Brian Reid

Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Professor

  • 1.42A Sciences

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Applications to study a PhD in Soil Science are welcomed. Areas of study could be related to, for example: soil carbon, soil quality/health, biochar, soil pollution/remediation, soil protection. 2023- FUNDED PhD Project - Not all soil carbon is equal

Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

Soil science, soil carbon, soil ecosystem services, biochar, contaminated land, remediation, pollutant/contaminant fate in the environment.

PhD Opportunity - 2023: Not all soil carbon is equal - FUNDED


Brian is Professor of Soil Science at the University of East Anglia and Adjunct Professor with the Chinese Academy of Science Institute for Urban Environment (Xiamen, China). He is a Technical Expert in Soil Quality to the BSI and a member of the ISO Soil Quality Technical Committee ‐ TC190.

Brian’s research has focused on: soil carbon; high carbon soil amendments e.g. biochar and paper crumble; soil interactions with contaminants agrochemicals, antibiotics and nutrients; the fate and transport of these agents in association with soil colloids and organic matter; contaminated land; remediation, and; pollutant risks and ecotoxicity.

Click for links for videos on PANEZA (Paper Crumble for Net-Zero Agriculture) and SAFECHEM (Safer Agrochemical Delivery) projects. 

His research is (has recently been) supported by the EU Interreg FCE Program, UKRI and the Royal Society and industry. For 

Brian has published >70 journal articles (~6000 citations); his H-index is 41.

Key Research Interests

Soil Carbon

Soil Carbon and Soil Microbiomes

Biochar and Pollution Abatement


Soil Carbon

We have improved understanding of soil carbon storage. This research has refined approaches to characterise carbon stability and model long-term fate of carbon in soils. This researcher is qualifying soil carbon storage “permanence”. For further information see: recycling paper to re-carbonise soil manuscript and Royal Society Capturing a Soil Carbon Economy manuscript

Soil Carbon and Soil Microbiomes

Collaborations with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Zhejiang University have explored the relationships between soil carbon and the microbiomes they support. This researcher has elucidated linkages between stress, perturbation and augmentation in terms of soil organic matter chemodiversity and microbiome biodiversity. For further details see: Biochar manuscript; Forest Fire manuscript, and; Amendment manuscript.

Biochar and Pollution Abatement

Research at laboratory and field scales have shown the potential to biochar to remediate contaminated soils and mitigate pollutant exposure to “at risk” populations. To find out more see cancer village manuscript and an example biochar modification manuscript.

Key Responsibilities

UEA Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Reserch (2022-)

SCI Associate Dean for Innovation (2019-2022)

Teaching Interests

Teaching Recognition

In 2009 I was the recipient of UEA’s highest award for Teaching Excellence - The Sir Geoffrey and Lady Allen Prize. 

In 2007, I was admitted as a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

External Duties

External Examiner (2018-2021): for BSc degrees in Ecolgical and Environmental Sceinces at The University of Edinburgh. 

External Examiner (2015-2018):  for two MSc programs at the University of Reading (MSc in Environmental Pollution / MSc in Environmental Management). 


Soil Science

Earth Surface Processes

Land and Water Processes and Mangement 


Research Group or Lab Membership



Sam Keenor

Soil carbon and soil ecosystem services


Hamdan Alzahrani 

Energy Balance appraches to ecotoxicology 



Marco Fioratti

Cover crops and below-ground biodiversity: an ecological outlook.



Natalia Balashova

Multi-disciplinary approach to assessing metaldehyde transport and fate in the environment at a catchment scale.


Lewis Peake (PhD) - Biochar amendment to improve soil properties and sequester carbon – fundamental research and GIS predictive land suitability modelling.


Alessia Freddo (PhD) - Biochar: for better or for worse.


Karen Hampson - Application of stable isotopes to assess in situ natural attenuation processes in a contaminated aquifer. 

Godwin Unazi (MSc by Research)
Impact of vegetable oil upon soil respiration and the application of chemical oxidation for the amelioration of soil contaminated with vegetable oil. 

Dr Son Trinh
Application of river bank filtration to remove pesticide residues.

Dr Agnieszka Latawiec
On the way forward into bioaccessibility implementation

Dr Marina Isla Espinoza 
Effects of veterinary antibiotics in soil microbial communities

Dr Patricia Asanga 
Rapid bioassays for effect-directed analysis of pesticides in water and sediments.

Dr Zachary Hickman
The prediction of bioremediation potential and the application of novel bioremediation approaches.

Dr Beke Sese
Assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon toxicity using the free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

Dr Paulette Posen 
Groundwater vulnerability mapping: application to pesticide contamination in England. 

Dr Annika Swindell 
Appraisal of extraction techniques for the prediction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon bioavailability.

Administrative Posts


Member of NERC Peer Review College (2016-present).

British Standards Institute (BSI) National Expert and International Standards Organisation (ISO) International Expert (2014-present).

London Technology Network Business Fellow (2007-2010).

President and Director of the UK Branch of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) (2007-2008).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Lancaster University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2000

Bachelor of Science, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 1996

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or