Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Photographer: onbekend

dr. J.R. (John) Parsons

Assistant Professor
  • Faculty of Science
  • Visiting address
    Science Park A
    Science Park 904  Amsterdam
    Room number: C3.221
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  94240
    1090 GE  Amsterdam
    T: 0205256580

Researcher ID:     A-9528-2013

Research Interests

John Parsons' field of expertise is the environmental distribution and fate of organic compounds. Specific research interests include the microbial degradation of organic contaminants such as PCBs, PAHs, BTEX, brominated flame-retardants and pesticides in soil, sediment and ground- and surface water under aerobic and anaerobic conditions.   Other interests are the sorption of organic compounds to soil, sediment and dissolved organic matter and the influence this has on the bioavailability of the contaminants. He was coordinator of the European project ABACUS , a research project aimed at developing methods to assess the bioavailability of organic contaminants in soil and sediment, and principal investigator for the UvA in the European projects BIOSTIMUL, FIRE and ENFIRO and the NWO-TRIAS project " Resilience of the groundwater-ecosystem in reaction to anthropogenic disturbances " investigating. for example, the environmental risks of brominated flame retardants and environmentally compatible alternatives and the anaerobic biodegradation of aromatic hydrocarbons. Recent projects address the environmental fate of engineered nanoparticles (part of the NanoNextNL programme), the role of adaptation of microbial populations in the biodegradation of persistent chemicals (the CEFIC LRI- ECO29 project Chemadapt) and the treatment and reuse of industrial wastewater in the Water Nexus programme.

John Parsons studied chemistry at the University of Manchester, where he specialised in bioinorganic chemistry. After a period in scientific publishing with Elsevier, he returned to academia to study environmental chemistry at the University of Amsterdam. This was followed by a PhD project on the biodegradation of chlorinated aromatic compounds under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Otto Hutzinger. He later became a member of staff of this department and is now assistant professor in the Earth Surface Sciences group of the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics.


  • Refaey, Y., Jansen, B., Parsons, J. R., de Voogt, W. P., Bagnis, S., Markus, A. A., ... Kalbitz, K. (2017). Effects of clay minerals, hydroxides, and timing of dissolved organic matter addition on the competitive sorption of copper, nickel, and zinc: a column experiment. Journal of Environmental Management, 187, 273-285. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.11.056 
  • Carboni, A., Helmus, R., Parsons, J. R., Kalbitz, K., & de Voogt, W. P. (in press). Incubation of solid state C60 fullerene under UV irradiation mimicking environ-mentally relevant conditions. Chemosphere.
  • Markus, A. A., Parsons, J. R., Roex, E. W. M., de Voogt, W. P., & Laane, R. W. P. M. (in press). Modelling the release, transport and fate of engineered nanoparticles in the aquatic environment. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 243.
  • Ballesteros-Gómez, A., Ballesteros, J., Ortiz, X., Jonker, W., Helmus, R., Jobst, K. J., ... Reiner, E. J. (2017). Identification of Novel Brominated Compounds in Flame Retarded Plastics Containing TBBPA by Combining Isotope Pattern and Mass Defect Cluster Analysis. Environmental Science and Technology, 51(3), 1518–1526. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b03294  [details] 


  • Perissini-Lopes, B., Egea, T. C., Monteiro, D. A., Vici, A. C., Da Silva, D. G. H., Lisboa, D. C. D. O., ... Gomes, E. (2016). Evaluation of Diuron Tolerance and Biotransformation by Fungi from a Sugar Cane Plantation Sandy-Loam Soil. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 64(49), 9268-9275. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b03247 
  • Carboni, A., Helmus, R., Emke, E., van den Brink, N., Parsons, J. R., Kalbitz, K., & de Voogt, P. (2016). Analysis of fullerenes in soils samples collected in The Netherlands. Environmental Pollution, 219, 47-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.09.034 
  • Carboni, A., Helmus, R., Parsons, J. R., Kalbitz, K., & de Voogt, P. (2016). A method for the determination of fullerenes in soil and sediment matrices using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with heated electrospray quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography A, 1433, 123-130. DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2016.01.035 
  • Markus, A. A., Parsons, J. R., Roex, E. W. M., de Voogt, P., & Laane, R. W. P. M. (2016). Modelling the transport of engineered metallic nanoparticles in the river Rhine. Water Research, 91, 214-224. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.01.003  [details] 
  • Waaijers, S. L., & Parsons, J. R. (2016). Biodegradation of brominated and organophosphorus flame retardants. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 38, 14-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.copbio.2015.12.005  [details] 
  • Boix, C., Ibáñez, M., Sancho, J. V., Parsons, J. R., de Voogt, P., & Hernández, F. (2016). Biotransformation of pharmaceuticals in surface water and during waste water treatment: identification and occurrence of transformation products. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 302, 175-187. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2015.09.053  [details] 
  • Fernández-López, C., Guillén-Navarro, J. M., Padilla, J. J., & Parsons, J. R. (2016). Comparison of the removal efficiencies of selected pharmaceuticals in wastewater treatment plants in the region of Murcia, Spain. Ecological Engineering, 95, 811-816. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2016.06.093 
  • Ladino-Orjuela, G., Gomes, E., da Silva, R., Salt, C., & Parsons, J. R. (2016). Metabolic pathways for degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons by bacteria. In W. P. de Voogt (Ed.), Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, volume 237 (pp. 105-121). (Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology; No. 237). Cham: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-23573-8_5  [details] 


