Skip to main content

Paul’s research interests centre on understanding plant-soil interactions and improving soil health. With over 70 papers, 3 of which having received enough citations to place them in the top 1% of their academic field based on publication year (Essential Science Indicators).

Paul has also written the chapter on high-resolution analysis in the authoritative subject related book “DGT for Environmental Measurement” Cambridge University Press, which is part of the Environmental Chemistry Series and he has an h-index of 31. In 2009 his work on arsenic in rice was identified by Thompson Reuters, Essential Science Indicators, November 2009, Environment & Ecology category as the most cited paper in the Fast Moving Front “Arsenic Speciation”.


Over the past 17 years Paul's focus has been to identify and attempt to correct the hidden inequality existing in global diets, a quest that’s taken him to the tannery slums of Dhaka, through to inaccessible mountain-dwelling communities in China poisoned by selenium – an element more commonly viewed in the “West” as being a super-nutrient, and the rice paddies projects of Sekinchan - a vital part of Malaysia’s food security strategy. Paul is currently researching the scientific/agronomic potential of a technology called DGT that can be used to analyse soil/water quality, in a bid to evaluate agro-ecosystem sustainability/health.

Find out more


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

Make a PhD Enquiry

Research Students

PhD Title: The Impact of Biosolids on Soil Fertility and Crop Quality and the Application of X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy for Elemental Analysis in Biosolid Amended Cropping Systems

Name: Maame Ekua Croffie

Years of study:  2017- 2021

Country: Ghana

PhD Title: Maximising the benefits of covercrops through optimising the management of rotations, organic manures and N fertiliser

Name: Paul Cottney

Years of study:  2017-2020

Country: Northern Ireland

PhD Title: Preventing fertiliser overuse and minimizing P losses to local watercourses in NI: Multi-scale measurement of the plant-soil-water continuum

Name: Rebecca Hall

Years of study:  2016-19


PhD Title: Elevated trimethylarsine oxide (TMAO) and inorganic arsenic in northern hemisphere summer monsoonal wet deposition

Name: Laurie Savage 

Years of study:  2014-2018

Country: England 

Alumni: where are they now?

Collins Amoah–Antwi

Warsaw University of Technology

Click here for more information on Collins Amoah–Antwi

Public Outreach

Queen's University, Belfast 

Major award and a UK first for Queens Biological Sciences Lecturer

Read Here 

  Links Dr Paul Williams - QUB link


Arsenic and Paddy Rice: A Neglected Cancer Risk?

Read Here

 Rice Fields Media Link

graduate school interior

Postgraduate Experience

The Graduate School

Our dedicated hub for postgraduate students, providing state-of-the-art facilities for study, and high-quality training and development programmes within a diverse interdisciplinary community.

The gateway to your postgraduate experience

Research at Queen's

Postgraduate research

Start your application

Apply now