Staff Directory

Last Updated


01522 83 7448
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool
United Kingdom

About Belinda Colston

Professor Colston is an interdisciplinary research leader with 30 years’ post-doctoral research experience at UK/USA academic institutions. Her research crosses the boundaries of chemistry, materials science and cultural heritage, and focuses on the underlying chemical and physico-chemical processes that affect the degradation and sustainability of heritage assets (both moveable and immoveable) in a changing environment. Key areas of research fall into three categories: understanding decay mechanisms; designing new conservation materials; and developing new methodologies for professional practice. As Director of the Historic and Ancient Materials Group, Professor Colston has embedded her cross-disciplinary research interests at Lincoln, building links with researchers in the School of History and Heritage, and becoming an integral part of the Centre for Conservation and Cultural Heritage Research. As a keen advocate for equality - particularly the support of women in STEMM disciplines - Professor Colston was the founding Director of the Eleanor Glanville Centre (an interdisciplinary Centre for equality, diversity and inclusion) at Lincoln and a co-founder of the Newton Academy - the science club for girls.

Department Responsibilities

I teach on both MChem Chemistry and BSc Forensic Science degrees, covering aspects of f-block chemistry, nuclear chemistry and nuclear forensics UNIVERSITY RESPONSIBILITIES: Director of the Eleanor Glanville Centre Athena SWAN institutional lead EPSRC ASPIRE Programme Director

Subject Specialism

Historic and ancient materials


  • PhD Chemistry — University of Manchester, 1989
  • BSc (Hons) Chemistry — University of Manchester, 1985


  • Chartered Scientist — Royal Society of Chemistry,
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry — Royal Society of Chemistry,
  • Monument Scholar — Attingham Trust,
  • Chartered Chemist — Royal Society of Chemistry,
  • Colin Campbell Award — University of Manchester,


Consultancy : Historic materials

Orcid ID


Research Interests

  • analytical methodologies

  • degradation mechanisms

  • environmental impact

  • hazardous chemical residues

  • heritage science

  • historic materials

  • material degradation

  • nano-conservation

  • preventive conservation

Research Projects

  • Advanced Strategic Platform for Inclusive Research Environments (ASPIRE) — EPSRC in 2018
  • Cutting-edge conservation: nanotechnology for cultural heritage — British Council in 2017
  • Chemical decontamination: Cromford Mill World Heritage Site — Arkwright Society in 2015
  • Art of reconstruction — AHRC in 2010
  • Moisture movement in historic masonry structures — Trinity House in 2009
  • Optimising the environment for large-scale storage — AHRC in 2009
  • Determining Ca/P ratios in bone by ion beam analysis — EPSRC in 2008
  • Evaluating the use of ion beams for trace element profiling — EPSRC in 2007
  • Identification of hazardous pesticides on herbarium material by ion beam analysis — EU Artech in 2005
  • Conservation of historic lighthouses: reuse and community integration — EU Culture 2000 in 2004
  • Maintenance education and training for listed buildings — Maintain Our Heritage in 2003
  • Characteristics of lime-ash and plaster flooring — ISVA in 2002
  • Environmental interactions between historic buildings and their collections — RICS Education Trust in 2002
  • Investigation of stone decay — Bond and Read in 2001
  • Developing a new stopped-flow EXAFS technique for determining rapid changes in bonding environments — CCLRC in 2001
  • Rapid reaction kinetics of neptunium (VI) — BNFL in 2000
  • Developing a rapid screening method for biocide residues in herbaria — National Museums & Galleries of Wales in 2000
  • Comparison of physical properties of historic and contemporary rubbing bricks — Wingate Trust in 2000
  • Preventive conservation of paper-based collections within historic buildings — Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries in 1999
  • Chemical treatment residues in historic buildings — RICS Education Trust in 1999
  • Rapid neptunium kinetics — EPSRC in 1999
  • Salt deterioration of mediaeval masonry — Churches Conservation Trust in 1998
  • Rapid neptunium kinetics — BNFL in 1997
  • Interaction of radiation with alkylaminoanthraquinone N-oxides — Royal Society in 1996
  • Developing new methodologies for determining reaction kinetics of radionucldes in the environment — TUDelft in 1996
  • Development of new analytical methodologies for actinides — RSC in 1995
  • Development of new separation techniques — British Council in 1995
  • Reductive destruction of chlorinated hydrocarbons — BNFL in 1995
  • Decontamination studies — BNFL in 1994
  • Mobility of radionuclides in the environment — BNFL in 1991
  • Ionic strength effects on the modelling of equilibria — Nirex UK in 1990

Research in the Lincoln Repository

Professional Affiliations

  • Royal Society of Chemistry — Fellow
  • Institute of Conservation — Member


EU-JPICH (Joint Programming Initiative in Cultural Heritage) Reviewer (2018-) British Council Peer Reviewer (Newton Fund) (2018-) RPF Cyprus (Research Promotion Foundation) Peer Reviewer (2017-) EPSRC Peer Review College (2016-) AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme Peer Reviewer (2007-13) The Netherlands’ Research Council peer-reviewer, NWO (Council for the Humanities of Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) (2014-) Association of Commonwealth Universities Promotions Reviewer (Professorial) (2014-) International HE QAA, Greek Ministry of Education. Committee (2011-) Advisor and Evaluator FP5 EC CURRIC Programme (2003-06)