Research interests:

Study of the relationship between pollutant speciation and toxicity. Fate and transformation of environmental pollutants. Use of analytical chemical tools to study organism responses to pollutants. Application and comparison of ecotoxicity assays to environmental sample. General 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 soil Remediation

Soil genesis and classification and linkage to soil biology

Career history:

Not available

Active research projects:

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 interesting in joining the group then have a think about the work that the current group and recently completed members have contributed.

Dr. Leigh Cassidy, runs the exciting and challenging spin-out company EPONA Technologies Limited developed through Scottish Enterprise funded Proof of Concept Programme related to remediating waste and groundwaters (www.dram-remediation.com). Dr. Bo Zhang is working with sensors in a range of soil types devising novel deployment techniques both for pollution monitoring and soils for food security purposes. This is developing further from the publications of Dr. Lenka Maderova in recent years who integrated elemental speciation and biosensor response. Rajendra Uprety is focussing on fundamental aspects of soil sustainability and soil husbandry. Underpinning this work is the factors that change cation exchange capacity. Anastasia Fountouli is studying the relationship between soil pH and the potential impacts on soil physical parameters and whether this may be mediated by microbial or physicochemical drivers. Barry Nourice is looking at the fragile status of soils in the Seychelles. Victor Igbwe is making use of microbial processes for the production of bioethanols. This makes use both of emperical and modelling approaches. Mouza Al Mansouri is relating source/ pathway and receptor aspects for environmental protection in Abu Dhabi where she works as the Manager in Spatial Data Analysis. Aftab Majeed is considering the challenges of quantifying urban ecology with respect to planning challenges from a quantitive basis. Dr. Ogo Iroakasi finished her thesis on 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, Chisom Agunwoke is developing their role in soil and sediment remediation. Lynne Copland has compared these biosurfactants with synthetic materials. Mary Allagoa is using fagacity and QRA strategies to relate hydrocarbon fate and impact in the environment. Sapar Dossanov is looking at integrated approaches of risk and hazard assessment in current and historic metal mines. 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. Mohammed Alotaibi is researching the role of buffering agents and the physical shape and size of NP in terms of ecotoxicology. 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. 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. This work was initiated by Dr. Liz Diplock and further defined by Dr. Hugh Addlesse at Remedios. Mustafa Gaja is studying the fate and transformation of Libyian oil undergoing manaaged remediation strategies. This is in cooperation with his employer in Libyia. Liz Diplock, Mohammed Al Awadi, Karen Rodgers, Bo Zhang, Sulaiman Alrumman, Bill Cowie, Eva Budde, Hani Alhadrami, Izz Musarati, Hashim Alzahrany and Efe Scott-Emuakpor have all finished their PhD programmes in the recent past. Dr. Hedda Weitz, who developed a range of bacterial biosensors and the only effective fungal biolouminescence-based assay, oversees the smooth running of the laboratory very effectively.

Recent publications:

Geris, J., Tetzlaff, D., McDonnell, J., Anderson, J., Paton, G. & Soulsby, C. (2015). ‘Ecohydrological separation in wet, low energy northern environments? A preliminary assessment using different soil water extraction techniques’. Hydrological Processes, vol 29, no. 25, pp. 5139-5152.

Maderova, L. & Paton, GI. (2013). ‘Deployment of microbial sensors to assess zinc bioavailability and toxicity in soils’. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol 66, pp. 222-228.

Scott-Emuakpor, EO., Kruth, A., Todd, MJ., Raab, A., Paton, GI. & Macphee, DE. (2012). ‘Remediation of 2,4-dichlorophenol contaminated water by visible light-enhanced WO3 photoelectrocatalysis’. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, vol 123-124, pp. 433-439.

Towel, MG., Bellarby, J., Paton, GI., Coulon, F., Pollard, SJT. & Semple, KT. (2011). ‘Mineralisation of target hydrocarbons in three contaminated soils from former refinery facilities’. Environmental Pollution, vol 159, no. 2, pp. 515-523.

Towell, MG., Paton, GI. & Semple, KT. (2011). ‘The biodegradation of cable oil components: impact of oil concentration, nutrient addition and bioaugmentation’. Environmental Pollution, vol 159, no. 12, pp. 3777-3783.