Brian P. Jackson graduated from Oxford University (UK) in 1989, with a BSc in Chemistry. He earned his PhD in Soil Chemistry at the University of Georgia (USA) in 1998. Brian came to Dartmouth in 2005 to become Director of the Trace Element Analysis Core and is also a Professor in Earth Sciences.
Brian has a long-standing interest in the use of analytical methods for understanding speciation and size fractionation of trace elements in environmental and biological systems. Brian began his research career in 1995, studying the availability and speciation of arsenic and selenium from coal fly ash and mixtures of fly ash, sewage sludge and poultry litter. Surprisingly, poultry litter had the highest available arsenic of these three waste products, because poultry were fed an organo-arsenic compound, known as Roxarsone to increase feeding efficiency and retard parasite growth . Brian was one of the first researchers to study the environmental effects of these organo-arsenic feed additives. Fifteen years later, after studies by many other groups and public pressure, the US FDA banned all four arsenic drugs from poultry production.
When Brian arrived at Dartmouth in 2005 he began to work on mercury as part of the Dartmouth Superfund Research Group. His group developed species specific isotope dilution methods for low level mercury speciation analysis, and an extraction/digestion method for low sample mass samples that allows both mercury speciation and total trace metal analysis of the same extract. His group has also used enriched species specific mercury tracers to understand mercury species cycling and availability in estuarine systems.
Dartmouth also has an active research focus on arsenic and Brian has worked with colleagues to study sources of arsenic exposure and human biomarkers. In 2012 the group had national media attention for their papers on arsenic in products containing brown rice syrup and increased urinary arsenic in pregnant women as a result of rice consumption.
Throughout his research career Brian has exploited the versatility and sensitivity of ICP-MS as a tool to understand trace element speciation.