Prof Michael Wood

School of Science, Engineering & Environment

Photo of Prof Michael Wood

Current positions

Professor

Biography

I am Professor of Applied Ecology in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Salford. I am also Head of Geography & Environmental Management and Director of the Environmental Research & Innovation Centre (ERIC).

The primary focus of my research is environmental pollution and its impacts on wildlife and people. I have spent over two decades working on the development of the international environmental radiation protection system and conducting underpinning radioecological research across a variety of locations, including extensive work within the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone.

Over recent years, I have started to focus on the development of noise impact assessment for wildlife. Anthropogenic noise is a ubiquitous pollutant and recognised as significantly impacting on wildlife.

I have also developed a research focus on food security and public health impacts of inorganic pollutants in rice-based agricultural systems. This includes (i) the potential use of varietal selection to reduce dietary lead exposure in Zamfara, Nigeria; and (ii) the derivation of guideline values for maximum permissible arsenic concentrations in paddy soil and irrigation water used for rice cultivation in South Asia.

I now lead the University of Salford’s PollUtion REsearch (PURE) group, which brings together Salford's research across a wide range of pollutants.

I am a Chartered Radiation Protection Professional, former Council member of the Society for Radiological Protection, Associate Editor for the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity and Editorial Board member for the Journal of Radiological Protection. I have been an invited expert for various International Atomic Energy Agency and European Commission activities in the areas of radiation protection and risk communication. I am also a regular keynote speaker on subjects such as Chornobyl, environmental radioactivity, biomarker development, and noise pollution impacts on wildlife.

My research in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has received extensive media coverage and I have led the development of various innovative approaches to public engagement and education, including Virtual Chernobyl. My contributions to radioecology and radiation protection have been recognised through prestigious awards, including the Times Higher Education Research Award (2016) and the Society for Radiological Protection’s Founders’ Medal (2018).

I deliver research-led teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I also supervise Postgraduate research programmes, including conventional PhDs and PhD by published works. Recent supervisory roles include PhD research on contaminants within rice cropping systems, management of legacy contamination at contaminated land sites, and anthropogenic noise impacts on birds.

Areas of Research

Environmental pollution, including radioactivity, chemical pollution and noise pollution.
Use of acoustics to study widlife, especially birds.
Development of biomarkers for pollutant impacts on widlife.
Development of tools and approaches to support environmental decision making in relation to environmental pollution (e.g. the ERICA tool).

Teaching

Head of Geography & Environmental Management