Queen's University Belfast

ATWARM - QUB Projects & Supervisors

3 ATWARM projects will be executed at Queen's University Belfast.

The project titles, supervisor names and their professional expertise, plus a link to the School/ Department homepage are listed:

ESR 2.3 – Phosphorus removal and recovery from wastewater

Dr John McGrath


Environmental microbiology (wastewater treatment) and Microbial ecology, Microbiology of biogeochemical cycles, Geomicrobiology.

Extensive experience in the microbiology of wastewater treatment systems.

Dr John Quinn


The physiology, biochemistry and genetics of environmental bacteria, with special reference to biodegradation and bioremediation.  Particular interest in the biochemistry and molecular genetics of phosphorus metabolism in microorganisms.



ESR 3.2 – Development of rapid technologies for the assessment of biodegradation potential in contaminated groundwater using gene array technologies

Prof Mike Larkin


Microbial Biochemistry and Genetics, Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Main interest is in the diversity and function of microorganisms in activated sludge using various metagenomic and molecular genetic techniques – including SIP. Particular interest in gene transfer, sludge bulking (Microthrix) and bacterial pathogen survival.

Dr Leonid Kulakov


Molecular microbiology, Molecular methods.

Extensive experience in molecular genetics of biodegradation and genetics of bacteriophages.



ESR 3.4 – Arsenic removal from water using dolomites and modified dolomites

Prof Stephen Allen


Physical and chemical wastewater treatment, Constructed wetlands.

Experience in pollutant removal by adsorption processes using conventional and other adsorbents.

Dr Gavin Walker


Aqueous adsorption, Mass transfer modelling, Adsorbent design.

Awarded the Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering, identifying him as one of the top engineering researchers in the UK. 



ESR3.6 – Assessment and usefulness of integrating stable isotope data and data on pharmaceuticals to disentangle point and diffuse sources of pollution

Joint supervision with Dr A Morrissey at DCU. Project hosted at DCU.

Dr Luc Rock

Isotope Geochemistry, Hydrogeology, Geology.

Originally from Luxembourg, I started my university education in the field of Earth Sciences at the University of Paris-XI, and completed my studies at the University of Calgary by obtaining a PhD in the field of Applied Isotope Bio-Geochemistry. Prior to joining Queen's University Belfast, I worked as a Canadian Government Laboratory Visiting Fellow in the field of Isotope Biogeochemistry at the Lethbridge Research Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. My main research interests lie in the application of the principles of Isotope (Bio)Geochemistry to understand, mitigate, and solve environmental problems related to water quality/quantity or climate change issues, in order to achieve a sustainable future. Over the years, I have gained experience working with isotopes of the elements O, H, C, S, N, and Sr. The projects that I was involved in addressed questions within various fields (sedimentology, hydro(geo)logy, pedology, biogeochemistry), such as porosity evolution in carbonates, nitrate loading in catchments, or the origin of nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils. Furthermore, I am interested in setting up/developing new methods for isotopic analysis, in developing and building additional peripherals to modify existing IRMS systems, and in modifying existing software to create custom scripts for isotopic analysis. Other areas of interest include the application of isotope techniques to food traceability/authenticity issues, and the use of spatial analysis tools such as ArcGIS to integrate and interpret complex datasets.