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Kirk Semple

  • PhD
  • 141PublicationsNumber of items in Kirk's My Publications folder on Mendeley.
  • 19Followers


I am a Professor of Environmental Microbiology with over 20 years of research experience. I was first appointed as a Lecturer in Environmental Microbiology and Ecotoxicology into the Department of Environmental Science in 1995, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2002 and Reader in 2004. In March 2008, I was appointed as Associate Director of the Lancaster Environment Centre and administratively responsible for all postgraduate activities. In 2010, I was promoted to Professor of Environmental Microbiology, following the awarded of a personal chair. Since my appointment, I have strategically developed and managed an active research team, supported by excellent analytical (LC-MS, GC-MS, HPLC-14C detector, sample oxidisation, liquid scintillation counting) and microbiological facilities (incubation, handling, 12C- and 14C-respirometry). My main fields of research interest include understanding fundamental processes affecting organic contaminant-biota interactions in soils; availability of pesticide residues in soils, and risk assessment and bioremediation of contaminated land and, most recently, the use of anaerobic digestion for energy generation in wastewater treatment and the use of resulting by-products as soil amendments. A particular area of expertise lies in organic contaminant bioavailability in soil, and it is in this area where my reputation is best known internationally. Funding has come from NERC, BBSRC and EPSRC; Government agencies, including the DTI and Pesticide Safety Directorate; environmental consultancies, such as Remedios and Stopford Energy & Environment, and industry, including National Grid and Syngenta and equates to approximately £3,000,000. Output from these areas has led to the publication of over 160 peer-reviewed journal and international conference papers and I have a H-index of 36. I am the Editor in Chief for Environmental Technology and Innovation; in addition, I sit/have sat on the editorial boards of Journal of Applied Soil Ecology, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Journal of Soil and Sediment, Soil & Sediment Contamination, Journal of Applied Microbiology and Letters in Applied Microbiology, and I have also been invited to act as guest editor for special issues of Environmental Pollution, Journal of Environmental Quality and Journal of Applied Microbiology. I have specific responsibility for Lancaster’s MSc in Contaminated Land and Remediation and teach on several Masters level modules in the area of environmental microbiology, pollution science and contaminated land. Between 2005 and 2010, I acted as external examiner for MSc programmes in Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Science, Forestry and Soil Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen. From September 2009-11, I acted as the external examiner for the MSc programme in Soils and Environmental Pollution, in the Department of Soil Science, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, University of Reading. I am currently the external examiner for the MSc in Environmental Consultancy and the MSc in Environmental and Petroleum Geochemistry within the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Recent publications

  • Fate and behaviour of phenanthrene in the natural and artificial soils.

    • Hofman J
    • Rhodes A
    • Semple K
  • Fugacity modelling to predict the distribution of organic contaminants in the soil:oil matrix of constructed biopiles.

    • Pollard S
    • Hough R
    • Kim K
    • et al.

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