Mick Whelan

Professor of Physical Geography

My research has three main themes:

  • Mathematical modelling of environmental systems with an emphasis on developing conceptually simple approaches which capture the essential features of system behaviour and which are useful for informing operational and strategic decision making;
  • The environmental risk assessment of chemicals with particular interest in understanding the fate of pesticides and chemicals emitted to surface waters via the “down-the-drain” pathway;
  • Nutrient cycling in soil and water with particular interest in nitrogen and phosphorus transfers from agricultural land to ground and surface waters.

I have over 20 years’ post-graduate experience in environmental science which has focused, in recent years, on the environmental fate and transport of synthetic organic compounds.  I have worked extensively on the construction and application of numerical models of chemical fate in different environmental compartments and I have conducted monitoring work on surfactants and pesticides in the UK, Italy and southeast Asia.

I joined the University of Leicester in December 2012, after working for five years at Cranfield University and five years in environmental modelling and risk assessment of chemicals for Unilever – a large multi-national consumer goods company.  Before joining Unilever, I worked in various university departments including 3 years at the Institute of Agricultural Hydraulics in Milan and 3 years as a lecturer in hydrology at the University of Stirling.

I have a BSc in Geography and a PhD in Applied Hydrology from the University of Leeds.