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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. 

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Paul Williams is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Arsenic Chemical Compounds
arsenic Earth & Environmental Sciences
rice Earth & Environmental Sciences
Soils Chemical Compounds
Thin films Chemical Compounds
Water Chemical Compounds
soil Earth & Environmental Sciences
Sediments Chemical Compounds

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2015 2019

Selected Research Output 2005 2019

  • 80 Article
  • 1 Chapter (peer-reviewed)
28 Citations (Scopus)

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
Trace Elements


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 2008 2018

High Resolution Ion Mapping using DGT.

Paul Williams (Advisor)
04 Apr 2018 → …

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Arsenic and Other Toxic Trace Elements in Rice Paddy Soils: Future Perspectives for using DGT in situ.

Paul Williams (Advisor)
02 Apr 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Methane Workshop

Paul Williams (Participant)
08 Jan 2018

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

Rice Paddy Sustainability under Global Climate Change Meeting (CAS)

Paul Williams (Participant)
04 Apr 2018

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

China-Britain Industrial Green-Tech Forum

Paul Williams (Participant)
21 Mar 2018

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