Biogeochemistry and Biogeochemical Modelling

Biogeochemistry and Biogeochemical Modelling

Biogeochemistry is concerned primarily with unravelling and understanding chemical cycling in the environment. The main focus is on potentially hazardous trace elements (e.g.. Pb, Cd, As) and radionuclides (14C, 137Cs, 129I, 238U, 232Th) but also includes broader consideration of carbon and nitrogen dynamics and availability of micronutrients (Se, I, Zn) in soils and aquatic systems. Much of our work involves measurement and modelling of elemental and isotopic cycling and we combine data and modelling expertise in risk assessment applications.



Key aims and expertise

We have in-house expertise in multi element and ultra-low level trace element analysis using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), which is coupled with High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to identify inorganic or organic species of elements or isotopes. This capability is augmented by collaboration with specialist laboratories at the British Geological Survey.

Current projects

GeoNutrition (Bailey, Lark, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). 

BIZiFeD2 Biofortification with zinc and iron for eliminating deficiency in Pakistan (Bailey, Lark, funded by BBSRC).

Translating GeoNutrition : Reducing mineral micronutrient deficiencies in Zimbabwe (Bailey, Lark, funded by EPSRC-GCRF).

Significant results

  • Integration of work on predicting the transfer of radionuclides in the food chain into the ARGOS nuclear and chemical emergency management system.
  • Contributors to NDA’s Integrated Project Team on C-14 for radioactive waste disposal in the UK.
  • Expert review of SKB’s licence application to build and operate a geological repository for spent nuclear fuel in Sweden. 

Biogeochemistry and Biogeochemical Modelling

The University of Nottingham
C25 Gateway Building, Sutton Bonington Campus
Loughborough, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 6256