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David Lumsdon

Staff picture: David Lumsdon
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Honorary Associate
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


David Lumsdon is a Honorary Associate in the Catchment Management research area, with more than 25 years research experience. He initially trained as a soil scientist, and later undertook Post Doctoral studies in the Department of Land Resource Science at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He is an expert in soil and aqueous geochemistry, especially coordination chemistry, the surface chemistry of soil mineral and humic colloids, mathematical models of geochemical and transport processes in porous media; molecular simulations of geochemical systems. This knowledge has allowed him study a wide range of topics and to develop improved understanding into the behaviour of chemical elements in terrestrial environments. In particular he is interested to translate the information obtained using advanced analytical techniques such as Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to provide improved models for chemical interactions in soils. He is an associate editor with the Journal of Geochemical Exploration and acts as a reviewer for several peer reviewed scientific journals.

Current research interests

  • Geochemistry and bioavailabilty of metals in sewage sludge amended soils
  • Soil phosphorus resources and solubility in Scottish soils
  • Phosphorus recovery from waste streams by active filtration through Fe ochre-based filters
  • Geochemistry of micro nutrients (Cu, Zn, Fe, Mo, B) in soils
  • Predicting essential soil functions through the combination of soil databases with advanced soil chemical models
  • Use of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and X-Ray Diffraction techniques to advance the application of mechanistic soil chemical modelling
  • Challenges related to developing sustainable agriculture, in relation to future fossil fuel and natural resource constraints in a world with increasing population.

Some topics of research conducted earlier in his research career include:

  • Mineral phases controlling aluminium speciation and solubility in acid waters and soils
  • Role of chemical speciation modelling in biological systems (Phosphate-root interactions, metals and micro organisms)
  • Mechanisms and modelling of soil organic carbon interaction on Fe (oxy)hydroxide minerals
  • Geochemical behaviour of As(V), Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in contaminated land
  • Acidification modelling and the transport of dissolved organic carbon to water bodies


  • Hough, R.L.; Elliott, G.; Avery, L.M.; Coull, M.C.; Shand, C.A.; Lumsdon, D. ; Campbell, C.D. (2013) Environmental factors and Johne’s disease - results and guidance., Learning the Lessons for Disease Control - Halflawkiln Farm, Penicuik, Scotland, 12 March 2013.
  • Shand, C.A.; Eriksso, J.; Dahlin, S.; Lumsdon, D.G. (2012) Selenium in National Inventory Soils., Report from the Open Seminar, Micronutrients in Sustainable Agriculture, Uppsala, Sweden, 6 November 2012.
  • Shand, C.A.; Stutter, M.I.; George, T.S; Lumsdon, D.G.; Blackwell, M.S.A; Bol, R; Haygarth, P.M; Condron, L; Richardson, A.E.; Turner, B.L. (2012) Can soil organic phosphorus reduce reliance on mineral fertilisers?, 3rd Sustainable Phosphorus Summit 2012, Sydney, Australia, 29 February - 2 March 2012.
  • Zetsche, E.; Paterson, D.M.; Lumsdon, D.G.; Witte, U. (2011) Temporal variation in the sediment permeability of an intertidal sandflat., Marine Ecology Progress Series, 441, 49-63.
  • Stutter, M.I.; Richards, S.; Langan, S.J; Lumsdon, D.G. (2010) Reply to comment on 'Multi-element' signatures of stream sediments and their sources under moderate to low flow conditions., Applied Geochemistry, 25, 1617-1619.

  • Evans, L.J.; Barabash, S.J.; Lumsdon, D.G.; Gu, X. (2010) Application of chemical speciation modelling to studies on toxic element behaviour in soils., In: Hooda, P.S. (ed.). Trace Elements in Soils. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, Chapter 10, pp199-222.
  • Lumsdon, D.G.; Evans, L.J. (2002) Predicting chemical speciation and computer simulation., In: Chemical Speciation in the Environment, (eds. A.M. Ure and C.M. Davidson). Chapter 5, 2nd edition, Blackwell Science, Oxford.
  • Lumsdon, D.G.; Evans, L.J. (1994) Predicting chemical speciation and computer simulation., In: Chemical Speciation in the Environment, Chapter 5, 1st edition. Ure, A.M. and Davidson, C.M. (Eds.). Blackie Academic. Pp 86-134.

