Dr Adam Hartland

Senior Lecturer (Geochemistry)

Qualifications: BSc(Hons), PhD Birmingham, Rutherford Discovery Fellow

Personal Website:

About Adam

I'm a geochemist with broad interests in environmental and Earth science.

The Waikato Environmental Geochemistry (WEG) group comprises a team of researchers working on diverse topics within the broad scope of Environmental Geoscience. Our work is unified by our use of chemical approaches to understand the natural world, and our role in it.

Research Publications

Research Interests

Understanding environmental nanoparticles

I am particularly interested in the interaction of environmental nanoparticles and dissolved organic ligands with trace elements, and how these interactions affect other phenomena. For example, the role of organic ligands in controlling metal incorporation in cave minerals, or the regulation of nutrient bioavailability by iron nanoparticles.

Minerals as environmental and climatic archives

Minerals are fascinating because they conserve information about their environments of formation through trace elements, isotopes and by sequestering organic molecules from their surroundings. These natural archives can allow us to address all sorts of interesting questions about the Earth, both in modern systems and ancient palaeoclimates.

Find out more about our cave research on RNZ Our Changing World.

Environmental contaminants and mitigation

WEG researchers combine techniques from geochemistry and environmental chemistry for the tracking of environmental contaminants. We are actively developing tools for the monitoring of pollutants in soil and water, as well as optimising mitigation technologies to reduce the impact of agriculture on freshwater ecosystems.

Research Supervised


  • Lindeman, Ingrid (in progress) Trace element incorporation in calcite under karst analogue conditions (UoW scholarship)


Primary supervision

  • Saeed, Huma (in progress). Controls on the bioavailability of phosphorus in lake systems (ERI Scholarship).
  • Mohammadi, Amir (in progress). From soil to groundwater: assessing the leaching potential of cadmium across gradients of soil type and land-use (UOW Doctoral Scholarship).
  • Ward, Brittany (in progress). Reconstructing New Zealand hydroclimate using novel isotopic measurements of speleothems (Rutherford Fellowship).
  • Hoepker, Sebastian (in progress). Palaeoclimatic cave drip rates quantified from stalagmite trace metals (UOW Doctoral Scholarship).
  • Perera, Gimhani (in progress). Biogeochemistry of denitrifying bioreactors (MBIE Endeavor Fund).

Secondary supervision

  • Chong, Grace-Lynn (in progress) Mercury Bioaccumulation in Fish from Different Trophics Statuses and Seasonal Cycling in the Taupo Volcanic Zone Lakes (UoW Doctoral Scholarship).
  • Corbett, Thomas (in progress) Simple, rapid and affordable measurements of dissolved nutrients in aquatic environments (UoW Doctoral Scholarship)
  • Zia, Zahida (in progress). Synthesis and Characterization of Low-cost Biopolymeric/Nanomineral Composite Systems and Evaluation of their Potential Application for Heavy Metal Removal (HEC).
  • Brandt, Shelly Marie (in progress). The Effects of Ocean Acidification on Microbial Nutrient Cycling and Productivity in Coastal Marine Sediments (MBIE Endeavor)
  • Shaghaghi, Reza (in progress) Enhancing the performance of denitrifying bioreactors (MBIE Endeavor)

Completed PhD 

  • Pearson, Andrew (submitted). The terrestrial carbon cycle in transition: tracking changes using novel tracers on multiple timescales (Marsden Fast-Start)
  • Drylie, Tarn (submitted). The effects of low-level disturbances on coastal soft sediment biodiversity and ecosystem function (NIWA)
  • Iuele, Helena (2019) Investigation of Levels and Type of Endocrine Disruptors in Sediments in Coastal Areas of the Bay of Plenty (UoW Doctoral Scholarship)
  • Muraoka, Kohji (2019). Lake mixing and phytoplankton diversity - analysis from regional to global scale (BoPRC).
  • Clunies-Ross, Phil (2018) Glacial Suspended Particulate Matter: Compositional and Behavioural Change in Freshwater Environments.
  • Salmanzadeh, Mahdiyeh (2017). An isotopic assessment of the apparent plateau in New Zealand soil cadmium accumulation (ERI and NZFA Award).
  • Huteau, Julien (2017) Fate & effects of contaminants in estuarine environments (BOPRC).
  • Kpodonu, Theodore (2016). An integrated ecosystem assessment for water quality management of Lake Okataina (BOPRC).

Completed MSc

  • Guo, Lily (2019) In situ measurement of metal-ligand dissociation rates in cave waters (Rutherford Fellowship)
  • Eager, Chris (2017) Alum dosing of lake tributaries in the Bay of Plenty region (UoW scholarship)
  • Dempsey, Te Puea (2015) Toitu Te Moananui a Toi- The Effects of the MV Rena on the Water Quality, Chemistry and Zooplankton of Otaiti (Astrolabe Reef) (BoPRC scholarship).
  • McSweeney, Caleb (2015) The Effects of Contaminated Rena Sediments on Julvenile Paua (Haliotis iris) (BoPRC scholarship)

Completed Hons

  • White, Jackson (2019) Condensation corrosion of Glowworm Cave, Waitomo (THL research award)

Teaching Commitments


Environmental Chemistry; Environmental Science and Technology; Geochemical Environment


Recent Publications

  • Pearson, A. R., Hartland, A., Frisia, S., & Fox, B. R. S. (2020). Formation of calcite in the presence of dissolved organic matter: Partitioning, fabrics and fluorescence. Chemical Geology, 119492. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2020.119492

  • Hellstrom, J., Sniderman, K., Drysdale, R., Couchoud, I., Hartland, A., Pearson, A., & Bajo, P. (2020). Speleothem growth intervals reflect New Zealand montane vegetation response to temperature change over the last glacial cycle. Scientific Reports, 10(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-58317-8 Open Access version:

  • Magiera, M., Lechleitner, F. A., Erhardt, A. M., Hartland, A., Kwiecien, O., Cheng, H., . . . Breitenbach, S. F. M. (2019). Local and Regional Indian Summer Monsoon Precipitation Dynamics During Termination II and the Last Interglacial. Geophysical Research Letters. doi:10.1029/2019GL083721

  • Kpodonu, A. T. N. K., Hamilton, D. P., Lusk, C. H., Hartland, A., Laughlin, D. C., & Verburg, P. (2019). Long-term changes in the water quality of a deep temperate oligotrophic lake in response to catchment disturbance: evidence from sediment cores. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 1-17. doi:10.1080/00288330.2019.1577279

View All research publications by Adam Hartland

Contact Details

Room: FG.3.04
Phone: +64 7 837 9390