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Current Postgraduate Research Students

John Quinton supervises 10 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor John Quinton CSci


John Quinton

LEC Building

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YQ

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 593654


Research overview

John leads a research group working on soil erosion and diffuse pollution. The group’s research is focussed on:

  • understanding the soil degradation and nutrient mobilisalion and delivery processes,
  • large-scale modelling of the interaction of erosion and macronutrient cycles,
  • tracing the movement of sediment and contaminants;
  • developing mitigation strategies erosion and diffuse pollution control;
  • monitoring the degradation of soils;
  • the sustainable management of soil in temperate and semi-arid environment.

PhD supervision

PhD students conduct research in my areas of research interest and prospective students should contact me to discuss their ideas.


John is a Professor of Soil Science at Lancaster University, specialising in soil erosion, soil sustainability and the transport of contaminants in overland flow and holds degrees from Reading and Cranfield University. He was one of the developers of the European Soil Erosion model (EUROSEM), which is used for erosion prediction world-wide, and led the Landcare Group of the National Soil Resources Institute before coming to Lancaster in 2002. He executive editor of the EGU- Copernicus journal SOIL (to be launched in 2014),  is science secretary of the European Geophysical Union's Soil System Sciences Division. He has acted as an evaluator for Defra and the EC and has published over 75 refereed journal papers.

PhDs Examined

Abraham, N. 1999. Hydrological Process Modelling of Tropical Lateritic Hillslopes. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. PhD.

Brazier, R.E. 2000. An investigation into a GIS based approach for modelling hillslope soil erosion in England and Wales. Lancaster University. PhD.

Ampontuah, E.O. 2004. Model input resolution effects on the prediction of sediment and nutrient transport from agricultural fields. Reading University. PhD.

Meuller, E. 2004. Modelling geochemical flows in a desert environment. Kings College London. PhD.

Martin, G. 2006. Modelling hillslope-channel coupling and sediment delivery in semi-arid areas. University of Bristol. PhD.

Rothwell, J. 2006. Fluvial export of heavy metals from contaminated and eroding peatlands, southern Pennines, UK. University of Manchester. PhD.

Jonczyk, J. 2007. Processes leading to nutrient pollution at the field and sub-catchment scale. University of Newcastle. PhD.

Fox, J.E. 2008. Bioengineering technology of quick grass establishment for erosion control on railway batters. University of Queensland. MSc.

Mantovani, D. 2010. Critical evaluation of Compost Erosion Control Blankets (CECBs) against conventional Best Management Practices. Cranfield University MSc.

Zheng, T. 2011. Mathematical modelling of soil erosion by rainfall and shallow overland flow. Loughborough University. PhD.

Cambell, J. 2013. Assessing phosphorus mitigation strategies in agricultural catchments. University of Ulster. PhD.

Puttock, A. 2013. Vegetation change and water, sediment and carbon dynamics in semi-arid environments. Exeter University. PhD.

PhD Supervisions Completed

Stark, H. 1994. Wetland risk assessment. Cranfield University. PhD (Supervisor)

Audu, I. 1999. Development and application of a runoff model for water harvesting in North East Nigeria. Cranfield University. PhD (Joint supervisor).

Archer, N.A.L. 2000.  Water use in two-phase mosaic vegetation. Cranfield University. PhD (Supervisor).

Miller, N. 2005. Mobilisation of phosphorus from soil surfaces. Cranfield University. PhD (Supervisor for first two years before coming to Lancaster).

Yussoff, W.A. 2008. Effect of zeolites on Soil Characteristics, leaching and surface pollutant loses from soils. PhD (Supervisor).

Buckingham, S. 2008. Carbon release from catchments. PhD. (Joint supervisor with Hamilton-Taylor and Tipping CEH).

Ball, A. 2008. Carbon export from degraded and intact blanket peat in the North Pennines, UK’. MPhil. (Joint supervisor with Ostle CEH).

Kruegar, T. 2009. Uncertainties in modelling agricultural phosphorus transfers (Joint supervisor with Freer, Bristol).

Pryce, O. 2011. Development of sediment and phosphorus tracers . PhD.(Supervisor).

Shanahan, P. 2013. Assessment of heavy farm traffic soil compaction using non-invasive and non-destructive techniques (Joint supervision with Binley and James)

Current Teaching

John currently convenes a course in Soil Science, and contributes to courses in Sustainable Soil Management, Environmental Field Skills and Environmental Issues for the 21st century

Research Grants

Long term, lanrge scale simulation of macronutrient cycles

Simulating macronutrient cycles across the UK.

 In collaboration with CEH, BGS, Liverpool, Rothamsted


Funded by NERC 2012-2015


Soil erosion monitoring pilot

 Using new and established methodologies to monitor soil erosion across England and Wales

 In collaboration  with Exeter University, BGS, Cranfield and Manchester University.

Funded by Defra 2013-2016

The imapct of tractor wheelings on soil structure and biogeochemical processes  

This project aims understand how tractor wheelings impact on soil structure and how this effects biogeochemical cycling and how these effects may be mitigated against.

It is a collaborative project between Lancaster University, ADAS and a large number of industrial partners. It is funded by the Defra Arable LINK


Mitigation of phosphorus and sediment 2  

This project aims to develop and cost ways of controlling the losses of sediment and phosphorus in overland flow from arable agriculture.

MOPS 2 will focus on the use of ponds and wetlands and the control of erosion in spring crops.

It is a collaborative project between Lancaster University, the Allerton Trust, ADAS and Reading University and isfunded by Defra


Mitigation of phosphorus and sediment 1  

This project aims to develop and cost ways of controlling the losses of sediment and phosphorus in overland flow from arable agriculture.

It is a collaborative project between Lancaster University, ADAS and Reading University and isfunded by Defra

Completed 2008

MOPS website

Multi-dimentional soil erosion:experiments and modelling

This project is investigating the fundamental processes controlling the transport of contaminants in overland flow and is developing new ways of modelling their movement.

The project is a collaboration between Loughborough University and Lancaster University.


Project Web site


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  • MOPS 2

    Project: Funded ProjectResearch

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