• Daniel Middleton, PhD student, The University of Manchester and British Geological Survey, UK

    dmid_blogMy interest in medical geology started with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science at the University of Manchester. The interaction of the natural environment and our human health is an idea which fascinated me given that so many negative environmental health outcomes are perceived as anthropogenic in nature. Following completion of my degree, my tutor at the time, Prof Dave Polya, presented me with the opportunity to apply for a PhD studentship he would supervise, investigating geogenic arsenic (As) exposure from private drinking wells in Cornwall, UK, and here I am.

    The project has seen me link up with co-supervisor Dr. Michael Watts, team leader of Inorganic Geochemistry at the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry at the British Geological Survey (BGS) and form a strong working relationship. The majority of my time has been spent based at the BGS headquarters in Keyworth, Nottingham and the opportunity has provided me with valuable training opportunities in field geochemistry, analytical chemistry, statistics and programing and skills in data management and GIS. Our project is also partnered with Public Health England, and time spent meeting team members and running aspects of the project from their base in Chilton has provided me with exposure to a whole different set of expertise.

    The last 3 years of PhD study have been enriching for me and have cemented a desire to pursue a career in research within our field. One particular influence on this was attending the 6th International Conference on Medical Geology with Dave Polya just last month. The experience allowed me to spend valuable time with already familiar colleagues from both Manchester and BGS, but also to make a wealth of new and valuable contacts from across the world. Meetings such as the one held in Aveiro, Portugal are crucial in nurturing the growth of our field and effectively communicating research. I look forward to future meetings and wish all members of our tight knit community who are visiting the website every success in their research.

    Contact details: daniel.middleton@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

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