School of Earth and Environment

Joshua Blacker Joshua Blacker

Postgraduate Researcher

Email address:
Room: 8.154 b

Affiliation: Earth Surface Science Institute


Follow me on Twitter @6josh

Project title:

How do Arctic soils form? Linking bulk and molecular scale mineralogical and geochemical processes


Start date:

1st October 2013


  • The Geological Society
  • European Association of Geochemistry
  • Association of Polar Early Career Scientists
  • UK Polar Network
  • UK Mineralogical Society
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists

Research Interests

Broadly my interests are in the biogeochemistry and how we can use different approaches to resolve contemporary scientific conundrums occurring in cryosphere that have wider implications for global biogeochemical cycles.

My interests in biogeochemical cycles in the cryosphere led me onto my current research, a NERC PhD studentship at the University of Leeds. The project aims to understand how biogeochemical weathering mechanisms lead to the release of nutrients that kick-start ecosystem development in deglaciating Arctic landscapes. One important issue that falls out from this research is the role of carbonate and silicate weathering in proglacial zones. These weathering reactions are of particular interest as they can act as negative or positive feedback mechanisms on global climatic changes.

Teaching Interests

Teaching assistant on three separate undergraduate GIS modules for meteorology, geophysics students and a demonstrator on a environmental/geochemical fieldtrip to Blencathra in the Lake District.


NERC studentship

Grants & Funding Awarded:

  • £1000 Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust, 2014
  • £500 Geological Society - Thomas Jefferson Field Research, 2014
  • $1000 Colorado State University: Summer Soil Institute Scholarship, 2014
  • €200 European Association of Geochemistry (EAG) student conference sponsorship, 2014
  • €500 EAG Student Sponsorship, 2015



Bradley, J. A., Arndt, S., Šabacká, M., Benning, L. G., Barker, G. L., Blacker, J. J., Yallop, M. L., Wright, K. E., Bellas, C. M., Telling, J., Tranter, M. & Anesio, A. 2016. Microbial dynamics in a High-Arctic glacier forefield: a combined field, laboratory, and modelling approach. Biogeosciences Discuss., 2016, 1-34.

Conference contributions:

Goldschmidt, Yokohama, Japan: Blacker J, Bottrell S, Anesio A, Šabacká M, Barker G, Bradley J, Tranter M & Benning L (2016). Are High-Arctic Glacial Forefields CO2 Sinks or Sources?

Nutrient Cycling on the Modern and Ancient Earth conference: Blacker J., Bradley J., Anesio A, A., Barker G., Tranter M., Bottrell S., & Benning L. G. (2015). Chemical Weathering in a High-Arctic Glaical Forefield

Life in the cold: an Astrobiology Society of Britain day meeting: Blacker J., Bradley J., Anesio A, A., Barker G., Yallop M., Wright K., Tranter M., & Benning L. G. (2014). Soil Formation in an Arctic Glaical Forefield

Bristol Research Conferences, IGSBBM: Blacker J., Bradley J., Anesio A, A., Barker G., Yallop M., Wright K., Tranter M., & Benning L. G. (2014). How Does Arctic Soil Form in Response to Arctic deglaciation? Linking Bulk and Molecular Scale Mineralogical and Geochemical Processes