LEC glasshouses

Environmental and Biogeochemistry

The Biogeochemistry research group addresses chemical processes in natural and human-influenced environments. We work across contemporary and palaeo timeframes, within the terrestrial, aquatic and deep Earth environments.  Our analytical strengths span inorganic chemistry, stable and radioactive isotopes, noble gases and trace organic analysis. This analytical capability is used to address fundamental and applied research that is closely aligned with policy and practice. 

Contemporary nutrient cycling in soil-water-biological systems

From soil to catchment to coast, transfers of carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen are studied to understand the impacts of human activity on nutrient cycles and ecosystems.  

Metal toxicology in soils, sediments and waters

Trace metal speciation and bioavailability represent key sources of environmental toxicity. DGT (Diffusive Gradient Thin-films) and DET (Diffusive Equilibrium in Thin-films) technology are used to study the fate and transfer of trace metal species throughout aqueous and terrestrial environments.

Organic contaminants

Research into the source, fate and behaviour of persistent organic pollutants is used to develop a quantitative understanding of the effects of these contaminants on the environment.    

Subsurface crustal fluids

Carbon, hydrogen and noble gas isotopes are applied to resolve issues of energy demand, groundwater pollution and geological carbon sequestration.

Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction

Stable isotopes in lake sediments, speleothems and foraminifera are used to reconstruct environmental conditions throughout the Quaternary.

Radionuclides in the environment

Natural radionuclides are studied as tracers of water and sediments in marine and freshwater environments. The behaviour and fate of artificial radionuclides and their potential impact on Man and ecosystems are also addressed.