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Manchester Environmental Research Institute

Close up of a water droplet dripping from an outdoor water faucet

Clean water and sanitation

Our research is advancing our understanding and assessment of naturally-occurring (e.g., arsenic) and man-made (e.g., microplastics) sources of water pollution worldwide, and how these affect health of humans and freshwater ecosystems.

Our work is developing policy and technological solutions to address pollution and contamination challenges, through which we are helping to improve access to clean water supplies and effective sanitation services for millions globally.

Our current key areas of research include:

  • Aerial drone photo of a water treatment processing plant
  • Close up of an outdoor, stainless steel water faucet

Our researchers

Andrea Bottacin-Busolin
Senior Lecturer

Research specialisms: Water quality modelling and management, urban drainage, flood risk assessment, sediment processes, catchment management.

Stephen Boult
Senior Lecturer

Research specialisms: Water quality from catchment to tap, instrumentation, big data.

Bart van Dongen
Reader in Organic Chemistry

Research specialisms: Removal of organic pollutants from drinking/waste water, arsenic pollution in aquifer systems, mobilisation of permafrost derived organic matter through the great Russian Arctic river, dissolved organic matter from peatland.

Robert Dryfe
Professor of Physical Chemistry

Research specialisms: Water purification, desalination, capacitive de-ionisation, membranes.

Giles Edwards
Research Associate

Research specialisms: ICP-MS speciation, LC-MS/MS pesticides analysis.

Tomasz Janus
Research Associate

Research specialisms: Hydraulics, water supply, control, optimisation, dynamics.

Cecilia Medupin

Research specialisms: River ecology, biodiversity, macroinvertebrates, water quality, rivers, public engagement and knowledge transfer.

Katherine Morris
BNFL Research Chair

Research specialisms: Radionuclides, effluent treatment, industry links, impact case study.

Jon Pittman
Senior Lecturer

Research specialisms: Metal pollution, wastewater, bioremediation, nutrient recycling, plant and microbial processes.

David Polya
Professor of Environmental Geochemistry

Research specialisms: Water quality, exposure ,health, arsenic, food, hydrogeochemistry, biogeochemistry.

Felipe Rojas-Parra

Research specialisms: Geochemistry, basin management, drinking water quality, carbon runoff from peatlands, disinfection by products.

James Rothwell
Professor of Physical Geography

Research specialisms: Heavy metals, microplastics, sustainable urban drainage, green/blue infrastructure.

Stephen Scott-Bottoms
Professor of Contemporary Theatre

Research specialisms: Community and stakeholder engagement (arts based), flood resilience, river stewardship, community engagement, storytelling, sited performance.

Majid Sedighi
Senior Lecturer

Research specialisms: Low cost water filtration systems, improved slow sand filters for water and wastewater treatment, removal of microplastics in water and wastewater, water-rock interaction.

Holly Shiels

Research specialisms: Climate change, pollution/oil spills, flow, fish physiology, cardiorespiratory responses to changes in water conditions in fish, climatic effects on fish.

Susanne Shultz
Professor of Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation

Research specialisms: Physiology, pollution, abstraction, wildlife, population biology.

Roy Albert Wogelius
Professor of Geochemistry

Research specialisms: Radionuclides, heavy metals, plastics, diffusion, adsorption, contaminant mass transfer.