Professor Graeme Paton
Chair in Biological Sciences, Head of School of Biological Sciences
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
Biological and Environmental SciencesSupervising
- Environmental Biotechnology
- Environmental Sciences
- Environmental Chemistry
- Soil Science
- Applied Environmental Sciences
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. 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.
Prof. Kirk Semple, Lancaster University
- Land Use and the Changing Environment
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Geogenic and anthropogenic interactions at a former Sb mine: environmental impacts of As and SbEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health, vol. 42, no. 11, pp. 3911-3924Contributions to Journals: Articles
Retention and release of nutrients from polyhalite to soilSoil Use and Management, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 117-122Contributions to Journals: Articles
Effect of the process conditions on the anaerobic fermentation of glucose for the production of chemicalsBiomass Conversion and BiorefineryContributions to Journals: Articles
Imparting water repellency in completely decomposed granite with Tung oilJournal of Cleaner Production, vol. 230, pp. 1316-1328Contributions to Journals: Articles
Physiographical variability in arsenic dynamics in Bangladeshi soilsScience of the Total Environment, vol. 612, pp. 1365-1372Contributions to Journals: Articles
Insights into the biodegradation of weathered hydrocarbons in contaminated soils by bioaugmentation and nutrient stimulationChemosphere, vol. 161, pp. 300-307Contributions to Journals: Articles
Disinfection of E. coli contaminated water using tungsten trioxide-based photoelectrocatalysisEnvironmental engineering and management journal, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 899-903Contributions to Journals: Articles
Hazard and risk assessment of human exposure to toxic metals using in vitro digestion assayChemical Speciation and Bioavailability, vol. 28, no. 1-4, pp. 78-87Contributions to Journals: Articles
Quantification of the bioreactive Hg fraction in Chinese soils using luminescence-based biosensorsEnvironmental Technology and Innovation, vol. 5, pp. 267-276Contributions to Journals: Articles
Ecohydrological separation in wet, low energy northern environments? A preliminary assessment using different soil water extraction techniquesHydrological Processes, vol. 29, no. 25, pp. 5139-5152Contributions to Journals: Articles