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Steve Hillier

Staff picture: Steve Hillier
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Soil Mineralogist
stephen.hillier@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395336

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Steve Hillier is a mineralogist by training, he studied for his PhD at Southampton University and undertook post docs at the Laboratoire de Geologie de L'Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, and subsequently at the Geologisches Institut, Universitat Bern. Steve makes extensive use of X-ray powder diffraction in his work and his research interests revolve around a mixture of clay, soil and environmental mineralogy. Clay minerals are his specialty and he is a former Chairman of the Clay Minerals Group of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.  He set up and maintains the 'Images of Clay' archive a free to use for teaching purposes - clay mineral image gallery.  Clay minerals are extremely varied and soil clay minerals are amongst the most difficult of all minerals to study and characterise.  Many of the properties of soils are controlled by the clay minerals they contain, but understanding how mineralogy controls properties requires accurate techniques for clay mineral identification, characterisation and quantification.  Steve's research is aimed at developing methods for clay mineral identification and quantification in soils and linking this to an understanding of soil properties and behaviour.

The innovation of the XRPD quantitative methods developed by Steve is world renowned through his consistent success in the Reynolds Cup, and many of the same methods are offered as commercial services to industry via www.claysandminerals.comIan Phillips, Helen Pendlowski and Nia Gray, all work together with Steve on various projects revolving around clay minerals.

Steve is a visiting Professor in the Department of Soil and Environment at the Swedish Agricultural University in Uppsala, and has collaborated with several colleagues there for many years.  Steve was also Chair of the scientific and organising committee for Euroclay 2015 in Edinburgh see the archived conference website for more details. 

Current research interests

My interests revolve around many aspects of clay, soil, and environmental mineralogy.  At present I am focused on promoting the concept and vision of 'digital mineralogy'.  I also have an ongoing interest in the mineralogy of halloysite nano tubes also know as HNTs.

Past research

You can view all my publications on my Web of Science Researcher ID page or at my Google Scholar page.

Bibliography

  • Dawson, L.A.; Campbell, C.D.; Hillier, S.; Brewer, M.J. (2008) Methods of characterising and fingerprinting soils for forensic application., In: Tibbett, M. & Carter, D.O. (eds.). Soil Analysis in Forensic Taphonomy. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 271-315.
  • Hillier, S. (2006) Formation and alteration of clay materials., In: Clay Materials Used in Construction (eds. G. M. Reeves, I. Sims and J. C. Cripps). Engineering Geology Special Publications 21, Geological Society, London, pp29-71. ISBN: 978-1-86239-184-0
  • Hillier, S.J. (2003) Chlorite in sediments., In: Encyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks (eds. G.V. Middleton, M.J. Church, M. Coniglio, L.A. Hardie and F.J. Longstaffe). Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp123-127. Encyclopaedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks.
  • Hillier, S. (2003) Clay mineralogy., In: Encyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks (eds. G.V. Middleton, M.J. Church, M. Coniglio, L.A. Hardie and F.J. Longstaffe). Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp139-142. Encyclopaedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks.
  • Hillier, S.J. (1999) Environmental interactions of clays., Mineralogical Magazine. Edited by A.Parker and J.E. Rae.
  • Hillier, S. (1995) Erosion, sedimentation and sedimentary origin of clays., Clays and the Environment (ed. B. Velde). Chapter 4.

  • Hillier, S.; Robertson, J.; Dawson, L.A. (2008) Micro-scale Approaches to Soil Evidence (micro - ASE)., Science and Technology Facilities Council: SRS Experiment Report 2008.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Hillier, S.; Hough, R. (2008) Sampling and analysis of lead mine spoil, Tyndrum, Argyll, and implications in relation to the expansion of visitor access., Forestry Commission, Scotland.
  • Dawson, L.A.; Delbos, E.; Hillier, S.; Robertson, J.; Ross, J.M. (2007) Analytical investigation on soils from Roman finds., Report for National Museums of Scotland, May 2007.
  • Miller, D.R.; Lund, J.; Towers, W.; Dawson, L.A.; Hillier, S. (2003) Dr Miller's toolkit for countryside change: a contribution towards "public understanding of science"., SALSA Regional Workshop RR30, The Moorings Hotel, Fort William, 24 May 2018, 14pp.
  • Hillier, S. (2003) Spray drying kit for the preparation of random powder samples for x-ray powder diffraction., Operation and Instruction Manual for Spray Drier. Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen. Version 1.3. May 2003.
  • Hillier, S. (1999) Spray-drying kit for the preparation of random powder samples for x-ray powder diffraction., Manual for spray driers sold under MRC115.
  • Hillier, S. (1998) Report on the validation of the "Methods for quantitative analysis by XRD of clay minerals in orientated specimens" (Method J022)., Internal technical report for the purposes of NAMAS accreditation.
  • Hillier, S. (1998) Report of the validation of the "Methods for quantitative phase analysis by XRD of random powder samples" (Method J024)., Internal technical report for the purposes of NAMAS accreditation.

