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Benjamin Butler

Staff picture: Benjamin Butler
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Digital Mineralogist
benjamin.butler@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395355

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen
AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Benjamin is a Digital Mineralogist in the Environmental and Biochemical Sciences group at the James Hutton Institute. Here he applies data-driven approaches to explore mineralogical and geochemical soil datasets, primarily focusing upon X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and chemical extraction data. These multivariate approaches include data mining, cluster analysis, compositional data analysis, and high throughput mineral quantification, which together can be used to elucidate the role of minerals in defining the geochemical properties of soil. The associated emergence of the Digital Soil Mineralogy concept from Benjamin's research seeks to inform appropriate measures for the sustainable soil management that account for mineralogical variations.

Current research interests

  • Plant nutrient provision from soil minerals
  • Mineral controls on soil decomposition rates
  • Open source software for quantitative soil mineralogy
  • Terrestrial soil analogues for Martian soil mineralogy

Aside from Digital Soil Mineralogy research, Benjamin contributes to an ongoing soil survey programme for Forestry and Land Scotland. The surveying seeks to provide detailed soil maps that can allow forest planners to create planting strategies that are appropriate to the soil.

Past research

Digital Soil Mineralogy postdoctoral fellowship (2016 - 2019): Funded by the Macaulay Development Trust, the fellowship was used to define the Digital Soil Mineralogy concept and to develop associated data-driven methods for analysing national scale soil XRPD datasets.

Mineral Dynamics in Sea Ice (2012 - 2016): Funded by a NERC studentship, Benjamin's PhD research investigated the mineralogy and geochemistry of sea ice. This research used controlled laboratory experiments and synchrotron XRPD (Diamond Light Source) to understand the presence, persistence and significance of authigenic minerals in sea ice, as well as defining major physico-chemical properties of the sea ice system.

Bibliography

  • Aponte, H.; Medina, J.; Butler, B.; Meier, S.; Cornejo, P.; Kuzyakov, Y. (In press) Soil quality indices for metal(loid) contamination: an-enzymatic perspective., Land Degradation and Development.
  • Aponte, H.; Meli, P.; Butler, B.M.; Paolini, J.; Matus, F.; Merino, C.; Cornejo, P.; Kuzyakov, Y. (2020) Meta analysis of heavy metal effects on soil enzyme activities., Science of the Total Environment, 737, Article No. 139744.
  • Butler, B.M. (2020) Mineral sources of aqua regia extractable base cations in Scottish soils interpreted from Cubist models trained with quantitative mineralogy data., Chemical Geology, 551, Article No. 119773.
  • Butler, B.M.; Palarea-Albaladejo, J.; Shepherd, K.D.; Nyambura, K.M.; Towett, E.K.; Sila, A.M.; Hillier, S. (2020) Mineral-nutrient relationships in African soils assessed using cluster analysis of X-ray powder diffraction patterns and compositional methods., Geoderma, 375, Article 114474.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Butler, B.M.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 130 - Allean Forest 2019 Blocks, Tay Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Beesley, L.; Henderson, D.J.; Butler, B.M.; Hewison, R.L.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 129 - Loch Chon 2019 Blocks, Cowal and Trossachs Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Hewison, R.L.; Riach, D.J.; Butler, B.M.; Nolan, A.J.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 128- Loch Ard Forest Drumore Block, Cowal and Trossachs Forest District, 2019., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Henderson, D.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Butler, B.M.; Riach, D.J.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 127 - Queensway Forest 2019 Block, Galloway Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Henderson, D.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Butler, B.M.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 119 - Kindrogan Forest 2019 Blocks, Tay Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Riach, D.J.; Butler, B.M.; Henderson, D.J.; Beesley, L.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 116 - Glen Loy Forest, Lochaber Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Butler, B.M.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 115 - Glen Markie Forest 2018 Blocks, Tay Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Butler, B.M.; Sila, A.M.; Shepherd, K.D.; Nyambura, M.; Gilmore, C.J.; Kourkoumelis, N.; Hillier, S. (2019) Pre-treatment of soil X-ray powder diffraction data for cluster analysis., Geoderma, 337, 413-424.
  • Thompson, S.P.; Kennedy, H.; Day, S.J.; Baker, A.R.; Butler, B.M.; Safi, E.; Kelly, J.; Male, A.; Potter, J.; Cobb, T.; Murray, C.A.; Tang, C.C.; Evans, A.; Mercado, R. (2018) A slow-cooling-rate in situ cell for long-duration studies of mineral precipitation in cold aqueous environments on earth and other planetary bodies., Journal of Applied Crystallography, 51, 1197-1210.
  • Hillier, S.; Butler, B. (2018) New XRD data-based approaches to soil mineralogy., Spectroscopy, 33, 34-36.
  • Butler, B M.; O'Rourke, S.M.; Hillier, S. (2018) Using rule-based regression models to predict and interpret soil properties from X-ray powder diffraction data., Geoderma, 329, 43-53.
  • Nolan, A J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Henderson, D.J.; Riach, D.J.; Donnelly, D.; Butler, B. (2018) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Technical Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 103 - Drumnatorran Forest Blocks, Lochaber Forest District (2017)., Digital soils data uploaded into 'Forester' and Technical Report to Forestry Commission.
  • Butler, B.M.; Papadimitriou, S.; Day, S.J.; Kennedy, H. (2017) Gypsum and hydrohalite dynamics in sea ice brines., Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 213, 17-34.

  • Nolan, A.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Butler, B.M.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 130 - Allean Forest 2019 Blocks, Tay Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Beesley, L.; Henderson, D.J.; Butler, B.M.; Hewison, R.L.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 129 - Loch Chon 2019 Blocks, Cowal and Trossachs Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Hewison, R.L.; Riach, D.J.; Butler, B.M.; Nolan, A.J.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 128- Loch Ard Forest Drumore Block, Cowal and Trossachs Forest District, 2019., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Henderson, D.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Butler, B.M.; Riach, D.J.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 127 - Queensway Forest 2019 Block, Galloway Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Henderson, D.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Butler, B.M.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 119 - Kindrogan Forest 2019 Blocks, Tay Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Riach, D.J.; Butler, B.M.; Henderson, D.J.; Beesley, L.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 116 - Glen Loy Forest, Lochaber Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Butler, B.M.; Donnelly, D. (2020) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 115 - Glen Markie Forest 2018 Blocks, Tay Forest District., Digital Soils Spatial Data and Report uploaded to ForesterWeb.
  • Nolan, A J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Henderson, D.J.; Riach, D.J.; Donnelly, D.; Butler, B. (2018) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Technical Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 103 - Drumnatorran Forest Blocks, Lochaber Forest District (2017)., Digital soils data uploaded into 'Forester' and Technical Report to Forestry Commission.

Printed from /staff/benjamin-butler on 12/07/20 10:06:16 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.