SEGH launches Fellow membership level.

The board of SEGH recently created a new level of membership: Fellow. This is an invitation-only membership level, and reflects the fact that the individual concerned has been very active within SEGH, or within the field which SEGH represents.

In May this year, the board considered and approved twenty-five nominations for the Fellow membership. Many of these have accepted. The membership level will be launched at the conference in July in Manchester, where we hope that many of them will be able to join us.

Some of the Fellows will be joining our team of mentors for the first time. It is nearly a year since our mentee scheme for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) was launched in Africa. We hope that many of the first cohort of Fellows and ECRs will be able to join us again in Manchester, and help to support new members.

Do you know someone who you think should be a Fellow? If so, please write to the board, (seghsecretary@gmail.com) suggesting why you think this should be the case, providing some background to this person. The board will then consider the proposal, and make an invitation to that person, if appropriate.

Watch this space: we will be introducing the Fellows to you on the website.


Our Fellows:

Alex Stewart

Alex Stewart

Alex Stewart is a medical doctor with extensive experience at the interface between health and the environment. He worked in Pakistan for 20 years then in the UK Public Health service until his retirement. He volunteers in his village and tries to fit in some academic writing and preaching.

Gillian Gibson

Gillian Gibson, MSc CEnv FIEMA

Gillian is an Environmental Scientist working in the wider arena of impact assessment and sustainability, both locally in the UK, and internationally. She is a registered environmental auditor, as well as being a highly respected trainer.

Gillian has run her own consultancy and training company for eighteen years, following thirty years work in the public and private sectors, as well as the education sector.

Shu Tao

Dr. Shu Tao

Dr. Shu Tao is a professor in College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University. He is a member of Chinese Academy of Science and a member of National Steering Committee on Environmental Protection. He serves as Associate Editor of Environmental Science & Technology. His current research interests include global emission inventories of various air pollutants, atmospheric transport and population exposure modeling, and household air quality. He has more than 200 papers published in peer-reviewed international journals with total citation over 16,000 and H-index (Web of Science) of 70.


Paula Marinho Reis

Paula Marinho Reis is Assistant Professor of Environmental Geology at the University of Minho, Braga, Portugal. Her main subjects of interest are environmental geochemistry and health, human exposure, health risk assessment, human biomonitoring, and urban geochemistry. Her latest research is on indoor dust and potential exposure to potentially toxic elements.


Professor Ming Hung Wong

Professor Ming Hung Wong is Editor-in-Chief of EGAH. He has been awarded a DSc Degree each, by University of Durham and University of Strathclyde in 1992 and 2004, respectively. He is one of the 3160 highly cited researchers (all disciplines) around the world, with H-index>100 (Ranking Web of Universities). http://www.webometrics.info/en/hlargerthan100


Anthea Brown, BA, BSc, FGS

SEGH Membership Secretary & Treasurer

I worked at the British Geological Survey from 1989 on the Geochemical Survey Programme in Wales; then I managed BGS Enquiries until retirement. I joined SEGH in 1990 and with my late husband, Malcolm, organised SEGH1994 conference at BGS, Keyworth and we were heavily involved in SEGH1997 along with Pat O’Connor at the Geological Survey of Ireland in Dublin.  I have enjoyed many SEGH conferences since then especially Zambia in 2018.


Michael Watts

Michael Watts is Head of Inorganic Geochemistry at the British Geological Survey and is an Associate Professor with the University of Nottingham through the joint Centre for Environmental Geochemistry. His research interests on geochemistry and ‘health’ interactions employs analytical chemistry for research on pollution pathways via ‘natural’ or anthropogenic geochemical sources and mineral nutrient dynamics in soil-crop-human/animal systems. Increasingly the research is multidisciplinary with greater emphasis towards challenges and partnerships in developing countries. Michael is currently the President for SEGH.



