Project history

Since March 2020 I have been an Experimental Officer for the National Nuclear User Facility - RADioactive waste management and Environmental Remediation (NNUF RADER) laboratories in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester, managing a range of analytical instrumentation and labs. Up to April 2019 I worked at the University of Leeds as part of the SoS RARE project investigating rare earth element mobilisation from ion-adsorption deposits, an important global source of these technologically critical elements. From December 2013 to August 2017 I was an independent Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. I worked with a team on a Leverhulme funded project investigating atmospheric processing of dust, that may lead to the release of phosphorus to the oceans. This and other projects involve the analysis of P at ultra-low, nmol/L, levels. I have completed (with collaborators) a modelling investigation into the effect of ocean acidification on the speciation of trace metals, and the comparison of metal speciation measurements with model predictions. I was also principal supervisor for a PhD student investigating metal mobility in a mine affected upland catchment.

From October 2010 to December 2013 I was employed at the School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester. My work here was part of the Biogeochemical Gradients and Radionuclide Transport (BIGRAD) consortium grant. This project sought to provide improved understanding of the controls on contaminant mobility across the Chemically Disturbed Zone around an intermediate level nuclear waste Geological Disposal Facility, where high pH conditions will evolve from the dissolution of concrete. I investigated the interactions of radionuclides with humic substances at these high pH conditions (see the publication page).

(Posted September 2010) From May 2009 to May 2010 I was employed by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology to work on two short term projects using the chemical speciation model WHAM. The first project developed a new model linking toxicity of chemical mixtures in the field to a ecological variable (number of macroinvertebrate species). The second project investigated the capabilities of existing models for estimating the speciation, and binding to natural organic matter, of trace elements in seawater and estuarine water. Articles from this work have now been published, and this work was presented at the GEOSPEC2010 conference at Lancaster, UK in September 2010 - posters presented at this meeting can be viewed by clicking the images below.

Poster4 Poster5


(Posted March 2009) After completing my PhD at Lancaster in September 2008 I remained there working on a short-term follow on project, which finished at the end of March 2009. This work focused on further developing the ferrihydrite binding phase conceived during my PhD. This works aimed to expand the number of anionic analytes from the original three to seven; with molybdate, antimony, tungstate, and uranyl ions also being analysed. With further development this technique should be capable of being used to enable high-resolution vertical profiling of these elements in sediments and for investigating the geochemistry of an expanded range of analytes at microniches (zones of highly reactive organic carbon). A poster detailing the preliminary results can be seen by clicking on the image to the left. This work was published in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring. An image of 2D profiles at a microniche can be seen here.


(Posted February 2009) Studies carried out towards the end of my PhD, looked at the evolution of sulphide from microniches in sub-oxic sediment. This was done using a reactive transport model and investigated the nature of iron sulphide precipitation for niches with a range of sizes and rates of organic matter degradation. The effect of zones of elevated sulphide and iron sulphide on the geochemistry of trace metals is also assessed. This is now published in GCA. Click on the image to the right to see a pdf poster covering aspects of this study.