Dr Barbara Palumbo-Roe

Dr Barbara Palumbo-Roe

Process Geochemist

Location: BGS Keyworth

Tel: 0115 936 3003

E-mail Dr Barbara Palumbo-Roe

Published outputs


  • 2007 – ongoing : Senior Process Geochemist, British Geological Survey, Keyworth
  • 2007 –2010 : Team Leader Abandoned Mine and Contaminated Land Team, British Geological Survey
  • 2000 –2007 : Process Geochemist, British Geological Survey, Keyworth
  • 1999 –2000 : Honorary Researcher, Department of Geology & Petroleum, University of Aberdeen
  • 1997 –1998 : EU Marie Curie Post-doctoral position, The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen
  • 1993 –1996 : PhD in Geochemistry, University of Palermo, Italy
  • 1987 –1992 : Degree in Geology (1st with distinction), Department of Mineralogy and Petrography, University of Palermo, Italy

Professional association

  • Member of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

Current projects and collaboration

  • 2017 – ongoing : Study of the hyporheic zone in areas of groundwater-surface water connectivity in the Skerne Catchment. EA-BGS collaboration
  • 2015 –2019 : NERC Grant NE/M01116X/1 “SoS RARE: Sustainable Development of Nd and HREE deposits”, Co-I and WP4 Task Leader: Processing of Ion Adsorption Deposits (SoSRare)
  • 2013 –2014 : MM-FREE - NERC Catalyst Grant NE/L002361/1- Security of Supply of Mineral Resources Catalyst Grant “Mineral-Microbe interaction role in concentration and Fractionation of Rare Earth Elements”
  • 2013 –2013 : TELLUS Border Project “Determination of stream sediment background concentrations in mineralised catchments impacted by mining using Tellus data from Northern Ireland” (DETI/GSNI)(TELUS BORDER)
  • 2012 –2017 : IMAGES - EPSRC “Integrated, Market-fit and Affordable Grid-scale Energy Storage” Consortium project (EPSRC Grant EP/K002228/1)(IMAGES )
  • 2011 –2012 : DEFRA project Normal Background Concentrations of contaminants in soils
  • 2010 –2015 : Arsenic Bioaccessibility in south-west England
  • 2010 –2013 : EU FP7 project EO-MINERS: Earth observation for monitoring and observing environmental and societal impacts of mineral resources exploration and exploitation
  • 2015 –2017 : Impact of groundwater/surface water interaction on contaminant transport: application to a chromium contaminated site in Glasgow. (see also Clyde Urban Super Project -CUSP)
  • 2015 – ongoing : Determination of stream sediment background concentrations in south-west England
  • Chromium speciation, transport and fate in Clyde catchment soils, sediments and waters: understanding Cr mobility in urban-industrial environments. PhD Supervisor, University of Edinburgh, 2014-2018.
  • Geochemical modelling of environmental processes in Rare Earth element mining. PhD Supervisor, SOS RARE, University of Leeds, UIT-Germany, 2015-2018.
  • Turning down the gas: what is the potential for microbial mitigation of methane leakage from soils? PhD Co-Supervisor, STARS-University of Nottingham, 2017-2020.

Research interests

  • Biogeochemical cycling of trace elements and inorganic emerging contaminants and their impact on ecosystems and human health, through field observations, experimental studies and geochemical modelling
  • The biogeochemistry of the Hyporheic Zone
  • Bioleaching of Rare Earth Elements from low grade ore deposits
  • Mine waste and mine water: characterisation and environmental impact


  • Experimental geochemistry
  • Geochemical surveys and environmental monitoring
  • Geochemical modelling
  • Mineralogy

