Will Mayes UOH_9656 copy

Dr Will Mayes

Reader in Environmental Geoscience

Faculty of Science and Engineering

School of Environmental Sciences


01723 357292

Dr Mayes' teaching and research takes on a range of topics and environments from the monitoring and remediation of post-industrial water pollution, for example, pollution from steelworks and mines, to resource recovery, flooding and wetland restoration.


Research Interests

Environmental science



Resource recovery

Research groups

Key current and recent research projects include:

- Resource Recovery and Remediation of Alkaline Wastes (NERC / Defra / ESRC) - see https://alkalineremediation.wordpress.com/

- Greenhouse Gas Removal in the Iron and Steel Industry (NERC); led by Phil Renforth (Cardiff): http://gotw.nerc.ac.uk/list_full.asp?pcode=NE%2FP019943%2F1

- Impact of an extreme rainfall event on solute and sediment dynamics in a mineralised river system (NERC); led by Adam Jarvis (Newcastle): http://gotw.nerc.ac.uk/list_full.asp?pcode=NE%2FP000053%2F1

- Sullied Sediments (Interreg North Sea Region); lef by Prof Jeanette Rotchell (Hull): http://northsearegion.eu/sullied-sediments/

Full details of projects and papers can be found here:



Hobson AJ, Stewart DI, Bray AW, Mortimer RJG, Mayes WM, Rogerson M, Burke IT (2017) Mechanism of vanadium leaching during surface weathering of basic oxygen furnace steel slag blocks: A µXANES and SEM study. Environmental Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00874 (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b00874)

Gomes HI, Rogerson M, Burke IT, Stewart DI, Mayes WM (2017) Hydraulic and biotic impacts on neutralisation of high-pH waters. Science of the Total Environment, 601: 1271-1279. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717313566)

Day G, Mayes WM, Wheeler PM, Hull SL (2017) Can aggregate quarry silt lagoons provide resources for wading birds? Ecological Engineering, 185: 189-197. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925857417302409)

White KJ, Mayes WM, Petrovan SO (2017) Identifying pathways of exposure to highway pollutants in great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) road mitigation tunnels. Water and Environment Journal. DOI: 10.1111/wej.12244 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/wej.12244/full)

Mayes WM, Burke, IT, Gomes HI, Anton AD, Molnár M, Feigl V and Ujaczki E. (2016). Advances in understanding environmental risks of red mud after the Ajka spill, Hungary. Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy, 2: 332-343. (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40831-016-0050-z)

Full publications list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Environmental Pollution and Toxicology

  • Environmental Monitoring and Analysis

  • Global Challenge: Living in the Anthropocene

  • Field Studies - Mallorca fieldtrip

  • Upland Systems

  • Independent Research Project

Research PhDs

I welcome applications in areas linked to the research projects and publications listed on this page.

Completed PhDs 

Victor Uchenna Oty (PhD, 2012-2016): Remediation of hyperalkaline industrial drainage, University of Hull international bursary, field support costs from Tata Steel.

Ashley Jones (PhD, 2010-2014): Solute dynamics in mine-impacted streams, funded by University of Hull.

Helen Baxter (PhD, 2011-2015): Integrating Payments for Environmental Services with LCA at abandoned mine remediation schemes, funded by University of Hull.

Riina Vaht (PhD, 2009-2012, completed): Impact of oil shale mining on hydrological regime, co-supervisor with Prof. Mander, University of Tartu, Estonia.

Current PhD supervisions 

Wayne Duffus: Watch list chemicals in fluvial sediments (EU Interreg funded: Sullied Sediments Project)

Teaching awards and accolades

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

BSc. (University of Leeds); PhD (Newcastle University)

External roles

- The Society of Environmental Engineers (Honorary Member)

- British Hydrological Society (Member)

- Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS)

- Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), awarded by the Society for the Environment

Awards and accolades

- Winner of the inaugural Fiona and Nicholas Hawley Award for Environmental Engineering, October 2007, awarded by the Worshipful Company of Engineers (London). Submission entitled “Development of novel treatment wetlands for the passive remediation of highly alkaline leachates”

- Contributing author to North East Climate Change Adaptation Study winner of the Robert Stephenson Award: Special Award for Sustainability awarded by Institution of Civil Engineers (NE), May 2009.

- Winner of the UK Quarry Life Award and 3rd Place in the International Quarry Life Award 2012 (with Dr Phil Wheeler and Dr Sue Hull).

- Winner of 2015 Best Paper Award in the Springer journal Mine Water and the Environment with Professor Paul Younger (Glasgow): Younger PL, Mayes WM (2015) The potential use of exhausted open pit mine voids as sinks for atmospheric CO2: insights from natural reedbeds and mine water treatment wetlands. Mine Water and the Environment. 34: 112-120.