Dr William Dubbin

  • Researcher Economic & Environ Mineralogy
  • Earth Sciences department
  • Economic and Environmental Earth Sciences
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Employment history     

1997-present               Research Mineralogist, Earth Sciences Department, NHM

1995-1997                   NSERC (Canada) International Postdoctoral Research Fellow

                                    Environmental Geochemistry Research Group, Univ of California, Berkeley


   1995  PhD, Soil Chemistry / Mineralogy, University of Manitoba

   1991  MSc, Soil Mineralogy, University of Saskatchewan

   1989  BSA (Hons), Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan

   1986  BSc, Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan

Professional Roles


Research Council Funding as Principal Investigator:

NERC (2010-11), Adsorption of humic acid to interlamellar surfaces of montmorillonite [Ref. NE/H010955/1]

NERC (2009-10), Control of catecholate ligand metal preference by fulvic acid [Ref. NE/G009422/1]

NERC (2005-06), Organic carbon adsorption to phyllosilicate siloxane surfaces [Ref. NE/C514731/1]

NERC (1999-00), Function of siderophores in trace metal cycling [Ref. GR8/03766]

External committees

Member, NERC Peer Review College (2008-present)



Our research encompasses soil mineralogy and environmental biogeochemistry, focusing on molecular-level interactions at the geosphere/biosphere interface, particularly organo-mineral interactions in soils and sediments.


  • Carbon sequestration in soils, with an emphasis on the minerals and mechanisms contributing to long-term organic carbon stability in terrestrial environments
  • Interactions of microbial metabolites with soil minerals, including the influence of fulvic acid presence on siderophore-mediated dissolution of goethite and other Fe(III)-oxides
  • Geochemistry of inorganic toxins in soils, sediments and aqueous environments. Adsorption and assimilation of contaminants, principally Pb, Cd and As, by jarosite group minerals in soils and associated sediments contaminated by mine waste [with K Hudson-Edwards, Birkbeck].
  • Co-evolution of plants and soils – a comparative approach. Investigation of the evolution of plants and soils in early terrestrial ecosystems



Dise, N.B., Dubbin, W.E. & Gagan, M. 2002. Environmental Science: Air and Earth. Part II, Earth. The Open University. 325p. [ISBN 0-7492-52057]

Dubbin, W.E. 2001. Soils. The Natural History Museum, 112p. [ISBN 0-565-09148-4] [reprinted 2005]. Translated to Japanese, 2009, Kokon Shoin Publishers, Tokyo, 125p. [ISBN  978-4-7722-5224-9]


Dubbin, W.E. 2013. Clay Minerals. Pages xx-yy in Environmental Minerals, K. Hudson-Edwards and D.J. Vaughan eds. Blackwell Publishers [in press]

Forray, F.L., Smith, A.M.L., Navrotsky, A., Wright, K., Hudson-Edwards, K.A. & Dubbin, W.E. 2013. Synthesis, characterization and thermochemistry of synthetic Pb-As, Pb-Cu and Pb-Zn jarosites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta [in review]

Stewart, A.G., Hudson-Edwards, K.A. & Dubbin, W.E. 2013. Mechanisms of goethite dissolution in the presence of desferrioxamine B and Suwannee River fulvic acid at pH 6.5. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 115: 1-14.

Smeaton, C.M., Walshe, G.E., Smith, A.M.L., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Dubbin, W.E., Wright, K., Beale, A.M., Fryer, B.J. & Weisener, C.G. 2012. Simultaneous release of Fe and As during the reductive dissolution of Pb-As jarosite by Shewanella putrefaciens CN32. Environmental Science and Technology 46(23): 12823-12831.

Dowuona, G.N.N., Atwere, P., Dubbin, W.E., Nude, P.M., Mutala, B.E., Nartey, E.K. & Heck, R.J. 2012. Characteristics of termite mounds and associated Acrisols in the coastal savanna zone of Ghana and impact on hydraulic conductivity. Natural Science 4(7): 423-437.

Kossoff, D., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Dubbin, W.E., Alfredsson, M.A. & Geraki, T. 2012. Cycling of As, P, Pb and Sb during weathering of mine tailings: Implications for fluvial environments. Mineralogical Magazine 76(5): 1209-1228.

Kossoff, D., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Dubbin, W.E. & Alfredsson, M.A. 2012. Major and trace metal mobility during weathering of mine tailings: Implications for unsaturated tailings piles and floodplain soils. Applied Geochemistry 27:  562-576.

Kossoff, D., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Dubbin, W.E. & Alfredsson, M.A. 2011. Incongruent weathering of Cd and Zn from mine tailings: A column leaching study. Chemical Geology 281: 52-71.

Cuadros J., Spiro, B., Dubbin, W.E., Jadubansa, P. 2010. Rapid microbial stabilization of unconsolidated sediment against wind erosion and dust generation. Journal of Soils and Sediments 10: 1415-1426.

Purvis, O.W., González-Miqueo, L., Dolgopolova, A., Dubbin, W.E. & Unsworth, C. 2010. Use of rare earth element signatures in lichen, bark and adjacent soils as indicators of sources of geological materials. Bibliotheca Lichenologica 105: 65-74.

Forray, F.L., Smith, A.M.L., Drouet, C., Navrotsky, A., Wright, K., Hudson-Edwards, K.A. & Dubbin, W.E. 2010. Synthesis, characterization and thermochemistry of a Pb-jarosite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74: 215-224.

