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    United Kingdom

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Open to PhD applications in the field of biogeochemistry and global food security.


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Paul N. Williams is a Lecturer in Soil & Environmental Biogeochemistry. Paul obtained his Ph.D. degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Aberdeen in 2007. Previous to working at Queen’s he has held Research Fellowships with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lancaster University and a Lectureship with the University of Nottingham. 

Paul, an analytical and environmental chemist, has research interests orientated around the role of soils and rhizospheres in global food security. Specific interests and projects focus on the influence of soil dynamic processes and chemical speciation on trace element (both toxic and essential) uptake by plants, visualising rhizosphere micro-heterogeneity through high resolution measurements using DGT and DET techniques, and bettering in situ monitoring of the environment.

Techniques and methods that Paul uses include multi-element chromatography (IC-ICP-MS), laser-based analytical measurement (LA-ICP-MS), passive sampling (DGT, DET), optical sensors (colour ratiometric planar optodes), in-situ UV/vis spectrometry and XRF analysis.


Module Coordinator for: 

BBC8042: Foundations for Research in the Biosciences (MSc)

BIO3307: Project Work (Ag Tech) 


Teaching Contribution to: 

ALU8002: Advanced Food Bioanalysis (MSc)

BIO1302: Fundamentals of Nutrition and Food Policy 

BIO3207 Global Issues in Agriculture 

BIO4102: Advanced Food Bioanalysis (MSci) 

BIO8101: Food Safety and Health 

BIO8201: Advanced Analytical Tools for Food Security 

BIO8202: Food Integrity, Fraud and Traceability (MSc/MSci)

BIO4301: Research Project (MSci) 

BIO3302: Project (FQSN)

LFE8008: Rural Development Project 



2016-present       Journal of Exposure & Health. Assoc. Editor

2015-present       Journal of Environmental Quality (JEQ) Assoc. Editor

2013-present       Journal of Agricultural Sciences (JAS), Cambridge. Assoc. Editor

2013-present       Water Quality, Exposure  & Health. Editorial Board. 

2008-present       Environmental Pollution. Editorial Board. 

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Research Output

Localized Flux Maxima of Arsenic, Lead, and Iron around Root Apices in Flooded Lowland Rice

Williams, P. N., Santner, J., Larsen, M., Lehto, N. J., Oburger, E., Wenzel, W., Glud, R. N., Davison, W. & Zhang, H., 2014, In : Environmental Science and Technology. 48, 15, p. 8498-8506 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 28 Citations (Scopus)
    387 Downloads (Pure)

    Correction to: Global Sourcing of Low-Inorganic Arsenic Rice Grain (Exposure and Health, (2019), 10.1007/s12403-019-00330-y)

    Carey, M., Meharg, C., Williams, P., Marwa, E., Jiujin, X., Farias, J. G., De Silva, P. M. C. S., Signes-Pastor, A., Lu, Y., Nicoloso, F. T., Savage, L., Campbell, K., Elliott, C., Adomako, E., Green, A. J., Moreno-Jiménez, E., Carbonell-Barrachina, Á. A., Triwardhani, E. A., Pandiangan, F. I., Haris, P. I. & 8 others, Lawgali, Y. F., Sommella, A., Pigna, M., Brabet, C., Montet, D., Njira, K., Watts, M. J. & Meharg, A. A., 01 Jan 2020, (Accepted) In : Exposure and Health.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

    Open Access
  • Localized intensification of arsenic release within the emergent rice rhizosphere

    Yin, D-X., Fang, W., Guan, D-X., Williams, P., Jimenez, E. M., Gao, Y., Zhao, F-J., Ma, L. Q., Zhang, H. & Luo, J., 22 Jan 2020, In : Environmental Science and Technology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Phosphorus speciation and fertiliser performance characteristics: a comparison of waste recovered struvites from global sources

    Hall, R., Boisen Staal, L., Macintosh, K., McGrath, J., Bailey, J., Black, L., Nielsen, U. G., Reitzel, K. & Williams, P., 15 Mar 2020, In : Geoderma. 362, 11 p., 114096.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Prizes

    Environmental Science & Technology - Excellence in Review Award

    Paul Williams (Recipient), 04 Nov 2014

    Prize: National/international honour

    Environmental Science & Technology's "Super Reviewer Award" 2017

    Paul Williams (Recipient), 07 Nov 2017

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    Methane Workshop

    Paul Williams (Participant)
    08 Jan 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Advanced Land Amendments: the potential of iMoLboX as a Next Generation Soil Health Tool.

    Paul Williams (Advisor)
    21 Mar 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Investigation of the effect of Nitrogen nutrition on Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) willow

    Paul Williams (Examiner)
    18 Sep 2018

    Activity: Examination typesOther examination