Jane Entwistle

Jane Entwistle is Associate Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) in the Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK, and Professor of Applied Geochemistry and Health. Her involvement in environmental geochemistry has developed over the years with a recent and on-going focus on the bioavailability and bioaccessibility of potentially harmful elements (PHEs) in the urban environment, working to promote evidence-informed policy-making in human health risk assessment. Current projects include research to advance our understanding of the environmental hazards posed by indoor dust (https://www.360dustanalysis.com - a global research initiative to get baseline data on harmful chemicals in regular households).


Dr. Chaosheng Zhang

Dr. Chaosheng Zhang works at National University of Ireland, Galway. His research focuses on spatial analyses of environmental variables, especially metals and nutrients in soils and soil organic carbon, using GIS, geostatistics and other spatial statistical techniques, to identify hotspots and quantify spatial variation, providing scientific bases for environmental management and precision agriculture.


Sanja Potgieter-Vermaak

Sanja Potgieter-Vermaak is a Senior Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, UK. She heads the environmental change research group in the Ecology and Environmental Research Centre at MMU. Her research focus is on the health effects of air pollution (using various in-vitro techniques) and she has expertise in the monitoring and chemical characterisation of airborne particles for different geochemical origins, as well as indoor environments. The emphasis is specifically on the inhalable size fraction (using novel techniques e.g. InSEM-Raman) and source apportionment of transition metals. Dr. Potgieter-Vermaak published 91 papers in prestigious journals for e.g. STOTEN, Atmospheric Environment and Environment International. She has been the lead researcher in air pollution monitoring and characterisation projects in Belgium and produced several reports on the findings.


Alecos Demetriades

Alecos is an applied geochemist with considerable experience in mineral exploration and environmental geochemical surveys.  Worked for Rio Tinto Finance and Exploration Ltd and the Hellenic Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration. Presently holds the post of treasurer to the IUGS Commission on Global Geochemical Baselines, and chair of the Sampling Committee.


Aradhana Mehra

Aradhana’s academic expertise lies in the area of toxic trace elements in the environment and their human health implications. Currently, as Head of the Research and Enterprise Training Institute at the University of Greenwich, she has responsibility for the postgraduate research student training and progression, as well as professional training for early career, mid and established research staff


Dr Mark Cave

Dr Mark Cave is a senior scientist at the British Geological Survey with extensive experience in the interpretation of environmental data related to geochemistry and human health. He has developed a sequential extraction methodology for the solid phase fractionation of potentially harmful elements in soils using a chemometric modelling technique. He is chairman of BARGE (Bioaccessibility Research Group of Europe), who have developed an ISO method for bioaccessibility testing of metals and metalloids in soil. He has wide experience in investigating the geological controls on the bioaccessibility of As, Pb and polyaromatic hydrocarbons in soils.


Prof. Taicheng An

Distinguished Professor, Director of Institute of Environmental Health and Pollution Control, Guangdong University of Technology (GDUT), China. He was selected as most cited Chinese authors in Environmental Sciences by Elsevier’s Scopus from 2014 to 2018 with continuous five years. He is winner of NSFC for Distinguished Young Scholars in China, Distinguished Professor of Chang Jiang Scholars of MOE as well as the Pearl River Scholars Program of Guangdong Province, and Young Scientist Winner of Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment.


Professor Andrew B. Cundy, FGS, FRGS

Andy is Professor of Environmental Radioactivity and Director of Internationalisation in Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, at the National Oceanography Centre (Southampton). He has over 25 years research experience in the environmental cycling and behaviour of aquatic and terrestrial pollutants (metal, organic, plastic and radioactive contaminants), environmental radioactivity and radiochemistry, environmental geology, contaminated land, wastes and water management, nanoscience and nanotechnology, and development of novel, more sustainable, materials for environmental and engineering applications.

Web home page: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/oes/about/staff/ac3f14.page


Andrew Hursthouse

Andrew Hursthouse serves as a Professor of environmental geochemistry in the School of Computing, Engineering & Physical Sciences at the University of the West of Scotland, Scotland (UWS). His research interests include the environmental geochemistry of metallic elements and persistent organic pollutants; analytical/environmental chemistry; environmental pollution, resources, and implications for human health; environmental protection and legislation, impact of industrial processes. 

