Professor Vernon Phoenix

Head Of Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering


Personal statement

Vernon Phoenix is Professor of Environmental Engineering Science and Director of the Centre for Water, Environment, Sustainability and Public Health (WESP).  He has expertise in environmental geochemistry and geomicrobiology, and has a broad interest in bacteria/biofilm-pollutant interactions, pollutant control in natural and engineered systems and in wastewater treatment.  He combines his skills in geochemistry and geomicrobiology to explore and control pollution behaviour in the environment.  This includes research into cement-making bacteria for plugging pollution transport pathways in the subsurface, capturing and immobilizing pollutants through bacterially generated minerals and the role of the bacterial surface as a reactive interface (metal adsorption surface).  This work extends to development of pro-microbial bio-enhanced water filtration technologies for urban systems.  He has significant expertise in a wide range of imaging methods, including electron microscopies and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, the later used to visualize pollution transport inside rocks, sediments and biofilms.  Outside of his work with pollutants, he continues his research in exobiology, for example, understanding how and where microbial life might be preserved on other planets.  He is always keen to talk to potential students, collaborators and industry about future projects.  He is available for consultancy.

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Evidence of free tropospheric and long-range transport of microplastic at Pic du Midi Observatory
Allen S, Allen D, Baladima F, Phoenix V R, Thomas J L, Le Roux G, Sonke J E
Nature Communications Vol 12 (2021)
Temporal archive of atmospheric microplastic deposition presented in ombrotrophic peat
Allen D, Allen S, Le Roux G, Simonneau A, Galop D, Phoenix V R
Environmental Science and Technology Letters Vol 8, pp. 954-960 (2021)
Reduction of environmental impacts due to using permeable pavements to harvest stormwater
Antunes Lucas Niehuns, Sydney Calum, Ghisi Enedir, Phoenix Vernon R, Thives Liseane Padilha, White Christopher, Holdefer Garcia Emmanuelle Stefânia
Water Vol 12 (2020)
Examination of the ocean as a source for atmospheric microplastics
Allen Steve, Allen Deonie, Moss Kerry, Le Roux Gaël, Phoenix Vernon R, Sonke Jeroen E
PLOS One Vol 15 (2020)
Atmospheric transport and deposition of microplastics in a remote mountain catchment
Allen Steve, Allen Deonie, Phoenix Vernon R, Le Roux Gaël, Durántez Jiménez Pilar, Simonneau Anaëlle, Binet Stéphane, Galop Didier
Nature Geoscience Vol 12, pp. 339-344 (2019)
Microscopy and elemental analysis characterisation of microplastics in sediment of a freshwater urban river in Scotland, UK
Blair Reina M, Waldron Susan, Phoenix Vernon R, Gauchotte-Lindsay Caroline
Environmental Science and Pollution Research Vol 26, pp. 12491–12504 (2019)

More publications

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Professional Activities

Chancellors Fellow talks
BTG Workshop - Net-Zero
Training day on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control for delegates from the Hebei Provincial Government

More professional activities


Next generation sustainable urban drainage through geochemical and biotechnological innovation: Enhancing pollution removal for climate change resilience (Short Industry Fellowship)
Phoenix, Vernon (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 28-Jan-2021
Sustainable bio-cements for transport infrastructure repair
Tubaldi, Enrico (Principal Investigator) Phoenix, Vernon (Co-investigator)
16-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2020
Development of Framework for Sustainable Decommissioning by Utilising the expertise gained in Ship Recycling
Turan, Osman (Principal Investigator) Beverland, Iain (Co-investigator) Kurt, Rafet (Co-investigator) Lord, Richard (Co-investigator) Phoenix, Vernon (Co-investigator) Gunbeyaz, Sefer Anil (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2020
Prosperity Partnership Call 2 Strategic Students-Weir Group and University of Strathclyde | Drais, Sara
Phoenix, Vernon (Principal Investigator) Dempster, William (Co-investigator) Drais, Sara (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2024
Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Sauter, Christoph
White, Chris (Principal Investigator) Phoenix, Vernon (Co-investigator) Sauter, Christoph (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 13-Jan-2023
Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | McIlroy, Marcella
Phoenix, Vernon (Principal Investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) McIlroy, Marcella (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 01-Jan-2022

More projects

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Professor Vernon Phoenix
Head Of Department
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Tel: Unlisted