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School of Geography

Ecosystems and Pollution

Our group uses field, laboratory and modelling approaches to understand ecosystem function and provide evidence to underpin effective management and restoration.   

Major challenges we research:

  • Researching the source, transport and fate of wide-ranging pollutants in aquatic and terrestrial environments including rivers, wetlands and glaciers. 
  • Understanding the feedbacks between ecosystems, elemental cycles, human activity and climate.  

Our methods include ecosystem modelling, field monitoring, experimental mesocosms, environmental sensor networks, isotope labeling, genomics, and analyzing paleodata (e.g. ice and sediment cores).   

Our impacts are informing policy development and implementation, including the national assessment and screening risk tool for legacy coastal landfills, and regional to global carbon assessments. 

Our stakeholders: We work with a variety of stakeholder groups including industry (HR Wallingford), government (Environment Agency, Defra, Natural England, Broads Authority) and the third sector (Citizen Science volunteers, River and Wildlife Trusts). 

Our associated staff are: 

Lisa Belyeapeatlands, ecohydrology, carbon cycle, greenhouse gases, ecosystem resilience 

James Bradley geobiology, microbes, biogeochemical cycles, extreme environments 

Kate Heppell – hydrology, hydrochemistry, biogeochemistry 

Kate Spencer – estuarine geochemistry, fine sediment management, saltmarsh restoration, flocculation, landfills, waste management 

Charles Teta – Environmental pollution, ecotoxicology, biogeochemistry, waste management, environmental health

Giuditta Trinci - Ecohydraulics, Fluvial systems, River Assessment and Restoration 

Geraldene Wharton – water and sediment quality issues in rivers and estuaries

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