Dr. Steve Thornton

BIGRAD  ROLE: Co-Investigator and Cross-Cutting Theme Champion for Predictive Modelling

University of Sheffield, Kroto Research Institute

Kroto Research Institute, North Campus, University of Sheffield, Broad Lane, Sheffield S3 7HQ
E. s.f.thornton@sheffield.ac.uk
P. +44 (0)114 222 5744

Dr Steven Thornton is a Senior Lecturer in the University of Sheffield Groundwater Protection and Restoration Group and was formerly the UK Environment Agency Research Fellow in Natural Attenuation. His expertise covers contaminant hydrogeology, natural attenuation, biodegradation of organic contaminants in groundwater, solute transport and geochemical fate modelling; groundwater impacts from landfills, risk assessment for contaminated groundwater; site investigation, monitoring strategies and performance assessment for remediation. He was a scientific advisor for UK Environment Agency technical guidance on monitored natural attenuation and permeable reactive barriers, and has extensive experience of directing multidisciplinary, multi-institutional industry and research council-funded projects. These include PI on EPSRC and industry-funded studies on processes controlling the natural attenuation of petroleum fuels in fractured aquifers, Co-I on consecutive EPSRC-funded research developing approaches for in situ assessment of aquifer properties for natural attenuation and Co-I on consecutive EPSRC platform grants (Process and Performance Models for Groundwater Pollution and Restoration, and Groundwater Pollution and Restoration: From Microscale to Policy). Recent research outputs include development of the CoronaScreen decision-support model for natural attenuation of plumes in groundwater, within the FP5 CORONA project. He is a Visiting Professor in the College of Water Sciences at Beijing Normal University, an Associate Editor of the international journal Ground Water, is on the editorial board for Water Management Journal, and has over 60 peer reviewed publications and end-user publications (see www.claire.co.uk).

His research within the Groundwater Protection and Restoration Group has focused on laboratory, field and modelling studies of the natural attenuation of petroleum hydrocarbons, MTBE, TAME, PAHs, phenols, chlorinated solvents, pesticides, ammonium, nutrients, heavy metals, and landfill leachate in fractured bedrock aquifers (Chalk and Sherwood sandstone), mineral landfill liners and other UK geological materials. These studies include developing fundamental understanding of processes controlling contaminant transport and fate in groundwater and across groundwater-surface water interfaces, innovative assessment methodologies and biosensor applications for contaminated field sites and performance assessment modelling tools for natural attenuation in groundwater.

Banwart, S.A. & Thornton, S.F. (2010). Natural attenuation of hydrocarbons in groundwater. Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology. Timmis, K.N. (ed.), Springer Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 2474-2486.

Elliott, D.R., Scholes, J.D., Thornton, S.F., Rizoulis, A., Banwart, S.A. & Rolfe, S.A. (2010). Dynamic changes in microbial community structure and function in phenol-degrading microcosms from a contaminated aquifer. FEMS Microbial Ecology, 71, 247-259.

Bottrell, S.H., Bartlett, R., Margeson, K.., Thornton, S.F., Fielding, I. & Dave Hatfield, D. (2010). Lithological controls on biological activity and groundwater chemistry in Quaternary sediments. Hydrological Processes, 24, 725-736.

Song, Y., Li, G., Thornton, S.F., Thompson, I., Banwart, S.A., Lerner, D. N. & Huang, W. (2009). Optimization of bacterial whole cell bioreporters for toxicity assay of environmental samples. Environmental Science & Technology, 43, 7931-7938.

Shah, N.W., Thornton, S.F., Bottrell, S.H. & Spence, M.J. (2009). Biodegradation potential of MTBE in a fractured chalk aquifer under aerobic conditions in long-term uncontaminated and contaminated aquifer microcosms. J. of Contaminant Hydrology, 103, 119-133.

Thornton S.F., Tellam J.H. & Lerner D.N. (2005). Experimental and modelling approaches for the assessment of chemical impacts of leachate migration from landfills: A case study of a site on the Triassic sandstone aquifer in the UK East Midlands. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 23, 811-829

Watson I.A., Oswald S.E., Banwart S.A., Crouch R.S. & Thornton S.F. (2005). Modelling the dynamics of fermentation and respiratory processes in a groundwater plume of phenolic contaminants interpreted from laboratory- to field-scale. Environ. Sci. Technol., 39, 8829-8839.

Huang W., Smith C.C., Lerner D.N., Thornton S.F. & Oram A. (2002). Physical modelling of solute transport in porous media: Evaluation of an imaging technique using UV-excited fluorescent dye. Water Research, 36, 1843-1853.

Mayer U., Benner S., Frind E., Thornton S.F. & Lerner D.N. (2001). Reactive transport modelling of processes controlling the distribution and natural attenuation of phenolic compounds in a deep sandstone aquifer. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 53, 341-368.