Health Protection Research Unit for Chemical & Radiation Threats & Hazards

Staff Profile

Dr Martin Cooke

Director Postgraduate Studies



After a successful career in industry I returned to University to study the role of bacteria in environmental systems. I undertook my PhD in "Bacteriohopanepolyols as indicators of bacterial communities."

I am the Associate Dean for UG Education in the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, and a Senior Lecturer in Geology

Area of expertise

Environmental pollution


BSc Geology
BSc Biochemistry

PhD Organic Geochemistry "Bacteriohopanepolyols as indicators of bacterial communities".

Fellow of the Geological Society of London

Google Scholar


Research Interests

I am interested in the contamination of the environment by human activity and the impact of that contamination on human health and the environment.

Calculation of contaminant background threshold levels

In response to changes in the environmental protection act I have worked with North East England Local Authorities to set background threshold levels for contaminants using existing site investigation data.

Environmental Causes of Disease

I am currently working on identifying potential environmental triggers for disease. Specifically focusing on 2 main areas. Primary Biliary Cirrhosis in NE England 

Pesticide Usage and Parkinson's Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa


Undergraduate Teaching

Module Leader for CEG1602 Earth Surface Materials

Module Leader for CEG2606 Geological Resources 

Lecturer on  CEG3607 Engineering Geology

Postgraduate Teaching

Module Leader for CEG86008 Contaminated Land

Student Projects

I undertake projects with students that investigate environmental pollution, its sources, fate in the environment and its impact on human health in conjunction with the Faculty of Medical Sciences