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Benjamin Butler

Staff picture: Benjamin Butler
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Digital Mineralogist
+44 (0)1224 395355

The James Hutton Institute
AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Benjamin is a Macaulay Development Trust Research Fellow in the Environmental and Biochemical Sciences research group at the James Hutton Institute. Here he applies data-driven approaches to analyse national scale soil X-ray powder diffraction datasets. These approaches include data mining, cluster analysis, and high throughput mineral quantification, which together seek to elucidate the role of soil mineralogy in defining the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. In doing so, the research contributes to alignment of soil mineralogy with the 'digital' approaches that are already well established elsewhere in soil science (e.g. digital soil mapping and chemometrics of soil spectra), and will help inform appropriate measures for the sustainable use and management of soil.

Current research interests

  • Soil property - mineralogy relationships
  • Application of data mining to XRPD data
  • Application of cluster analysis to XRPD data
  • High throughput soil mineral quantification
  • Soil and sea ice mineralogy

Past research

Mineral dynamics in sea ice: Benjamin's PhD research investigated the mineralogy and geochemistry of sea ice. This research used controlled laboratory experiments and synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction (Diamond Light Source) to elucidate the presence, persistence and significance of authigenic minerals in sea ice, as well as defining major physico-chemical properties of the sea ice system.


  • 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 22/10/19 06:47:39 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.