  • Brown, A.P.; Hillier, S.; Brydson, R.M.D. (2017) Quantification of Fe-oxidation state in mixed valence minerals: a geochemical application of EELS revisited., Electron Microscopy and Analysis Group Conference (EMAG2017), Manchester, 3-6 July 2017. Journal of Physics Conference Series, 902, Article No. 012016.
  • Bahri-Esfahani, J.; George, T.S.; Hillier, S.; Gadd, G. (2014) From A to B: mechanisms in A (Aspergillus) to phosphate release for B (Barley)., Phosphorus in Soils and Plants, 5th International Symposium, 4th Sustainable Phosphorus Summit, Montpellier, France 26 August to 3 September 2014.
  • Robertson, A.H.J.; Hillier, S.J.; Donald, C.; Hill, H.R.; The NSIS Team. (2013) A robust FTIR database for Scotland., Proceedings of the 3rd Global Workshop on Proximal Soil Sensing Potsdam, Germany, 26 - 29 May 2013. Leibniz-Institute fur Agrartechnik, Potsdam-Bornim, 182-187.
  • 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.
  • Bahri-Esfahani, J.; George, T.S.; Hillier, S.; Gadd, G.M. (2012) Fungal mechanisms in phosphate solubilization., Geomicrobiology and Its Significance for Biosphere Processes, Manchester, 19-20 April 2012.
  • Bahri-Esfahani, J.; George, T.S.; Hillier, S.; Gadd, G.M. (2012) Fungal mechanisms in phosphate solubilisation., The 8th Symposium of the International Society of Root Research (ISSR); Roots to the Future, The James Hutton Institute, Dundee, 26-29 June 2012.
  • Walker, R.L.; Oborn, I.; Bertilsson, J.; Campbell, C.D.; Coull, M.C.; Dahlin, A.S.; Edwards, A.C.; Eriksson, J.; Frankow-Lindberg, B.E.; Hillier, S.; Lindstrom, B.; Linse, L.; Ramezanian, A.; Lumsdon, D.G.; Shand, C.; Sinclair, A.H.; Watson, C.A.; Wivstad, M. (2010) Micronutrient strategies in organic systems: using local and site specific resources to improve crop and livestock quality., Proceedings of 15th World Fertilizer Congress of the International Scientific Centre for Fertilizers (CIEC), Romania, 29 August - 2 September 2010.
  • Dawson, L.A.; Czerniakiewicz, M.; Handley, K.; Hillier, S.; Robertson, J.; Ross, J.M.; Towers, W.; Donnelly, D.; Mayes, R.W. (2010) A complementary approach to the forensic analysis of soil in case investigations., International Workshop on Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensics, 3rd, Long Beach, California, 2-4 November 2010.
  • Oborn, I.; Bertilsson, J.; Campbell, C.D.; Dahlin, A.S.; Edwards, A.C.; Eriksson, J.; Frankow-Lindberg, B.E.; Hillier, S.; Lindstrom, B.; Linse, L.; Ramezanian, A.; Sinclair, A.H.; Watson, C.A.; Wivstad, M. (2009) Micronutrient management strategies in organic systems - How to utilize local and site specific resources for improved product quality from crops and livestock?, Proceedings International Society of Trace Element Biogeochemistry (ICOBTE 2009), 10th, Chihuahua, Mexico, 13-16 July 2009.
