Dr Alex Taylor

Dr Alex Taylor

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



I am a postdoctoral research fellow and river catchments consultant specialising in assessment of catchment soil erosion and downstream water quality. I am currently involved in interdisciplinary research as part of the Jali Ardhi (Care for the Land) project focussing upon sustainable land management in Tanzania. I am also a member of the Catchment & River Applied Research (CaRAR) team, providing environmental diagnostics services for a range of stakeholders across the UK.



PhD-Fallout Radionuclide Tracing Techniques

BSc Environmental Science



Research interests

River catchment applied research projects:

  • Provision of advice to the MHWESG on contaminants in Milford Haven Waterway, Pembrokeshire. 
  • Identifying fine sediment inputs to key freshwater pearl mussel sites-Scotland. APEM Ltd
  • SSSI rCSMG water quality investigations. Rivers Test, Itchen & Lymington. With Stantec for Southern Water 
  • Be-7 as soil tracer for assessing erosion and sedimentation rates. UN FAO/IAEA
  • Assessing the suitability of potential freshwater pearl mussel translocation sites in the River Clun. Natural England
  • Temporal and spatial patterns of phosphorus concentration across the ditch system of West Sedgemoor SSSI. Natural England
  • Assessing the input of road-derived contaminants to the River Teign. Natural England
  • Fine sediment and phosphorus contamination in southwest rivers (Taw and Teign). Westcountry Rivers Trust
  • The use of in situ fluorimetry to determine the source of organic inputs to the River Camel, Cornwall. Natural England
  • Water Quality (mainly organic pollution, phosphate and suspended solids) monitoring on the River Camel Valley and Tributaries SSSI. Natural England
  • Sources and quality of fine sediment in degraded freshwater pearl mussel habitats (Clun & Mease). Natural England
  • Assessing nutrient enrichment in Local Nature Reserves, South Devon. UoP
  • Evaluating sediment accretion rates on restored saltmarshes using fallout Be-7. UoP Marine Institute




Blake, W.H., A. Taylor, A.R. Iurian, G.E. Millward, and L. Mabit. 2019. Conversion of Be-7 Activity Concentrations into Soil and Sediment Redistribution Amounts. Assessing Recent Soil Erosion Rates through the Use of Beryllium-7 (Be-7). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-10982-0_4.

Blake, W.H., A. Taylor, A. Toloza, and L. Mabit. 2019. How to Design a Be-7 Based Soil Distribution Study at the Field Scale: A Step-by-Step Approach. Assessing Recent Soil Erosion Rates through the Use of Beryllium-7 (Be-7). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-10982-0_2.

Downs, P.W., P.J. Soar, and A. Taylor. 2016. “The Anatomy of Effective Discharge: The Dynamics of Coarse Sediment Transport Revealed Using Continuous Bedload Monitoring in a Gravel-Bed River during a Very Wet Year.” Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 41 (2). https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.3785.

Glegg, G. A., Barratt, C., Taylor, A., Gulson, E., & Millward, G. E. (2020). Potential hazards of metal-contaminated soils in an estuarine impoundment. Journal of Soils and Sediments. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-020-02821-x

Iurian, A.R., G.E. Millward, O. Sima, A. Taylor, and W. Blake. 2018. “Self-Attenuation Corrections for Pb-210 in Gamma-Ray Spectrometry Using Well and Coaxial HPGe Detectors.” Applied Radiation and Isotopes 134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2017.06.048.

Kitch, J.L., J. Phillips, S. Peukert, A. Taylor, and W.H. Blake. 2019. “Understanding the Geomorphic Consequences of Enhanced Overland Flow in Mixed Agricultural Systems: Sediment Fingerprinting Demonstrates the Need for Integrated Upstream and Downstream Thinking.” Journal of Soils and Sediments 19 (9). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-019-02378-4.

Millward, G.E., and A. Taylor. 2019. Geochemistry | Sediment Analysis. Encyclopedia of Analytical Science. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-409547-2.14329-X.

