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Christopher Collins

Areas of interest

  • Risk assessment of chemicals
  • Fate, transport and remediation of organic contaminants in soils
  • Carbon turnover in soils

My research focuses on determining the factors controlling exposure of biota to environmental pollution. This work combines experimental data with process description models and development of assessment tools.
Projects have been supported by a wide range of funders across industry, government and research bodies.
Recent research focuses on the role of soil organic carbon in modifying pollutant exposure and the parallels between pollutant and carbon cycling in soils using high level analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance.


Postgraduate supervision

Ongoing students

  • J. Underwood: Soil health of horticultural production systems in the UK. BBSRC, G’s and Waitrose in partnership with Rothamsted Research.

Completions in the last three years

  • D. Antony: Factors affecting soil carbon storage at depth in different land uses in UK and Indonesia. Indonesian Government Scholarship (DIKTI-LPDP).
  • E. Baker: Developing optical methods for catchment management to protect drinking water. EPSRC DTC, Affinity Water and Syngenta

For further information contact:

Research centres and groups

Professional bodies/affiliations

Coordinator of the NERC Soil Security Programme (2015–2020) – the SSP is a multi-million research investment to understand how soils resist, recover and ultimately adapt to land use and climate change.

Natural Capital Committee (2018–2022) The NCC provides advice to the government on the sustainable use of natural capital, with a primary focus on helping the government develop its 25 year Environment Plan. Lead on soils.

Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee (2013–2022, Chair 2017 onward). HSAC provides expert advice on how to protect the environment, and human health via the environment, from potentially hazardous substances and articles, including nanomaterials. Sustainable Soils Alliance (2016 - present) - The Alliance is a collective of businesses, campaign groups, applied and academic researchers, and governmental and non-governmental organisations. Lead of the academic panel.

Linking Environment and Farming (2016–present) – LEAF is the leading organisation promoting sustainable agriculture, food and farming. Board of Directors.

Soil Research Centre (Director 2016–present) – The SRC is a cross-disciplinary Centre of Excellence that brings together researchers across the University of Reading with external stakeholders to explore the challenges of a key resource - the soil.


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