Patrick Byrne

Senior Lecturer in Geography

I joined the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology in September 2013 as a Lecturer in Geography. Prior to this, I held research positions at Lancaster University and Manchester Metropolitan University in river science and sediment geochemistry, respectively. I have also worked in environmental consultancy as a Hydrologist and an Environmental Scientist. My teaching and research interests are centred on understanding the origin, transport and fate of environmental pollutants in terrestrial and aquatic systems. I am particularly interested in the hydrological and biogeochemical processes that affect trace metal and nutrient cycling. My research employs a variety of field, analytical and advanced statistical and modelling techniques to understand how pollutants move through the environment and interact with humans and ecosystems. My research comprises three general themes:

Theme (1): Trace elements and nutrients in fluvial environments. Work in this area is focussed on: (i) biogeochemical transformation of contaminants at the groundwater-surface water interface (the hyporheic zone); (ii) the dispersal of mine wastes during tailings dam collapses and extreme hydro-meteorological events; (iii) applying environmental tracers and solute transport modelling to understand the behaviour and fate of fluvial contaminants; (iv) establishing the impact of mine wastes of fluvial ecosystems.

Theme (2). Urban environmental pollution. Work in this area is focussed on: (i) understanding how particulate matter transfers toxic metals through the urban environment; (ii) the geochemical and mineralogical controls on metal transformation in urban water bodies.

Theme (3). Development of sensing technologies for water quality measurement. This collaboration with the LJMU Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) research institute is focussed on developing electromagnetic wave sensors as a novel, low cost and in-situ method of monitoring metal concentrations in polluted water.

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