Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Environmental fate of pollutants
Carbon management
Waste management


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

I am a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and before starting in academia in 2015, I worked in 3rd Sector organisations and environmental regulators, and have 8 years environmental policy experience working with national and local government, regulators and the private sector in the fields of air quality, land quality and noise.

My primary area of interest is the impacts environmental pollution but in particular air pollution and soil contamination.  In my research I use various analytical measurement techniques such as ICP-AES, ICP-MS, Graphite Furnace-AAS, Flame-AAS, HPLC and LC-MS.  Recent projects I have been invovled in are:

  • air pollution and links with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • waste management within the food industry,
  • historical pollution within sediments,
  • metal toxicity to aquatic organisms
  • odour emissions from waste water treatment works,
  • the treatment of manganese contamination in water systems.  

I regularly peer review manuscript submissions and have acted as PhD Viva External Examiner.

I am the Programme Leader for:

  • MSc Waste and Resource Management
  • MSc Sustainable Technology

My teaching remit includes Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching on the Physical Sciences programme (Chemistry and Forensic Science) and the Safety, Health and Environment programme.  Modules I co-ordinate (and teach on) include Analytical Chemistry (SCQF Lvl 9), Safety, Health and Environmental Protection (SCQF Lvl 9), Principles of Sustainability (SCQF Lvl 11), Waste Management (SCQF Lvl 11), Pollution Control (SCQF Lvl 11) and Environmental Systems (SCQF Lvl 11).

I am one of the University's Governors through election to the University Court.  I am also the School's Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) Champion and sit on the University's Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team.

Current research activities

My research activities align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and include:

  • carbon management and environmental impact in the food processing sector
  • emerging pollutants within waste electrical and electronic equipment
  • Industry 5.0
  • anti-microbial resistance in brownfield / vacant land
  • links between air pollution and COPD in semi-urban environments
  • carbon emissions within the public sector,
  • waste to product recycling and re-use
  • quality management in the oil industry and links to policy

Desired research direction

I would be interested in developing a greater understanding of the environmental impacts climate change will have on waste management.  This will include increased sea-level rises and erosion of landfill sites, extreme weather patterns and landfill infiltration and leachate run-off.

Target collaborative organisations

Private sector companies interested in contamination, landfill and waste management, airquality, and ecosystem services approaches.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

External positions

Approved Trainer, Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA)

Nov 2020 → …

Topic Editor, Sustainability, MDPI Open Access Journals

Nov 2020 → …

Trustee, Ayr Amateur Opera Company

1 Aug 202031 May 2005

External Examiner, SRUC - Scotland’s Rural College

1 Oct 2019 → …

Trustee, Environmental Protection Scotland

1 Aug 2015 → …


  • QD Chemistry
  • Analytical
  • ICP
  • Environmental
  • Soil
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • Potentially Toxic Elements
  • air pollution
  • Waste Management
  • WEEE
  • QE Geology
  • SD Forestry


Dive into the research topics where Iain McLellan is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or