Dr Brian Kelleher

Profile picture of Dr Brian Kelleher

My research interests lie in carbon cycling in soils, sediments and water. We study carbon in different natural forms and investigate how it cycles between phases (in air, soil and water). I have been lucky enough to be involved when we were having fun and followed our curiosity, not necessarily sticking to deadlines and box ticking.

Nowadays, it is hard not to be motivated with the climate change cloud hanging over us. That said, the natural world around us is an environmental scientist’s playground and we are privileged to be able to study it.

I’m a lecturer because I caught the research bug. Having worked in many other jobs, I  encountered the world of research at the age of 28 and then did all I could to be involved in research for the rest of my professional career.

Uncovering the universe’s mysteries

From an environmental science point of view, we know very, very little. We don’t understand the contents of soil and water and how they work together. Analytical instruments do not come close yet to understanding the chemistry and biology of soil.

The universe is still a mystery and we do not understand and cannot characterise the 99% of materials and energy that we know of. Therefore, there is a good argument that an environmental scientist should be humble. Everything after that is a bonus!

Dr Brian Kelleher is Programme chair, BSc in Environmental Science and Technology, in the School of Chemical Sciences

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