Ryken, N., B. Al-Barri, W. Blake, A. Taylor, F. Tack, S. Bodé, P. Boeckx, and A. Verdoodt. 2018. “Impact of Soil Hydrological Properties on the 7Be Depth Distribution and the Spatial Variation of 7Be Inventories across a Small Catchment.” Geoderma 318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.12.036.

Ryken, N., B. Al-Barri, W. Blake, A. Taylor, F.M.G. Tack, E. Van Ranst, S. Bodé, P. Boeckx, and A. Verdoodt. 2018. “Rapid and Irreversible Sorption Behavior of 7Be Assessed to Evaluate Its Use as a Catchment Sediment Tracer.” Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2017.11.018.

Ryken, N., B. Al-Barri, A. Taylor, W. Blake, P. Maenhout, S. Sleutel, F.M.G. Tack, et al. 2016. “Quantifying the Spatial Variation of 7Be Depth Distributions towards Improved Erosion Rate Estimations.” Geoderma 269. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2016.01.032.

Ryken, N., T. Vanden Nest, B. Al-Barri, W. Blake, A. Taylor, S. Bodé, G. Ruysschaert, P. Boeckx, and A. Verdoodt. 2018. “Soil Erosion Rates under Different Tillage Practices in Central Belgium: New Perspectives from a Combined Approach of Rainfall Simulations and 7Be Measurements.” Soil and Tillage Research 179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2018.01.010.

Smith, H.G., W.H. Blake, and A. Taylor. 2014. “Modelling Particle Residence Times in Agricultural River Basins Using a Sediment Budget Model and Fallout Radionuclide Tracers.” Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 39 (14). https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.3589.

Taylor, A., W.H. Blake, L. Couldrick, and M.J. Keith-Roach. 2012. “Sorption Behaviour of Beryllium-7 and Implications for Its Use as a Sediment Tracer.” Geoderma 187–188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2012.04.013.

Taylor, A., W.H. Blake, A.R. Iurian, G.E. Millward, and L. Mabit. 2019. The Use of Be-7 as a Soil and Sediment Tracer. Assessing Recent Soil Erosion Rates through the Use of Beryllium-7 (Be-7). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-10982-0_1.

Taylor, A., W.H. Blake, and M.J. Keith-Roach. 2012. “Optimisation of Beryllium-7 Gamma Analysis Following BCR Sequential Extraction.” Analytica Chimica Acta 720. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2012.01.028.

Taylor, A., Blake, W. H. & Keith-Roach, M. J. 2014. “Estimating Be-7 Association with Soil Particle Size Fractions for Erosion and Deposition Modelling.” Journal of Soils and Sediments 14 (11). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-014-0955-8.

Taylor, A., W.H. Blake, H.G. Smith, L. Mabit, and M.J. Keith-Roach. 2013. “Assumptions and Challenges in the Use of Fallout Beryllium-7 as a Soil and Sediment Tracer in River Basins.” Earth-Science Reviews 126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2013.08.002.

Taylor, A., M.J. Keith-Roach, A.R. Iurian, L. Mabit, and W.H. Blake. 2016. “Temporal Variability of Beryllium-7 Fallout in Southwest UK.” Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 160. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2016.04.025.

Turner, A., H. Poon, A. Taylor, and M.T. Brown. 2017. “In Situ Determination of Trace Elements in Fucus Spp. by Field-Portable-XRF.” Science of the Total Environment 593–594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.091.

Turner, A., and A. Taylor. 2018. “On Site Determination of Trace Metals in Estuarine Sediments by Field-Portable-XRF.” Talanta 190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2018.08.024.

Worku, M., H.R. Upadhayay, K. Latruwe, A. Taylor, W. Blake, F. Vanhaecke, L. Duchateau, and P. Boeckx. 2019. “Differentiating the Geographical Origin of Ethiopian Coffee Using XRF- and ICP-Based Multi-Element and Stable Isotope Profiling.” Food Chemistry 290. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.03.135.

Wynants, M., G. Millward, A. Patrick, A. Taylor, L. Munishi, K. Mtei, L. Brendonck, et al. 2020. “Determining Tributary Sources of Increased Sedimentation in East-African Rift Lakes.” Science of the Total Environment 717. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137266.