Professor Graeme Paton

Professor Graeme Paton

Chair in Biological Sciences
Head of School of Biological Sciences

Overview
Professor Graeme Paton
Professor Graeme Paton

Contact Details


Biography

Welcome to the School of Biological Sciences

What we do in the School of Biological Sciences

Why I study soils

Who inspired me

Making progress on inclusion

Making further progress on inclusion


External Memberships and Affiliations

Research

Research Areas

Specialisms

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

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


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


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 (Maderova) Mbadugha complements the research team with her expertise in pollution monitoring, biosensor development and soil carbon dynamics.

Mary Allagoa is using fugacity and QRA strategies to relate hydrocarbon fate and impact in the environment. Emmanuel Awulu is developing and comparing a range of mutagenic assays (microbial and human cell type) to devise rapid screening tests for ecotoxicology applications. 

Rosie Boyko is studying the link between soil pH management and sward quality with reference to Scotland and food security. 

Sapar Dossanov is looking at integrated approaches of risk and hazard assessment in current and historic metal mines. Amira Alzadjali is developing new elemental specific biosensors to update the current suite used by the group in environmental diagnostics. 

Abubakar Yuguda is devising 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. 

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. Dr. Ogo Iroakasi developed novel approches in in the production and application of microbial biosurfactants. This was applicable both to enhanced oil recovery and bioremediation. While Ogo was characterising and optimising the performance and potential value, Dr. Chisom Agunwoke developed their role in soil and sediment remediation. Lynne Copland compared the performance of these biosurfactants with synthetic materials. 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. Alex Laurie completed her thesis developing a suite of ecotoxicity (microbial) assays that can effectively integrate with nano-particles (NP). The particular interest relates to silver and copper based materials.  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. Rajendra Uprety completed work that focussed on fundamental aspects of soil sustainability and soil husbandry. Underpinning this work is the factors that change cation exchange capacity a measurement that we all take for granted yet it is as essential to characterise today as it has always been. Dr. Anastasia Fountouli studied the relationship between soil pH and the potential impacts on soil physical parameters and whether this may be mediated by microbial or physicochemical drivers. These researchers highlight the importance of looking at fundamental soil processes in the context of enhanced food security and production. Dr. Wei Ma completed her thesis with the successful development of a system for solid phase application of biosensors by comparing detailed analytical chemistry with biological responses. Dr. Sarah Sinebe developed and applied the decision support tools for remediation that have microbial biosensors as a key component in decision making.

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 very effectively. Jamie Buckingham oversees the challenges of soils, environmental samples and chemical analysis within the group. 

Here is a tour of the facilities

 


Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement

I am currently the Director of QUADRAT DTP

Thoughts on landscape change

And updates on the Science Teaching Hub


Collaborations

Prof. Kirk Semple, Lancaster University


Supervision

My current supervision areas are: Biological and Environmental Sciences.

Teaching

Courses


Teaching Responsibilities

Course Co-Coordinator 

  • Land Use and the Changing Environment
Publications

Publications 

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  • Acute toxicity of some treatments commonly used by the salmonid aquaculture industry to Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor: Whole sediment bioassay tests

    Mayor, D., Solan, M., Martinez, I., Murray, L., McMillan, H., Paton, G., Killham, K.

    Aquaculture, vol. 285, no. 1-4, pp. 102-108

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Linking chemical extraction to microbial degradation of C-14-hexadecane in soil

    Stroud, J. L., Paton, G. I., Semple, K. T.

    Environmental Pollution, vol. 156, no. 2, pp. 474-481

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Development of an analytical procedure for weathered hydrocarbon contaminated soils within a UK risk-based framework

    Risdon, G. C., Pollard, S. J. T., Brassington, K. J., McEwan, J. N., Paton, G. I., Semple, K. T., Coulon, F.

    Analytical Chemistry, vol. 80, no. 18, pp. 7090-7096

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Pedogenesis and weathering rates of a Histic Andosol in Iceland: Field and experimental soil solution study

    Sigfusson, B., Gislason, S. R., Paton, G. I.

    Geoderma, vol. 144, no. 3-4, pp. 572-592

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Fugacity modelling to predict the distribution of organic contaminants in the soil: oil matrix of constructed biopiles

    Pollard, S. J. T., Hough, R. L., Kim, K., Bellarby, J., Paton, G., Semple, K. T., Coulon, F.

    Chemosphere, vol. 71, no. 8, pp. 1432-1439

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Physiological and toxicological characterization of an engineered whole-cell biosensor

    Chinalia, F. A., Paton, G. I., Killham, K. S.

    Bioresource Technology, vol. 99, no. 4, pp. 714-721

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Application of luminescent biosensors for monitoring the degradation and toxicity of BTEX compounds in soils

    Dawson, J. J. C., Iroegbu, C. O., Maciel, H., Paton, G. I.

    Journal of Applied Microbiology, vol. 104, no. 1, pp. 141-151

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Bioaugmentation of pentachlorophenol in soil and hydroponic systems

    Dams, R. I., Paton, G., Killham, K.

    International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, vol. 60, no. 3, pp. 171-177

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Importance of chemical structure on the development of hydrocarbon catabolism in soil

    Stroud, J. L., Paton, G. I., Semple, K. T.

    FEMS Microbiology Letters, vol. 272, no. 1, pp. 120-126

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Prediction of PAH biodegradation in field contaminated soils using a cyclodextrin extraction technique

    Papadopoulos, A., Paton, G. I., Reid, B. J., Semple, K. T.

    Journal of Environmental Monitoring, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 516-522

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

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