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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Ben Surridge supervises 9 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Ben Surridge

Senior Lecturer

Ben Surridge

LEC Building



Tel: +44 1524 594516

Research overview

Human activity has accelerated the movement of phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon through the Earth system by several hundred percent compared to natural or background conditions. Ben is a biogeochemist who is interested in the effects of these increased fluxes, primarily on water and soil ecosystems. His research also examines how future human demand for resources can be met, whilst at the same time minimising the environmental damage that follows inefficient resource use.


Research Interests

Ben’s current research includes:

  • Understanding the fate and impacts of conventional and biodegradable plastic polymers within soil and freshwater ecosystems. This includes research within the Material Social Futures programme at Lancaster that is examining photo-oxidation of polymer surfaces and the biodegradation of plastic polymers within soil. New research in this area, under the EU Horizon 2020-funded SOPLAS project, is examining the transport of microplastics from agricultural soil systems.



  • Examining the relationships between agricultural production and nutrient biogeochemistry and the fate and impacts of nutrients within networks of freshwater ecosystems. This research includes:


  1. Work to understand how nutrient elements are transferred through connected river-lake networks, including under the NERC-funded Hydroscape project;
  2. Examining how to maximise the agronomic value of nutrients with materials such as biomass ash and anaerobic digestate, including via NERC funding under the Resource Recovery from Waste programme;
  3. Evaluating future scenarios for nutrient management in food production systems within the UK and more widely, including within China under the Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Network.


Ben has published >50 journal papers with research funding >£4.5M to Lancaster as PI or Co-I since 2009 from NERC, EPSRC, BBSRC, the European Commission, Defra, the UK water industry and private companies.


External PhD Supervision

Prospective PhD students in any of my areas of research interest are welcome to contact me directly to discuss opportunities. Current PhD opportunities willl be posted below when they are available:


Additional Information

Ben is Associate Editor for the journal Limnology and Oceanography: Methods


Current Teaching

Ben’s teaching includes:


  • Leading a field-based Masters module on the science and management of soil and water resources in river catchments, as part of the Sustainable Water Management MSc within Lancaster Environment Centre.



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