I am an environmental geoscientist - I research the ways in which human activity affects the physical environment and try to find solutions to the ways in which the physical environment affects human activity. I joined the Department of the Natural and Built Environment in January 2017.
I graduated from University College London with an MSci in Planetary Sciences, before completing first an MSc in Environmental Sciences at Birkbeck, University of London, and then a PhD in Environmental Engineering at The University of Sheffield.
After my PhD I worked in the Kroto Research Institute as a postdoctoral scientist and early-career research fellow, on projects related to weathering of minerals by plant-symbiont fungi. I also extended my research on environmental nanoparticles. I joined the Centre for Engineering Sustainability at the University of Liverpool in 2012 as a Lecturer in Environmental Engineering, before returning to Sheffield in 2017 as a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography here at Sheffield Hallam.
As a professional environmental geoscientist, I believe it is vital to maintain links between academic research and teaching, industry, government, schools and the public. I became a STEM Ambassador in 2010 and am passionate about the role of the natural sciences in society and citizenship.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and have taught extensively at undergraduate and postgraduate level since 2012. My main areas of teaching are in water resources and water quality and in the supervision of dissertation and thesis research projects. As well as subject-specific knowledge, my goal in teaching is to develop strong applied skills in critical thinking, creative problem-solving and communication of ideas.
My area of specialist expertise is in the processes which determine how particulate contaminants move through soils and sediments. This has applications across a wide range of environmental problems, from bringing brownfield land back into economic use to predicting the environmental impacts of consumer nanoparticles and helping to clean up the zones contaminated by the Fukushima and Chernobyl nuclear accidents.
My broader research interests reflect my interdisciplinary background and include catchment management, flood modelling, wastewater filtration, urban drainage, biomineralisation, corrosion of construction materials, arsenic contamination of drinking water, and the evolution of sediment deposits on glaciers in Svalbard. I try to corral all these within a single research group, the Soils and Environmental Engineering Science Lab which includes current and past PhD students and collaborators.
At Sheffield Hallam, I am particularly interested in the potential of low-cost sensors and citizen science in environmental research and education. I have collaborators in several UK universities and good links with researchers in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and the Middle East.
I have published my research and other related work in international, peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, technical reports and online. Please use the links below to connect to my latest outputs:
Peer-reviewed journal publications: ORCID
Contributions to The Conversation website: The Conversation
For a full list of current activities and outputs: My Blog
I am active in peer-review and refereeing for several scientific journals and grant-funding agencies. I am a member of the UK NERC [www.nerc.ac.uk] Peer Review College since 2010, and a member of the panel of international expert reviewers for the Romanian UEFISCDI research council.
As a professional environmental geoscientist, I am a member of several learned societies and professional institutions:
• Fellow, Royal Geographical Society
• Member, Institution of Environmental Sciences (Chartered Scientist)
• Member, European Geosciences Union
• Member, British Society for Geomorphology
• Member, The Geologists' Association