Professor Graeme Paton

Professor Graeme Paton
Professor Graeme Paton
Professor Graeme Paton

Chair in Biological Sciences, Head of School of Biological Sciences

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 273834
Office Address
  • Room 2.22 Cruickshank Building
  • Room 2.12 Zoology Building



School of Biological Sciences

External Memberships


Research Overview

I study the relationship between pollutant speciation and toxicity. This considers the fate and transformation of environmental pollutants. This is done through the use of analytical chemical tools to study organism responses to pollutants. I am also enthused by the application and comparison of ecotoxicity assays to various environmental sample. I also use general research skills in soil microbiology and biochemistry. Specific areas of interest are:

  • Fate of inorganic/ organic pollutants in the environment
  • Development of bioassays to assess environmental toxicity
  • Chemical and biological techniques for environmental restoration
  • Soil genesis and classification and linkage to soil biology

Here is my lab

Research Areas

Biological and Environmental Sciences


Research Specialisms

  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Soil Science
  • Applied Environmental Sciences

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

The current research group has several strands. Mostly the focus is on process level soil microbiology as a response to perturbations- mainly pollution. Biosensors are widely used to quantify and better understand these impacts and to relate to the aspects of bioavailability. To an extent these enable sustainable solutions to be developed and bespoke risk assessment to be measured.

If you are interested in joining the group then have a think about the work that the current group and recently completed members have contributed.

Dr. Lenka Mbadugha complements the research team with her expertise in pollution monitoring, biosensor development and soil carbon dynamics. 

Rosie Boyko has completed her PhD studying the link between soil pH management and sward quality with reference to Scotland and food security. Thnayan AlOnaizi is studying soil-based enzymes to devise recolonisation techniques in impacted soils. He is also transplanting functional biomes back into soils. Onome Omovie-Stephen is applying techniques for carbon fractionation to contrastingly managed soils to try and develop techniques to better sequester soil carbon. 

Sapar Dossanov has integrated approaches of risk and hazard assessment in current and historic metal mines. This work has now been further enhanced by Sandra Arroyo Sanchez who has upskilled the use of SEM and applied the risk assessment/ human exposure/ model approaches to Mexico. Alex Kani is studying bioleaching of metal wastes as a process for elemental recovery in a sustainable manner. 

Christoph Gade studies elemental cycling of mercury with a focus on marine sources and fate but extends this to wider geochemical concepts. The driver here is to truth test models that we have established. 

Rita Moussa is a Hydro-Nation student and works on anaerobic systems for the sustainable generation of methane and hopefully hydrogen. 

Aftab Majeed is considering the challenges of quantifying urban ecology with respect to planning challenges from a quantitative basis. 

In recent years we have had many completions. Dr. Barry Nourice studied the fragile status of soils in the Seychelles.  Dr. Victor Igwe focussed on microbial processes in the production of bioethanols. This made use both of empirical and modelling approaches. 

Amira Alzadjali developed new elemental specific biosensors to update the current suite used by the group in environmental diagnostics. Abubakar Yuguda devised methods to apply mycorrhizal enhanced maize plants in the remediation of soils impacted with effluents from the tannery industry. He spends his time both in Aberdeen and in Nigeria. Dr. Chisom Agunwoke developed biosensors for soil and sediment remediation.Dr. Mouza Al Mansouri studied sustainable water storage in Abu Dhabi where she works as the Director in Spatial Data Analysis at the Environment Agency. Dr. Saad Dehlawi completed his research using chemical additives to enhance mobility and complexation of pollutants as a strategic technique for land and water remediation. His main strand was on the novel use of calcium polysulphides. Dr. Chidinma Anunike used CaSx with a specific focus on the consideration of hexavalent chromium transformation. 

Dr. Hedda Weitz, who developed a range of bacterial biosensors and the only effective fungal biolouminescence-based assay, oversees the smooth running of the microbial laboratory. Jamie Buckingham oversees the challenges of soils, environmental samples and chemical analysis within the group. 

Here is a tour of the facilities



Prof. Kirk Semple, Lancaster University


Teaching Responsibilities

Course Co-Coordinator 

  • Land Use and the Changing Environment

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Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Journals