Bullough, F, Weiss, D.J., Dubbin, W.E., Coles, B.J., Barrott, J. & Sengupta, A.K. 2010.  Evidence of competitive adsorption of Sb(III) and As(III) on activated alumina. Industrial & Engineering Chemical Research 49(5): 2521-2524.

Murphy, P.J., Smith, A.M.L., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Dubbin, W.E. & Wright, K. 2009. Raman and IR spectroscopic studies of Al(III), Cr(III), Fe(III) and V(III) analogues of alunite- and jarosite-type compounds. Canadian Mineralogist 47: 663-681.

Cuadros, J., Aldega, L., Vetterlein, J., Drickamer, K. & Dubbin, W.E. 2009. Reactions of lysine with montmorillonite at 80°C: implications for optical activity, H+ transfer and lysine-montmorillonite binding. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 333: 78-84.

Purvis O.W., González-Miqueo, L., Unsworth, C., Dubbin, W.E, Spiro, B., Chimonides, P.D.J., Mackie, R. & Read, H. 2008. 20 years investigating lichen biodiversity under globally changing atmospheric conditions, pp. 46-49. In Z.-S. Chen, D.-Y. Lee, T.-S. Lin (eds) Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment. Taipei, Taiwan.

Wright, K., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Smith, A.M.L. & Dubbin, W.E. 2008. Computer simulation studies on the mechanisms of toxic element incorporation in jarosite. AusIMM 9th International Congress for Applied Mineralogy (ICAM): 369-374.

Kossoff, D., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Dubbin, W.E. & Alfredsson, M. 2008. Incongruent weathering of Cd and Zn from mine tailings. Mineralogical Magazine 72(1): 81-84.

Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Smith, A.M.L., Dubbin, W.E., Bennett, A.J., Murphy, P.J. & Wright, K. 2008. Comparison of the structures of natural and synthetic Pb-Cu-jarosite-type compounds. European Journal of Mineralogy. 20: 241-252.

Purvis, O.W., Dubbin, W.E., Chimonides, P.D.J., Jones, G.C. & Read, H. 2008. The multi-element content of the lichen Parmelia sulcata, soil, and oak bark in relation to acidification and climate. Science of the Total Environment. 390: 558-568.

Parbhakar, A., Cuadros, J., Sephton, M.A., Dubbin, W.E., Coles, B.J. & Weiss, D. 2007. Adsorption of L-lysine on montmorillonite. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. Eng. Aspects. 307: 142-149.

Watkins, R., Weiss, D., Dubbin, W.E., Peel, K. & Coles, B. 2006. Investigations into the kinetics and thermodynamics of Sb(III) sorption on goethite (-FeOOH). Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 303(2): 639-646.

Smith, A.M.L., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Dubbin, W.E. & Wright, K. 2006. Defects and impurities in jarosite: A computer simulation study. Applied Geochemistry 21(8): 1251-1258.

Smith, A.M.L., Dubbin, W.E., Wright, K. & Hudson-Edwards, K.A. 2006. Dissolution of lead- and lead-arsenic-jarosites at pH 2 and 8 and 20oC: Insights from batch experiments. Chemical Geology 229: 344-361.

Kovács, E., Dubbin, W.E. & Tamása, J. 2006. Influence of hydrology on heavy metal speciation and mobility in a Pb-Zn mine tailing. Environmental Pollution 141(2): 310-320.

Smith, A.M.L., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Dubbin, W.E. & Wright, K. 2006. Dissolution of jarosite [KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6] at pH 2 and 8: Insights from batch experiments and computational modelling. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70: 608-621.

Dubbin, W.E., Penn, M.G. & Hodson, M.E. 2006. Edaphic influences on plant community adaptation in the Chiquibul forest of Belize. Geoderma 131: 76-88.

Dubbin, W.E. & Sposito, G. 2005. Copper-glyphosate sorption to microcrystalline gibbsite in the presence of soluble Keggin Al13 polymers. Environmental Science & Technology 39: 2509-2514.

Dubbin, W.E. 2005. Environmental Geochemistry, In Richard C. Selley, L. Robin M. Cocks and Ian R. Plimer, eds., Encyclopedia of Geology, Elsevier, Oxford, Vol. 2, pp. 21-25.

Wills, A.S., Smith, A.M.L., Dubbin, W.E., Hudson-Edwards, K.A. & Wright, K. 2004. Interlayer exchange in the plumbo-jarosites: kagome systems. J Magn Magn Mater. 272-76(2): 1300-1301.

Dubbin, W.E. 2004. Influence of organic ligands on Cr desorption from hydroxy-Cr intercalated montmorillonite. Chemosphere 54(8): 1071-1077.

Udachin, V., Williamson, B.J., Purvis, O. W., Spiro, B., Dubbin, W.E., Brooks, S., Coste, B., Herrington, R. J. & Mikhailova, I. 2003. Assessment of environmental impacts of active smelter operations and abandoned mines in Karabash, Ural Mountains of Russia. Sustainable Development 11: 133-142.

Dubbin, W.E. & Ander, E.L. 2003. Influence of microbial hydroxamate siderophores on Pb(II) desorption from a-FeOOH. Applied Geochemistry 18(11): 1751-1756. [Published simultaneously in Geobiology 2(9): http://earth.elsevier.com/geobiology/ ]