  • Oborn, I.; Bertilsson, J.; Campbell, C.D.; Dahlin, A.S.; Edwards, A.C.; Eriksson, J.; Frankow-Lindberg, B.E.; Hillier, S.; Lindstrom, B.; Linse, L.; Ramezanian, A.; Sinclair, A.H.; Watson, C.A.; Wivstad, M. (2009) Micronutrient management strategies in organic systems - How to utilize local and site specific resources for improved product quality from crops and livestock?, Nordic Agricultural Conference, Estonia, 27-29 August 2009.
  • Delbos, E.; Dawson, L.A.; Hillier, S.; Robertson, J.; Ross, J.; Thornton, B. (2008) Traces of soil from archaeological artefacts: a multidisciplinary approach., International Crime Science Conference 2008, London, 17-18 July 2008.
  • Hillier, S.; Dawson, L.A.; Robertson, J, Delbos, E.; Shiels, J.; Campbell, S.; Mayes, R.W.; Ross, J.M. (2007) Provenancing archaeological objects using traces of soil., Conference Proceedings, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, 30 October - 1 November 2007.
  • Farmer, J.G.; Hillier, S.; Lumsdon, D.G.; Graham, M.C.; Bewley, R.J.F. (2007) The assessment and remediation of chromite ore processing residue at former disposal sites, Glasgow, Scotland: current status., In: Geotechnics of Waste Management and Remediation (eds. M.V. Khire, A.K. Alshawabkeh and K.R. Reddy), ASCE Geotech. Spec. Pubn. No. 177, 740-747.
  • Kleeberg, R.; Monecke, T.; Hillier, S. (2006) Some aspects of the preparation of samples suitable for quantitative XRD analysis., Annual Meeting of the Ton- und Tonmineralgruppe fur Deutschland (DTTG) Valkenburg (near Aachen), 4-5 October 2006.
  • Graham, M.C., Farmer, J.G., Anderson, J., Paterson, E., Hillier, S.J., Lumsdon, D.G. and Bewley, R.J.F. (2005) Calcium polysulfide remediation of hexavalent chromium contamination from chromite ore processing residue., Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health Conference, Glasgow, 2005. Oral presentation.
  • Oborn, I.; Andrist-Rangel, Y.; Simonsson, M.; Andersson, S.; Hillier, S. (2004) Hog lerhalt ingen garanti for gott kaliumtillst?nd., Jordbrukskonferensen Ultuna, 23-24 November 2004, pp36-37. In Swedish
  • Hillier, S. (2003) Detection limits in XRPD: a practical approach and some practical applications., Durham X-ray Conference ( Invited Plenary Lecture).
  • Shand, C.A., Cheshire, M.V., Hillier, S.J., Newbauer, C. and Rosen, K. (1998) Plant availability of radiocaesium in contaminated organic soils., Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Conference, Bordeaux, 8th Annual Meeting, 14-18 April 1998, p61.
  • Hillier, S. (1997) State of the art and routine quantitative clay mineral analysis., 25 Year Jubilee Meeting of the German Clay and Clay Mineral Group on Quantitative Clay Mineral Analysis, Trier, 18-20 Sept. 1997.