• Chair local organising committees, SEGH2005, April 2005, Paisley; SEGH2009, Dublin (with ISEE), June 2009,  

• Chair European Section of SEGH, 2008-2011.

• President of SEGH 2013-15.



Prof Mike Ramsey

Prof Mike Ramsey joined SEGH in the 1980s whist a staff member of the Environmental Geochemistry Research Group at Imperial College, before moving to the University of Sussex in 1999. He’s published over 160 papers and supervised 23 PhD students, generally in analytical environmental geochemistry, and was Chair of European SEGH from 2005-2008.


Professor Xiang-dong Li

Professor Xiang-dong Li is the Director of Research Institute of Sustainable Urban Development, Chair Professor of Environmental Science and Technology at Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Associate Dean (Research) of Faculty of Construction and Environment, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He obtained his BSc in Earth Sciences and his MSc in Geochemistry from Nanjing University, and his PhD in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London.

Prof. Li’s major research interests include regional pollution, urban environmental studies, and remediation of contaminated soils. He has published more than 200 papers in leading international journals, and is one of the highly cited researchers in Environment/Ecology of the Web of Science database. He was awarded the Outstanding Young Researcher (Oversea) Fund from the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in 2007.

Professor Li is the past president (2011-2013) of the International Society of Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH). He is currently an Associate Editor for Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T). Prof. Li is also an associate editor and editorial board member for several other international journals in related research fields.


Nadine Mattielli

Professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, ULB, in Brussels, Belgium, she is Head of the Laboratoire G-Time (Geochemistry – Tracing by Isotopes, Minerals and Elements) from the DGES (Department of Geosciences, Environment and Society) and Head of the Earth Sciences teaching program. She is geologist and geochemist, and her research focuses on the study of sources and transport processes of metals in the soil-plant-atmosphere system by applying isotopic tracers (radiogenic and non-traditional stable isotopes). Her on-going projects in environmental geochemistry are dedicated to the sources and atmospheric cloud processing affecting the dusts on the eastern coast of Antarctica (see: CHASE program, http://www.polarfoundation.org/news_press/news/chase_unravelling_the_mystery_of_particles_from_the_atmosphere_to_snow or http://www.bncar.be/ ). ULB Website: http://gtime.ulb.ac.be/News.html



Professor Iain Thornton                                                                 

Iain Thornton, PhD, DSc, DIC is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Geochemistry and was until 2002 Director of the Environmental Geochemistry Research Group, Imperial College, London. He has over forty years of research experience in environmental geochemistry and geochemical mapping, the chemistry and behaviour of trace elements and metals in soils and waters, and the effects of metal exposure on plant, animal and human health. He has also undertaken research into urban geochemistry in the UK, Hong Kong and Gibraltar.  He is the editor of the standard text Applied Environmental Geochemistry, and has published widely, as author and co-author of over 200 papers in refereed scientific journals, on sources and pathways of metals in the environment and their impacts. He is an elected Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. He was President of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health from 1985 to 1987 and was for many years a life member of the Executive Board.  He was the first recipient of the J. Julian Chisholm Jr. MD. Award for outstanding contributions in the field of geochemistry and environmental health education. In 2003 he was made an honorary member of the International Society for the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements. 


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Science in the News

Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health

  • Geophagy among East African Chimpanzees: consumed soils provide protection from plant secondary compounds and bioavailable iron 2019-12-01


