Josie McSherry

Josie McSherry


Alumnus of University of Bristol with a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Ecology and Management of the Natural Environment. Returned to academia after several years in industry to study for a PhD investigating the origin and fate of nitrate contamination in chalk groundwater.


Research interests

I am currently investigating the sources and sinks of nitrate contamination in chalk groundwater, focusing on the Yorkshire Wolds. I am using dual stable isotope analysis of nitrate to identify and constrain possible sources and processes. Nitrate is of specific concern as heavy use of artificial fertilisers in previous decades has led to increased concentrations in chalk groundwater, and these anthropogenic impacts on water quality in chalk aquifers are complex, due to dual porosity response from the interplay between conductive fractures and less permeable elements.

I have developed an ion-exchange column suitable for field installation, with the aim of capturing and storing nitrate in rainfall to assess the influence of atmospheric nitrate on groundwater nitrate concentrations and isotopic signatures.


  • MSc Ecology and Management of the Natural Environment; ; University of Bristol
  • BSc Biology; University of Bristol

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Applied Geoscience
  • Earth Surface Science Institute
  • Cohen Geochemistry