Professor Jamie Lead's research aims at understanding nanoscale phenomena in the environment and he is interested in investigating natural nanomaterials, manufactured nanomaterials and their interaction.
Manufactured nanomaterials are important emerging pollutants, whose novel properties and high production volumes may result in novel environmental health problems.
These risks to the environment are currently poorly understood and this lack of understanding may reduce the sustainability and safety of a huge and highly beneficial industry.
By understanding how nanomaterials behave in the environment, Jamie is able to investigate their fate and effects and help to reduce the negative effects. In addition to the fundamental and exciting science that is performed, this work helps to inform our understanding of manufactured nanoparticles and their immediate and long-term environmental and biological impact . As we increase our understanding of the effects of nanomaterials on the ecosystem, we are able to make better informed decisions and ultimately improve the assessment of 'safe' levels of different materials.
One important aspect of the work investigates how nanomaterials are transformed in the environment, especially in response to natural nanomaterials, which we have shown to affect physical and chemical properties as well as substantially altering toxicity.
Jamie is a member of the DEFRA scientific advisory committees the Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances (ACHS) and the Nanotechnologies Environmental Hazard and Risk Assessment Taskforce. He is also a member of the NERC peer review college, a Fellow of several learned societies and is editor of the journal Environmental Chemistry.