UMass Geosciences welcomes new faculty member Dr. Justin Richardson

Portrait of Dr. Justin Richardson in field clothing in a forest, smiling at camera, holding shoveled with one hand, blade up.
We're very exicted to welcome our newest faculty member, Dr. Justin Richardson, to the department this semester.
Dr. Richardson focuses on the biogeochemistry of metals, because they serve as both essential nutrients and toxins for plants, wildlife, and humans. Due to these dual roles, metals are central to many societal issues. As examples, limitations of inorganic nutrients (calcium, phosphorus) can hinder the health of forest ecosystems in New England and mercury pollution has negatively impacted the human health globally.
In addition to their biological importance, Dr. Richardson uses metals as geochemical tracers of natural processes. Changes and differences in the relative abundance and composition of metals in rocks, minerals, and soils can be used to investigate Earth surface processes like weathering and soil formation and function.
At UMass, he will continue his research on the role of the Critical Zone in sequestering natural and human-derived lead and mercury. Secondly, he is working with researchers to develop the use of gallium to understand weathering of aluminosilicate rocks and minerals. Lastly, Dr. Richardson is exploring manganese contamination of soils and groundwater. These issues are important for New Englanders and the global community.

You can learn more about him and his research at