Key papers

  • Palumbo-Roe, Barbara; Banks, Vanessa J.; Bonsor, Helen C.; Hamilton, Elliott M.; Watts, Michael J. 2017 Limitations on the role of the hyporheic zone in chromium natural attenuation in a contaminated urban stream. Applied Geochemistry, 83. 108-120. 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2017.02.011
  • Palumbo-Roe, Barbara; Ander, Louise; Cave, Mark; Johnson, Chris; Cooper, Mark. 2016 Stream sediment background concentrations in mineralised catchments in Northern Ireland: assessment of ‘pressures’ on water bodies in fulfilment of Water Framework Directive objectives. In: Young, M.E., (ed.) Unearthed: impacts of the Tellus surveys of the north of Ireland. Dublin, Ireland, Royal Irish Academy, 293-302, 10pp.
  • Palumbo-Roe, Barbara; Wragg, Joanna; Cave, Mark. 2015 Linking selective chemical extraction of iron oxyhydroxides to arsenic bioaccessibility in soil. Environmental Pollution, 207. 256-265. 10.1016/j.envpol.2015.09.026
  • Rawlins, B.G.; Palumbo-Roe, B.; Gooddy, D.C.; Worrall, F.; Smith, H. 2014. A model of potential carbon dioxide efflux from surface water across England and Wales using headwater stream survey data and landscape predictors. Biogeosciences, 11 (7). 1911-1925.
  • Palumbo-Roe, B.; Dearden, R. 2013. The hyporheic zone composition of a mining-impacted stream: evidence by multilevel sampling and DGT measurements. Applied Geochemistry, 33. 330-345.
  • Palumbo-Roe, B.; West, J.M. 2013. Evaluation of the potential impacts of an influx of CO2 on subsurface microbial populations using a thermodynamic approach. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 22pp. (OR/13/014)
  • Ander, E.L.; Johnson, C.C.; Cave, M.R.; Palumbo-Roe, B.; Nathanail, C.P.; Lark, R.M. 2013. Methodology for the determination of normal background concentrations of contaminants in English soil. Science of The Total Environment, 454-455. 604-618.
  • Palumbo-Roe, B.; Wragg, J.; Cave, M.R.; Wagner, D. 2013. Effect of weathering product assemblages on Pb bioaccessibility in mine waste: implications for risk management. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 20 (11). 7699-7710.
  • Palumbo-Roe, B.; Wragg, J., and Banks, V.J. 2012. Lead mobilisation in the hyporheic zone and river bank sediments of a contaminated stream: contribution to diffuse pollution. Journal of Soils and Sediments, article in press. pp. 1-8 –DOI: 10.1007/s11368-012-0552-7
  • PALUMBO-ROE, B, BANKS, V, CHENERY, S, and WEISS, D. 2010. Tracing sources and fate of zinc in a mining-impacted river catchment: insights from flow measurements, synoptic sampling, and zinc isotopes.International Mine Water Association. WOLKERSDORFER, C, and FREUND, A. Sidney, NS, CBU Press 383–387.
  • BANKS, V J, and PALUMBO-ROE, B. 2010. Synoptic monitoring as an approach to discriminating between point and diffuse source contributions to zinc loads in mining impacted catchments. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, Vol. 12, 1684–1698.
  • PALUMBO-ROE, B, KLINCK, B, BANKS, V and QUIGLEY, S. 2008. Prediction of the long-term performance of abandoned lead zinc mine tailings in a Welsh catchment. Journal of Geochemical Exploration. Vol. 100, 169–181.
  • PALUMBO-ROE, B, KLINCK, B A, and CAVE, M R. 2007. Arsenic speciation and mobility in mine wastes from a copper- arsenic mine in Devon, UK: A SEM, XAS, sequential chemical extraction study. 441–472 in Arsenic in Soil and Groundwater Environment. Bhattacharya, Mukherjee, Bundschuh, Zevenhoven and Loeppert (Editors). Trace Metals and Other Contaminants in the Environment, Amsterdam, Elsevier.
  • PALUMBO-ROE, B, and KLINCK, B A. 2007. Bioaccessibility of Arsenic in Mine Waste Contaminated Soils: a Case Study from an Abandoned Arsenic Mine in SW England (UK). Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, Vol. 42, 1251–1261.
  • KLINCK, B A, PALUMBO, B, CAVE, M, and WRAGG, J. 2005. Arsenic dispersal and bioaccessibility in mine contaminated soils: a case study from an abandoned arsenic mine in Devon, UK. British Geological Survey Research Report, RR/04/03.

Commissioned reports

  • 2014 : Palumbo-Roe, B.; Linley, K.; Cameron, D.; Mankelow, J. 2014. Inventory of closed mine waste facilities in Northern Ireland. Phase 2, assessment. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 58pp. (CR/14/031N)
  • 2012 : Palumbo-Roe, B.; Bearcock, J.; Banks, V.J. 2012. Hydrogeochemical observations to improve site characterisation and remediation of Frongoch Mine, Wales. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 38pp.
  • 2011 : Palumbo-Roe, B.; Banks, V.J. 2011. Conceptual site model of Makmal gold mine, Kyrgyz Republic. Final report, October 2011. British Geological Survey, 45pp.
  • 2010 : PALUMBO-ROE, B, and COLMAN, T. 2010. The nature of waste associated with closed mines in England and Wales.