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Saturday 21 June 2014 (booking now)
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Academic Staff

Professor Ian Colbeck

Position in departmentGraduate Director (Taught), Plagiarism Officer, Director of MSc/MA Environmental Governance/MSc Enviornmental Resource Management & Joint Writtle MSc courses in env sci, Appeals Officer
E-mailcolbi (non Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk)
Telephone2203 (non Essex users should add 01206-87 to the beginning of this number)
Fax2592
Room4.24
Current research

Physico-chemical properties of aerosols

The role played by airborne particles in atmospheric processes, aerosol optical properties and, in particular their involvement in global warming, environmental impact of oil fires, urban air quality, air quality management.

Indoor air quality and health impacts of aerosols

Many air pollutants which are considered important in ambient air are also found, often at higher concentrations, in indoor air. Since a greater proportion of time is spend indoors than outdoors people are far more exposed to pollution indoors than outdoors. The following research is currently underway or has just been completed:

  • Characterisation of indoor/outdoor pollution.
  • Bioaerosols in indoor environments
  • Determination of indoor air quality in Pakistan
  • Impact of particulate matter on cyclists 
  • Particulate matter impact on exercise

Nanoparticles in the environment

Nanotechnology is a rapidly expanding industry and it is inevitable that engineered nanoparticles will enter the environment either through the air, soil or water. However ittle is currently known about their toxicity, fate or behaviour in the environment.

  • Impact of nanoparticles on the environment (NANOCAP)
  • Nanoparticles and their impact on the bioremediation of crude oil hydrocarbons in aquatic systems
  • Uptake and toxicity of nanoparticles by to plants 

Environment – society interactions

This is a developing research area and considers not only historical analysis of air pollution and aerosol science and its impact of environmental perception but also the impact of current levels of air pollution on society. The following research is currently underway or has just been completed:

  • Societal implications of nanotechnolgy
  • Air pollution and social deprivation
  • Air pollution and the press in 19th century Britain
  • Impact of sport on the environment
  • Environmental governance
Research interests

I lead the Aerosol Science Group which was established in 1985 to facilitate inter-disciplinary research and consultancy. Research is funded through grants, contracts and studentships from Research Councils, European Union, industry and government departments. The research group currently consists of 1 research officer and 4 postgraduate workers. The group provides a consultancy service an all aspects of aerosol science, bioaerosol analysis and air pollution measurement. Research covers a wide spectrum from nanoparticle production on the one hand though to health impacts at the other extreme.

  •  physico-chemical properties of aerosols
  •  indoor air quality and health impacts of aerosols
  •  nanoparticles in the environment
  •  environment - society interactions

I also have an interest in the historical aspects of air pollution and aerosol science. Follow research details for more information on these topics.

PublicationsLink to publications for Ian Colbeck
Additional information
  • Head of Department, Sept 2001 to July 2004.
  • University Appeals Officer
  • President of the UK Aerosol Society (1998-2001) and a member of the European Aerosol Assembly.
  • Vice President of the UK Aerosol Society 
  • Member of the Essex Air Quality Consortium

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