    Geophagy, the intentional consumption of earth materials, has been recorded in humans and other animals. It has been hypothesized that geophagy is an adaptive behavior, and that clay minerals commonly found in eaten soil can provide protection from toxins and/or supplement micronutrients. To test these hypotheses, we monitored chimpanzee geophagy using camera traps in four permanent sites at the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda, from October 2015–October 2016. We also collected plants, and soil chimpanzees were observed eating. We analyzed 10 plant and 45 soil samples to characterize geophagic behavior and geophagic soil and determine (1) whether micronutrients are available from the soil under physiological conditions and if iron is bioavailable, (2) the concentration of phenolic compounds in plants, and (3) if consumed soils are able to adsorb these phenolics. Chimpanzees ate soil and drank clay-infused water containing 1:1 and 2:1 clay minerals and > 30% sand. Under physiological conditions, the soils released calcium, iron, and magnesium. In vitro Caco-2 experiments found that five times more iron was bioavailable from three of four soil samples found at the base of trees. Plant samples contained approximately 60 μg/mg gallic acid equivalent. Soil from one site contained 10 times more 2:1 clay minerals, which were better at removing phenolics present in their diet. We suggest that geophagy may provide bioavailable iron and protection from phenolics, which have increased in plants over the last 20 years. In summary, geophagy within the Sonso community is multifunctional and may be an important self-medicative behavior.

  • Accumulation of uranium and heavy metals in the soil–plant system in Xiazhuang uranium ore field, Guangdong Province, China 2019-12-01


    Plants that have grown for many years in the special environmental conditions prevailing in mining areas are naturally screened and show strong capacity to adapt to their environment. The present study investigated the enrichment characteristics of U and other heavy metals (As, Cu, Pb, Mn, Mo, Zn, Cd, Co, and Ni) in the soil–plant system in Xiazhuang uranium mine. Four dominant plants (Castanopsis carlesii, Rhus chinensis, Liriodendron chinense, and Sapium discolor) and soil samples were collected from the mined areas, unmined areas, and background areas away from the ore field. U, As, Cu, Pb, Mn, Mo, Zn, Cd, Co, and Ni concentrations were analyzed by ICP-MS. The results demonstrate that (1) The highest concentrations of U (4.1–206.9 mg/kg) and Pb (43.3–126.0 mg/kg) with the geoaccumulation index (Igeo) greater than 1 show that they are the main soil pollutants in the research area. (2) The biological accumulation coefficient (LBAC) values for Cd, Mn, and Cu are greater than zero in S. discolor, L. chinense, and C. carlesii and these three plants indicate that they can be used for remediation of the soil in the ore field. (3) R. chinensis inhibits the accumulation of heavy metals and shows sensitive pigment responses to the accumulation of U in the leaves. L. chinense has the strongest enrichment effect on heavy metals but exhibits weak biochemical responses under U stress. C. carlesii demonstrates strong adaptation to U and can maintain healthy pigment characteristics in case of high U enrichment. (4) S. discolor, L. chinense, C. carlesii and R. chinensis have strong tolerance to U toxicity and different biochemical responses.

  • Distribution, sources and health risk assessment of contaminations in water of urban park: A case study in Northeast China 2019-12-01


    This case study was performed to determine whether the pollutants in water of urban park could bring health risk to human engaging in water-related activities such as swimming and provide evidence demonstrating the critical need for strengthened recreational water resources management of urban park. TN, NH4+-N, TP, Cu, Mn, Zn, Se, Pb, As, Cd and Cr(VI) contents were determined to describe the spatial distribution of contaminations; sources apportionment with the method of correlation analysis, factor analysis and cluster analysis were followed by health risk assessment for swimmers of different age groups. The results reveal that element contents in all sites do not exceed Chinese standard for swimming area and European Commission standard for surface water; all detected elements except Cr(VI) have a tendency to accumulate in the location of lake crossing bridge; Mn and Zn are considered to have the same pollution source including geogenic and anthropogenic sources by multivariable analysis. Carcinogenic risks of different age groups descend in the same order with non-carcinogenic risks. Among all elements, Zn and Mn contribute the lowest non-carcinogenic risk (5.1940E-06) and the highest non-carcinogenic risk (7.9921E-04) through skin contact pathway, respectively. The total average personal risk for swimmers in swimming area is 1.9693E-03, and this site is not suitable for swimming. Overall, it is possible that swimmers are exposed to risk via the dermal route when carrying out water-related activities, it is recommended that necessary precautions and management should be taken in other similar locations around the world.