  • Avery, L.; Hough, R.L.; Potts, J.; Newman, G.; Lilly, A.; Lumsdon, D.; Abel, C.; Dodd, N.; Cook, Y.; McIntyre, S. (2016) Effect of maintenance and different raw water quality parameters on ultraviolet (UV) disinfection in private water supplies in Scotland., Report CR/2012/01, to Scottish Government, 31 January 2016.
  • Lumsdon, D.G. (2014) Potential use of water treatment derived humic substances as an amendment for use on Scottish agricultural soils., Report to CREW.
  • Sinclair A. H.; Crooks, W.; Edwards, A.C.; Lumsdon, D.G.; Coull, M.C.; Shand, C.A. (2012) Assessing the potential risks to water quality from phosphate leaching., SEPA Contract Number R11123STA, September 2012, pp80.
  • Stutter, M.I.; Baggaley, N.; Barry, C.; Chapman, S.J.; Dawson, J.J.C.; Helliwell, R.C.; Higgins, A.; Howden, N.; Jackson-Blake, L.; Lumsdon, D.G.; Malcolm, I.; Sample, J.; Potts, J.; Worrall, F. (2011) Assessment of the contribution of aquatic carbon fluxes to carbon losses from UK peatlands. Final report, SNIFFER Contract Report ER18, July 2011.
  • Dawson, J.J.C.; Delbos, E.; Hough, R.L.; Lumsdon, D.; Mayes, R.; Watson, H. (2011) Impacts of volcanic ash originating from the April 2010 eruption in Eyjafjallajokull (Iceland) on the natural resources of Scotland., Macaulay Land Use Research Institute website.
  • Smith, P.; Smith, J.; Flyn, H.; Killham, K.; Rangel-Castro, I.; Foereid, B.; Aitkenhead, M.; Chapman, S.; Towers, W.; Bell, J.; Lumsdon, D.; Milne, R.; Thomson, A.; Simmons, I.; Skiba, U.; Reynolds, B.; Evans, C.; Frogbrook, Z.; Bradley, I.; Whitmore, A. (2007) ECOSSE - Estimating carbon in organic soils sequestration and emissions., Report to Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department, Edinburgh, 177pp. ISBN 978 0 7559 1498 2.
  • Paterson, E., Geelhoed, J.S., Meeussen, J.C.L., Lumsdon, D.G. and Farmer, J.G. (2002) Integrated assessment and modelling of soil contaminant behaviour, transport and impact at remediable urban sites: 3. Process-based modelling of the leaching of chromium species from chromite ore processing residue (COPR) - contaminated land., Annual Progress Report for NERC-URGENT Programme, Birmingham.
  • Lumsdon, D.G., Van Beinum, W. and Paterson, E. (2001) New modelling framework for exploring dynamic processes in soils., The Macaulay Institute Annual Report 2000, pp10-15.
  • Paterson, E.; Lumsdon, D.G.; Lilly, A.; Sousa, A. (2000) Fate and transport of organophosphates and pyrethroids in soil., Final Report to SNH Earth Sciences Branch, March 2000.
  • Anderson, H.A.; Lumsdon, D.G. (1999) Speciation of manganese in Kilberry and Eredine raw waters and permeates., Thames Water.
  • Campbell, C.D., Lumsdon, D.G. and Gauld, J.H. (1998) Mine reclamation project, Brazil - a technical review of contract tenders., Highlights of some of the filming for My Food, Our World on The Rowett Institute YouTube Channel, 11 September 2018.
  • Lumsdon, D.G., Meeussen, J.C.L. and Paterson, E. (1997) Modelling the behaviour of metal contaminants in soils from the ICI Pilkington-Sullivan site, Widnes., Final Report, Macaulay Research and Consultancy Services, MRC 409.
  • Paterson, E., Lumsdon, D.G. and Meeussen, J.C.L. (1997) Mineralogical, chemical and physical characterisation of materials from the ICI Pilkington Sullivan site, Widnes., Contract Report to ICI plc. Pollutant Pathways in Soils.
  • Evans, L.J., Bolton, K.A. and Lumsdon, D.G. (1993) Metal retention by soils., Final Report to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, pp1-49.
  • Evans, L.J., Lumsdon, D.G. and Bolton, K.A. (1991) Retention of toxic landfill leachate metals by soils., Submission to Ontario Ministry of the Environment as end of year 1990 progress report, pp. 1-5.

Printed from /staff/david-lumsdon on 19/05/22 10:00:03 PM

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.