• Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry. 2004. School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Australia. Thesis: Copper Bioavailability in Biosolids
  • Honours Degree (Research) in Environmental Management (first class). 1999. Department of Soil & Water, University of Adelaide, Australia. Thesis: Potential phosphorus release from water treatment residuals under anaerobic conditions
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Natural Resource Management). 1997. University of Adelaide, Australia. Subject majors: Environmental Chemistry, Soil Science, Environmental Management

Work history

  • Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science, Keele University. March 2019 -
  • Lecturer in Environmental Science, Keele University. January 2013
  • Senior Specialist Scientist (Environmental Chemistry), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), 2008-2012.
  • Postdoctoral research assistant (PDRA), Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC)/University of Edinburgh: 2005-2008
  • Research Officer (Terrestrial Ecotoxicology), Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO – Australia) and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL – Belgium): 2002

Research and scholarship

I have broad research interests spanning environmental behaviour and fate of pollutants, ecotoxicology, soil and mine site remediation, the influence of soil amendments on earthworms and other terrestrial invertebrates, nutrient management in catchments, and water quality.

My wider academic activities include:

  • Terrestrial ecotoxicology editor for the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (ET&C)
  • Editorial board member of the Journal of Environmental Management
  • Fellow of the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS)
  • Member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry (SETAC)
  • Member of the Earthworm Society of Britain
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) peer review college
  • Regular member of NERC grant moderating panels
  • Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA)



farm soil discussion mine drainage
Farm soil discussion Mine drainage


  • ESC-10080 Academic and Field Skills + Business Environmental Practices
  • ESC-10082 Studying the Environment and Climate Change*
  • ESC-10086 Introductory Environmental Chemistry*
  • ESC-10088 Ecology and habitats
  • ESC-20032 Environmental Analytical Methods*
  • ESC-20106 Geographical and Environmental Skills (field course)
  • ESC-30056 Ecotoxicology & Risk Assessment*
  • ESC-30047 Dissertation
  • ESC-40089 Dissertation

* module leader



  • Oliver IW. Recycling waste materials for use in soil management: future research options. Keynote address, International Conference on Environment and Sustainability. Anbar, Iraq. 29-30 November 2023.
  • Oliver IW. The United Kingdom's Mining Legacy - Environmental Aspects. International Soil Contamination & Remediation workshop (IIES). Guangzhou, China, 1-5 November, 2016.
  • Oliver IW. Environment & Sustainability: Research, Teaching & Implementation. International Institute for Environmental Studies. 1st annual international workshop, Trent University, Canada, 24-26 October 2015.
  • Oliver IW, Kosolsaksakul P, Piskosz M, Farmer, JG, Graham MC. Characterising biochar and assessing its utility for ameliorating metal contaminated soils. 17th International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment. Guiyang, China 23-25 September 2014.
  • Oliver IW, Graham MC, MacKenzie AB, Ellam RM and Farmer JG. Colloid mediated migration mechanisms of depleted uranium (DU) in contaminated soils. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). 5th World Conference. Sydney Australia, 3-7 August 2008.
  • Oliver IW. Australian Soil Science. Invited presentation to the Australian Society of Soil Science (ASSSI) annual meeting, University of Sydney, August 2008.
  • Oliver IW, Graham MC, MacKenzie AB, Ellam RM and Farmer JG. 238U as a model for studying the mobility of U in surface and groundwater and its transfer into plants. Invited presentation to the International Symposium Protecting Water Bodies from Negative Impacts of Agriculture: Loads and Fate of Fertiliser Derived Uranium. Braunschweig, Germany, 4-6 June 2007.
  • Oliver IW, Graham MC, MacKenzie AB, Ellam RM and Farmer JG. Fate of depleted uranium (DU) in British weapons test zones: Soil associations and biological assimilation. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America 28th Annual Meeting. Milwaukee, USA. 11?15 November, 2007.
  • Oliver IW, MacKenzie AB, Graham MC, Ellam RM and Farmer JG. Determining the extent of depleted uranium contamination in soils at a weapons test site: An isotopic investigation. The 16th Annual V.M. Goldschmidt Conference. Melbourne, Australia, September 2006. Abstract also published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 70, Issue 18, Supplement 1, August-September 2006, Page 457.
  • Oliver IW, MacKenzie AB, Graham MC, Ellam RM and Farmer JG. Determining depleted uranium (DU) contamination in soils and salt marsh sediments in the vicinity of DU munitions testing sites in SW Scotland and NW England, UK. The 7th International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry (ISEG). Beijing, China, September 2006. Also published in the Chinese Journal of Geochemistry, Volume 25, Supplemental, September 2006, Page 96.
  • Oliver IW, Merrington G and McLaughlin MJ. Copper availability in Australian biosolids. The Sixth International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements (ICOBTE). Guelph, Ontario, Canada. July-August 2001.

Postgraduate supervision

PhD Students

  • Tomi Turner (2017 - ) Ecological risk characterisation of novel soil amendments - assessing impacts on earthworms, soil microbial function and gas emissions.
  • Mayssa Alhar (2015 - 2020) Applying analytical chemistry techniques to the characterisation of mine spoils and assessing treatments for minimizing their environmental impacts.
  • Karrar Arab (2015 - 2020) Chemical, physical and biological characterisation of contamination at a restored coal mine.

MSc Geoscience Research / MSc Geographical and Environmental Research Students

  • Bradley Bell (2021-22) Exploration of soil amendments for restoring mine impacted soil.
  • Thomas Pattinson (2021-22) The effect of coppice restoration on plant and invertebrate taxa in a historical coppice in Shropshire.
  • Katie Duffy (2019-20) An initial investigation into impacts on soil from incorporation of biodegradable plastic, and determination of soil ecotoxicological thresholds for chemicals found in conventional plastics.
  • John Nightingale (2017-18) Assessing contamination in historic mining areas of southern Scotland and exploring options for waste remediation.
  • Tom Elliston (2017-18) Determining ecotoxicological thresholds for biochar addition to soils.
  • Dylan Beard (2016-17) Investigating the effects of water treatment residual addition on element availability and plant yield in fertilised and non-fertilised soils.
  • Anthony Howells (2016-17) Novel soil amendments and their impacts on earthworms.
  • Steven Lewis (2015-16) Iron water treatment residuals for in-situ remediation of soils bearing multi-element contamination.
  • Kenroy Millwood (2014-15) Investigating the effects of biochar sourced from different feedstock biomass on soil C dynamics.

School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
William Smith Building
Keele University