Dr Ian Burke


2012-present: Associate Professor: Environmental Geochemistry
2005-2012: Lecturer: Biogeochemistry (Leeds)
2002-2005: Postdoctoral Researcher: Biogeochemistry (Leeds)
1998-2001: PhD Marine Geochemistry (Southampton)

Ian is an environmental geochemist interested in the fundamental processes that affect the environmental behaviour, mobility and bioavailability of metals and radionuclides in a range of natural and contaminated systems. My research is driven by a fascination in the complex behaviour that is observed in real environmental situations; and, is focused on experimental approaches involving advanced geochemical and geomicrobiological techniques.

Scopus Profile

List of Publications (with links to PDF versions)


  • Director of Postgraduate Reseach Studies

Research interests

Mechanisms of contaminant migration from buried concrete structures. (2018-2022) EPSRC / National Nuclear laboratory Ltd.
Resource recovery from, and beneficial reuse of incinerator ashes. (2018-2022) China Scholarship Scheme
Cracking the problem of heterogeneous nucleation: identifying the sites responsible for ice nucleation. (2018-2022) EPSRC
Assessment of the impact of leak zone processes in the natural attenuation of radionuclides. (2016-2020) Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Marine Ice: Ice Nucleating Particles in the Marine Atmosphere (2015-2019) European Research Council
Interactions of Cr(VI) with humic substances at high pH. (2014-2018) Jordanian Government
Co-treatment of mixed radionuclides in contaminated water by carbonate precipitation reactions. (2014-2018) Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Effect of ageing on clean-up of dusts and soils after a nuclear contamination event. (2014-2018) EPSRC / National Nuclear laboratory Ltd.
R3AW: Resource Recovery and Remediation for Alkaline Wastes. (2015-2019) NERC thematic programme on resource recovery from waste
Effect of sediment resuspension on nutrient and metal cycling in estuarine sediments. (2013-2017) University of Leeds studentship
Natural and enhanced retardation of C-14 contamination in groundwater. (2013-2017) EPSRC / National Nuclear Laboratory Ltd.
Biogeochemistry of contaminants in hyperalkaline environments: Trace metal leaching and environmental impact of alkaline steel making wastes. (2013-2017) NERC
Precipitation, conditioning and long term stability of calcium uranate wasteforms. (2013-2017) EPSRC
MetTrans: Metal transport in the environment. (2012-2016) EU FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network
Immobilisation of radionuclides via in situ incorporation into stable mineral phases. (2010-2015) Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Caesium and strontium sorption to sediment and clay minerals. (2010-2014) EPSRC / National Nuclear laboratory Ltd.
The Ajka alumina plant accident: Biogeochemical processes and trace element mobility in alkaline waste affected soils. (2010-2014) NERC / EPSRC / SFTC
Integrated systems for treating groundwater contaminated with chromium. (2010-2013) James Henry Garner Scholarship
Effectiveness of green rust nano-particles for treatment of metal contamination. (2009-2011) NERC
Investigation of strontium-90 behaviour in contaminated ground. (2008-2012) EPSRC / Nuclear Decommissioning Authority /National Nuclear laboratory Ltd.
The biogeochemistry of radioactively contaminated land. (2008-2012) EPSRC
Bioremediation of chromate in alkaline sediment-water systems. (2008-2011) James Henry Garner Scholarship
The environmental behaviour of redox active radionuclides. (2006-2010) NERC
Radionuclide biogeochemistry in UK contaminated land scenarios. (2004-2008) NERC
The biogeochemistry of technetium. (2002-2005) NERC
Ocean-Climate processes recorded in Holocene laminated sediments from the Gotland Deep, Baltic Sea. (1998-2001) NERC

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Marine Geochemistry, University of Southampton
  • BSc, Environmental Geoscience, University of Edinburgh

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • RSC Radiochemistry Group Committee Member
  • Member of The Geochemical Society, USA
  • Member of The Minerological Society of Great Britain and Ireland
  • University and College Union, UK

Student education

Ian spports UG teaching on BSc Environmental Science programmes in aspects of contaminated land, water quality and oceanography. Ian particularly enjoys field teaching on UG fieldtrips and supervising dissertation projects on aspects of environmental geochemistry.

Research groups and institutes

  • Earth Surface Science Institute
  • Cohen Geochemistry

Current postgraduate research students

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>