  • Ghosh, U.; Hillier, S. (2023) Application of computational approaches in soil-mineralogy to understand mineral-nutrient relationship, The British Society of Soil Science Early Careers' Conference 2023, 6 - 7 December 2023, Assembly Buildings Conference Centre, Belfast
  • Ghosh, U.; Hillier, S. (2023) Application of computational and datadriven approaches in mineralogy using soil data from the National Soil Inventory of Scotland, Clay Minerals Group Research in Progress Meeting 2023, 18 May 2023, University of Leeds
  • Hillier, S.; Butler, B. (2019) A terrestrial soil analogue for Martian mineralogy identified by the digital soil mineralogy concept applied to x-ray powder diffraction measurements on Earth and Mars., EGU General Assembly 2019, Vienna, Austria, 7-12 April 2019. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Volume 21, EGU2019-17694. Abstract.
  • Gray, N.; Hillier, S; Lumsdon, D.G; Holliman, P.; Gresswell, C. (2018) Adsorption/desorption of phosphate anions by halloysite nanotubes (HNTs)., The James Hutton Institute PhD Student Retreat, Birnam, Dunkeld, 8 March 2018. (Poster).
  • Hillier, S. (2017) Quantitative analysis of clay minerals in soils by prior measured full pattern fitting., 54th Annual Meeting of the Clay Minerals Society, Edmonton, Canada, 2-8 June 2017. (Conference presentation/abstract)
  • Hillier, S. (2017) Quantitative mineralogical analysis of clays in barrier systems: linking the trees and the forest., Clay Conference 2017: 7th International Conference on Clays in Natural and Engineered Barriers for Radioactive Waste Confinement, Davos, Switzerland, 24-27 September 2017. Invited Plenary, Abstract.
  • Day-Stirrat, R.J.; Nikitin, A.; Hofmann, R.; Mahood, R.; Hillier, S.; Mertens, G. (2017) Clay mineral distribution in the cretaceous McMurray formation, Alberta, Canada and gamma-ray spectroscopy as a proxy clay mineral and bitumen indicator., 54th Annual Clay Minerals Society Conference, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 5-7 June 2017. Abstract.
  • Dietel, J.; Ufer, K.; Hillier, S.; Kaufhold, S.; Dohrmann, R. (2017) Mineralogical characterisation of a corrensite sample from Ayrshire, Scotland, UK., International Clay Conference, Parque de las Ciencias, Granada, Spain, 17-21 July 2017. Abstract
  • Hillier, S.; Gray, R.; Delbos, E. (2017) Origin of pore-lining chlorites in the Laggan and Tormore fields, West of Shetland, UK., International Clay Conference, Parque de las Ciencias, Granada, Spain, 17-21 July 2017. Abstract.
  • Hillier, S.; Brydson, R. (2017) Dioctahedral chlorites and red beds: a diagenetic hypothesis., International Clay Conference, Parque de las Ciencias, Granada, Spain, 17-21 July 2017. Abstract.
  • Nyambura, M.; Hillier, S.; Shepherd, K,D.; Martti, E.; Gatari, M. (2015) A quantitative survey of sub-Saharan Africa soil mineralogy and its relationship to soil micronutrients., Euroclay 2015 Conference, Edinburgh University, 5-10 July 2015.
  • Hillier, S. (2015) X-ray powder diffraction full-pattern summation methods for quantitative analysis of clay bearing samples., Euroclay 2015 Conference, Edinburgh University, 5-10 July 2015.
  • Hillier, S.; Pendlowski, H.; Fraser, T.; Robertson, J.; Delbos, E.; Phillips, I.; Gray, N.; Wilson, I. (2015) Correlations among mineralogical and physical properties of halloysite nano-tubes (HNTs)., Euroclay 2015 Conference, Edinburgh University, 5-10 July 2015.
  • Hillier, S. (2015) Identification and analysis of clay minerals using the powder diffraction file., International Center for Diffraction Data, Annual Meeting, Newton Square, Pennsylvania, 23-27 March 2015.
  • Eriksson, A,K.; Hillier, S.; Hesterberg, D.; Simonsson, M.; Gustafsson, J.P. (2015) Are interlayered clay minerals important for phosphorus adsorption in agricultural soils?, Euroclay 2015 Conference, Edinburgh University, 5-10 July 2015.
  • Brennan, F.P.; Moynihan, E.; Griffiths, B.; Hillier, S.; Owen, J.; Pendlowski, H.; Avery, L. (2013) The impact of clay mineral composition on enteropathogen survival in soil., FEMS, 5th Congress of Microbiologists 2013, Leipzig, Germany, 21-25 July 2013. Abstract.
  • Bishop, J.L.; Rampe, E.B.; Baker, L.L.; Bish, D.L.; Abidin, Z.; Henmi, T.; Hillier, S. (2011) Spectral properties of natural and synthetic allophanes, imogolites, hydrated silica and phyllosilicates and applications to Mars., AGU (American Geophysical Union) Fall Meeting 2012, San Francisco, California, 7 December 2012. Abstracts, 1, 3pp.
  • McKeown, N.K.; Bishop, J.L.; Amador, E.; Cuadros, J.; Hillier, S.; Makarewicz, H.; Parente, M.; Silver, E.A. (2010) Spectral mixtures of clays and their impact on crism mineral identifications., Lunar and Planetary Institute Science Conference Abstracts, 41, 2510.
  • McKeown, N.K.; Bishop, J.L.; Cuadros, J.; Hillier, S.; Parente, M. (2010) Hydrated silica at Mawrth Vallis and implications for past environment., AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, 1, 4.
  • Walker, R.L.; Oborn, I.; Bertilsson, J.; Campbell, C.D.; Coull, M.C.; Dahlin, A.S.; Edwards, A.C.; Eriksson, J.; Frankow-Lindberg, B.E.; Hillier, S.; Lindstrom, B.; Linse, L.; Ramezanian, A.; Lumsdon, D.G.; Shand, C.; Sinclair, A.H.; Watson, C.A.; Wivstad, M. (2010) Micronutrient strategies in organic systems: using local and site specific resources to improve crop and livestock quality., Proceedings of 15th World Fertilizer Congress of the International Scientific Centre for Fertilizers (CIEC), Romania, 29 August - 2 September 2010. (Poster)

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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.