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Steve Robinson


Areas of interest

  • The role of agriculture in the degradation of water quality
  • Reducing the transfer of nutrients from agricultural land to surface waters
  • The effect of organic amendments on soil nutrient dynamics and water quality
  • Biogeochemical processes in soil that regulate phosphorus dynamics in periodically flooded soils
  • The use of remote sensing and Earth observation to identify and model critical source areas and pathways of pollution in agricultural catchments
  • Nutrient cycling in organic farming systems

In the USA, Steve developed his research record in the role of agriculture in the degradation of water quality through losses of nutrients and other water pollutants. Specifically, his international reputation is in the biogeochemistry of phosphorus at the soil-water interface. One of his current research roles is lead contractor in a EU FP 6 project on the recycling and biological upgrading of bone meal for environmentally sustainable crop protection and P nutrition.

Research centres and groups

Environmental Science Research Division


Steve Robinson was appointed lecturer in the Department in 1996. His teaching and research address the role and behaviour of soils in both the man-made and natural environments, seeking to ask and answer questions that are pertinent to national and international laws on agricultural land use and environmental quality.

Following his PhD at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, he spent four years conducting postdoctoral work in the USA; first with the USDA in Oklahoma and then at the University of Florida. Under the Erasmus Staff Mobility Programme, Steve regularly lectures in Soil Science and Wetland Biogeochemistry at The University of Rostock, Germany.

Steve sits on the Science and Horticulture Advice Committee for the Royal Horticultural Society and has a substantial commitment to the supervision of research projects, particularly those of overseas postgraduate students.

Earlier publications

George, T.S., Gregory, P.J., Robinson, J.S. and Buresh, R.J. (2002) Changes in phosphorus concentrations and pH in the rhizosphere of some agroforestry and crop species. Plant and Soil 246, 65-73.

George, T.S., Gregory, P.J., Robinson, J.S., Buresh, R.J. and Jama, B. (2002) Utilisation of soil organic P by agroforestry and crop species in the field, western Kenya. Plant and Soil 246, 53-63.

George, T.S., Gregory, P.J., Robinson, J.S., Buresh, R.J. and Jama, B. (2001) Tithonia diversifolia: variations in leaf nutrient concentration and implications for biomass transfer. Agroforestry Systems 52, 199-205.

Hutchins, M., Silgram, M., Davenport, I., Settle, J., Robinson, J.S., Simmonds, L.P. and Veck, N. (2001) The role of earth observation techniques in improving field-scale predictions of runoff, erosion and pollutant fluxes. Aspects of Applied Biology 60, 219-224.

Siddique, M.T., Robinson, J.S. and Alloway, B.J. (2000) Phosphorus reactions and leaching potential in soils amended with sewage sludge. Journal of Environmental Quality 29, 1931-1938.

Robinson, J.S., Johnston, C.T. and Reddy, K.R. (1998) Combined chemical and 31P-NMR spectroscopic analysis of phosphorus in wetland organic soils. Soil Science 163, 705-713.

Ivanoff, D.B., Reddy, K.R. and Robinson, J.S. (1998) Chemical fractionation of organic phosphorus in selected histosols. Soil Science 163, 36-45.

Robinson, J.S. and Sharpley, A.N. (1996) Reaction in soil of phosphorus released from poultry litter. Soil Science Society of America Journal 60, 1583-1588.


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