; Hjorthol, Lars Martin. (2015) Fiskeoppdrett storforbruker av fosfor. http://gemini.no/2015/10/fiskeoppdrett-storforbruker-av-fosf [Internett]. 2015-10-20.
  • Hamilton, Helen Ann. (2014) Integrated fisheries, aquaculture and agricultural phosphorus assessments: Potentials for cross-sectoral utilization of P. Gordon Research Conference: Industrial Ecology ; 2014-06-01 - 2014-06-06.
  • Hamilton, Helen Ann. (2014) Investigating cross-sectoral synergies for phosphorus: Methodological advancements using Norway as a case. International Society of Industrial Ecology: Socio-economic metablism ; 2014-11-16 - 2014-11-19.
  • Hamilton, Helen Ann. (2013) Aquaculture: Methods for assessing sustainability. Dialogues on Aquaculture: The values of aquaculture - What is the price of growth? ; 2013-11-21 - 2013-11-22.