Skip to navigation Skip to content

Nia Gray-Wannell

Staff picture: Nia Gray-Wannell
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
PhD Student
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Nia graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2011 with a Masters in Chemistry with Industrial Experience, as part of her degree Nia spent one year working in the James Hutton Institute conducting work on PLFAs using GC-C-IRMS. Nia’s masters dissertation was focused on carbon nanotube research and was entitled “Functionalisation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes with ethylenediamine”.

After graduating Nia spent time in France as part of the EU funded Leonardo Da Vinci scheme and worked in scientific communications for a pharmaceutical company before returning to the UK and a job as a reserach assistant in the XRD department at the James Hutton Institute. As part of the research assistant role Nia conducted commerical analysis using XRD and ancillory techniques. In addition, Nia worked on various method development projects, the most used being the now UKAS accredited cobalt hexammine trichloride CEC method. Nia began a PhD in July 2017 funded by the MDT and in collaboration with the James Hutton Institute, Swansea Univeristy and Durham University entitled "Surface chemistry of halloysite nanotubes."

Conference/meeting presentations:

  • 2015: Euroclay, Edinburgh - Oral presentation - "An investigation into the pH effects on the CEC of halloysite."
  • 2017: Clay Minerals Group, Research in Progress meeting - Oral presentation - "The adsoprtion of phosphate by halloysite nanotubes."
  • 2017: International Clay Conference (ICC), Granada - Oral presentation - "The adsorption of phosphate by halloysite nanotubes."
  • 2019: Macaulay Development Trust lecture, poster- "Surface chemistry of kaolin minerals."
  • 2018: Mid-European Clay Conference (MECC), Zagreb - Oral presentation - "Investigation of the surface sites of tubular halloysite using phosphate anions."
  • 2019: Euroclay, Paris - Oral presentation - "Aspects of the surface and internal structure of halloysite nanotubes as revealed by various microscopy methods."
  • 2019: Macaulay Development Trust lecture, poster - "Use of neutron scattering and diffraction to study interlayer water in halloysite nanotubes."

Committees and professional accreditations:

  • Registered scientist with the RSC
  • 2017-2019 - Ordinary member of the Aberdeen and North East Local Section of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2019-current - Secretary for the Aberdeen and North East Local Section of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Current research interests

PhD Studentship

Surface Chemistry of Kaolin Clay Minerals and the Prediction of Soil Adsorption Properties

Past research

Nia’s work involved both commercial and research projects employing the technique of X-Ray Powder Diffraction.


  • Hillier, S.; Pendlowski, H.; Fraser, T.; Robertson, J.; Delbos, E.; Phillips, I.; Gray, N.; Wilson, I. (2013) Tubular halloysite., Minerals for Life, Appleton Tower, Edinburgh, 17-19 June 2013.

Printed from /staff/nia-gray-wannell on 01/02/23 03:21:39 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.