Environmental Mineralogy Group (EMG)

About the Environmental Mineralogy Group

The EMG is a special interest group of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.  Our remit is to encourage, promote and support research in the broad field of environmental mineralogy and biogeochemistry in the UK and Ireland. We achieve this by regularly sponsoring and organising research seminars, meetings and conferences, both nationally and internationally.  The Chair of the EMG represents the EMG Committee on the Mineralogical Society Council, which meets twice per year.  In this capacity, the EMG Committee helps steer Mineralogical Society activities and input into procedures for awarding Mineralogical Society bursaries, prizes and medals, and positions on the Society Council. Further details about the group are available from the Secretary.

Environmental Mineralogy Group logo


EMG Science Outreach Video Competition 2021: We invite submissions of videos less than 3 minutes long about mineralogy in the environment for the chance to win £300. Videos should focus on one mineral that can be made in the environment, found in the environment, and/or used in the environment. We want to hear about what makes your mineral unique and how we couldn’t live without it. Click here for further details.

EMG Research in Progress Meeting: The EMG holds an annual Research in Progress (RiP) meeting, usually hosted by one of the committee members at their affiliated institution. This is typically a one-day meeting that aims to support early career scientists in networking within the UK environmental mineralogy community, and provide an opportunity for presentation and discussion of work in progress.  We typically have 1–3 Keynote speakers. The EMG covers all meeting costs, including room hire etc, delegate registration, and tea/coffee plus lunch. We also offer travel bursaries of up to £50 for each student presenting a talk and a prize of £50 for the best student poster.

The 2021 Research in Progress meeting was joint hosted with the Clay Minerals Group on 14th June 2021 at Newcastle University. (Held over Zoom)

Speakers: The EMG also supports keynote speakers and can contribute to symposia and sessions at national and international conferences.

EMG Bursary Scheme: The EMG offers an Early Career Researcher Bursary to support early career scientists (Postdoctoral Researcher, fixed-term Research Fellow or fixed-term academic appointment) to carry out seed-corn research and pump-priming ideas that are expected to input into future publication and/or research funding applications. Click here for more information.

EMG Committee Meetings: The EMG Committee aims to meet ~3 times per year, one meeting to include the EMG AGM.  If you are interested in becoming a member of the EMG Committee please contact the Chair. The committee has an equality policy and we especially encourage applications from women and underrepresented groups.

Stay connected: if you’d like to hear more from EMG, join us on twitter @EMG_minsoc and join our mailing list.

Meet the Committee

Laura Newsome, Chair
I am a Lecturer at Camborne School of Mines, which is part of the University of Exeter, based in Penryn, Cornwall. I am a geomicrobiologist interested in understanding the behaviour of contaminants and metals in the environment, and how we can use microbe-mineral interactions for bioremediation and bioprocessing applications. See http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/em3group/ for the latest information on what my research group is up to.
Stephen Parry, Treasurer
Stephen has degrees in chemistry, geology (experimental petrology) and is a trained radiochemist researching environmental and nuclear site remediation. He is a scientist at Diamond Light Source and is an expert at resolving structural sorption, intercalation, and substitution processes.
Ronan Courtney, Secretary
Ronan is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Biology at the University of Limerick (Ireland). His research interests include characterization of mine tailings to inform rehabilitation strategies, and the application of passive systems for treating mine waste leachates. His research group works extensively with both bauxite residue and Pb/ Zn tailings.
James Byrne, Communications Officer
James is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol, working on Environmental Mineralogy and Geomicrobiology. Much of his research focuses on microbe-mineral interactions especially those involving magnetite in terms of extracellular electron exchange, metal sorption, and environmental magnetism. James also specialises in the application of Moessbauer spectroscopy for studying oxidation state and composition of iron minerals.
Jay Bullen, Early Career Representative
Jay completed his PhD in environmental chemistry at Imperial College London in 2020, focusing on remediation of the arsenic contaminated groundwaters of India and Bangladesh using composite mineral photocatalyst-adsorbents. He has most recently been working on arsenic and fluoride contamination in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Jay was the Postgraduate Representative on the EMG committee from 2018 until 2020, and is now the Early Career Representative (2021-present).
Liam Abrahamsen-Mills, Industrial representative
Liam is a chemist at the National Nuclear Laboratory where he leads research in the field of Environmental Radiochemistry. His research interests include radiochemical speciation, geomicrobiology, sorption, ion exchange, and computer modelling of these processes. He maintains close links with site operators and waste management organisations in the fields of effluent treatment, legacy waste storage, contaminated land, and the disposal of radioactive wastes.
Sam King, Ordinary member
Sam is a 3rd year student of Geology at the University of Liverpool. He is currently on a four-year M.Sc. course with interests in sedimentary mineralogy. Over the course of his degree, he has been involved in multiple outreach events which aimed to attract younger students to geoscience and was awarded the mineralogical society’s student award for achieving the highest in his year at minerology.
Luke Townsend, Ordinary member
Luke is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Materials Chemistry at the University of Sheffield and his current work investigates how the environment alters the materials and minerals associated with the Fukushima disaster. Prior to this, Luke was part of the Manchester Geomicro Group for his PhD and first postdoc, working on systems relevant to geological disposal of radioactive waste. Here, Luke used lab and synchrotron techniques (such as X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy) to investigate how iron minerals (such as ferrihydrite, magnetite, and mackinawite) impact the environmental mobility of contaminants, like uranium and neptunium, under sulfidic conditions.
Ece Kirat, Ordinary member
I have a both degrees in chemistry and geological enginnering and I am Master Research student at Camborne School of Mines associated with University of Exeter. My research interests include economic geology, mineralogy, geochemistry and stable isotopes. My current study focuses on  magnetite composition of skarns related with Land’s End Granite, SW England. In previous, I worked some projects about mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic investigations of iron deposit (Divriği, Turkey), fluorite mineralisations (central Anatolia, Turkey),  spinel composition of serpentinized peridotites (Divrigi, Turkey), Pb-Zn skarn deposit (Keban, Turkey).

Former Committee Members

Oliver Moore Secretary
Heather Buss Chair | Treasurer
Caroline Peacock Chair
Claire Corkhill Chair | Treasurer
Vicky Coker Ordinary member
Loredana Brinza Ordinary member
Andrew Bray Comms Officer | Early career rep
Divyesh Trivedi Industry member
James Graham Industry member
David Read
Monica Felipe-Sotelo
Jeremy C. Rushton
Sam Shaw