  • Congiu, E., Parsons, J. R., & Ortega-Calvo, J. J. (2015). Dual partitioning and attachment effects of rhamnolipid on pyrene biodegradation under bioavailability restrictions. Environmental Pollution, 2015, 378-384. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2015.07.013  [details] 
  • Markus, A. A., Parsons, J. R., Roex, E. W. M., de Voogt, P., & Laane, R. W. P. M. (2015). Modeling aggregation and sedimentation of nanoparticles in the aquatic environment. Science of the Total Environment, 506-507, 323-329. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.11.056  [details] 
  • Ortega-Calvo, J. J., Harmsen, J., Parsons, J. R., Semple, K. T., Aitkin, M. D., Ajao, C., ... Versonnen, B. (2015). From bioavailability science to regulation of organic chemicals. Environmental Science and Technology, 49(17), 10255-10264. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b02412  [details] 


  • Carboni, A., Emke, E., Parsons, J. R., Kalbitz, K., & de Voogt, P. (2014). An analytical method for determination of fullerenes and functionalized fullerenes in soils with high performance liquid chromatography and UV detection UV. Analytica Chimica Acta, 807, 159-165. DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2013.11.015  [details] 
  • Jurgens, S. S., Helmus, R., Waaijers, S. L., Uittenbogaard, D., Dunnebier, D., Vleugel, M., ... Parsons, J. R. (2014). Mineralisation and primary biodegradation of aromatic organophosphorus flame retardants in activated sludge. Chemosphere, 111, 238-242. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.04.016  [details] 


  • Markus, A. A., Parsons, J. R., Roex, E. W. M., Kentner, G. C. M., & Laane, R. W. P. M. (2013). Predicting the contribution of nanoparticles (Zn, Ti, Ag) to the annual metal load in the Dutch reaches of the Rhine and Meuse. Science of the Total Environment, 456-457, 154-160. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.03.058  [details] 
  • Waaijers, S. L., Bleyenberg, T. E., Dits, A., Schoorl, M., Schütt, J., Kools, S. A. E., ... Kraak, M. H. S. (2013). Daphnid life cycle response to new generation of flame retardants. Environmental Science and Technology, 47(23), 13798-13803. DOI: 10.1021/es4031529  [details] 
  • Waaijers, S. L., Hartmann, J., Soeter, A. M., Helmus, R., Kools, S. A. E., de Voogt, P., ... Kraak, M. H. S. (2013). Toxicity of new generation flame retardants to Daphnia magna. Science of the Total Environment, 463-464, 1042-1048. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.06.110  [details] 
  • Waaijers, S. L., Kong, D., Hendriks, H. S., de Wit, C. A., Cousins, I. T., Westerink, R. H. S., ... Parsons, J. R. (2013). Persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity of halogen-free flame retardants. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 222, 1-71. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-4717-7_1  [details] 


  • Hammer, J., Kraak, M. H. S., & Parsons, J. R. (2012). Plastics in the marine environment: the dark side of a modern gift. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 220, 1-44. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-3414-6_1  [details] 
  • Hernádez Leal, L., Soeter, A. M., Kools, S. A. E., Kraak, M. H. S., Parsons, J. R., Temmink, H., ... Buisman, C. J. N. (2012). Ecotoxicological assessment of grey water treatment systems with Daphnia magna and Chironomus riparius. Water Research, 46(4), 1038-1044. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2011.11.079  [details] 


  • van Noort, P. C. M., Haftka, J. J. H., & Parsons, J. R. (2011). A simple McGowan specific volume correction for branching in hydrocarbons and its consequences for some other solvation parameter values. Chemosphere, 84(8), 1102-1107. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.04.042  [details] 


  • Haftka, J. J. H., Govers, H. A. J., & Parsons, J. R. (2010). Influence of temperature and origin of dissolved organic matter on the partitioning behavior of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International, 17(5), 1070-1079. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-009-0263-9  [details] 
  • van Noort, P. C. M., Haftka, J. J. H., & Parsons, J. R. (2010). Updated Abraham solvation parameters for polychlorinated biphenyls. Environmental Science and Technology, 44(18), 7037-7042. DOI: 10.1021/es102210g  [details] 


  • Haftka, J. J. H., Parsons, J. R., & Govers, H. A. J. (2009). Molecular simulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon sorption to black carbon. SAR and QSAR in Environmental Research, 20(3-4), 221-240. DOI: 10.1080/10629360902949336  [details] 


  • Haftka, J. J. H., Parsons, J. R., Govers, H. A. J., & Ortega-Calvo, J. J. (2008). Enhanced kinetics of solid-phase microextraction and biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the presence of dissolved organic matter. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 27(7), 1526-1532. DOI: 10.1897/07-544.1  [details] 
  • Parsons, J. R., Sáez, M., Dolfing, J., & de Voogt, P. (2008). Biodegradation of perfluorinated compounds. In D. M. Whitacre (Ed.), Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology: Volume 196 (pp. 53-71). (Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology; No. 196). New York, NY: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-78444-1_2  [details] 
  • Sáez, M., de Voogt, P., & Parsons, J. R. (2008). Persistence of perfluoroalkylated substances in closed bottle tests with municipal sewage sludge. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 15(6), 472-477. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-008-0020-5  [details] 


  • Laane, R. W. P. M., van de Meent, D., de Voogt, P., Parsons, J., Hendriks, J., & van Gils, J. (2011). Modeling organic compounds in the estuarine and coastal environment. In G. Shimmield (Ed.), Geochemistry of estuaries and coasts (pp. 161-203). (Treatise on estuarine and coastal science; No. 4). Amsterdam: Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-374711-2.00409-5  [details] 


  • de Voogt, P., & Parsons, J. (2015). Emerging contaminants, relevant voor de bodem! Een wetenschappelijke bespiegeling. Bodem, 25(5), 28-30. [details] 


  • Carboni, A., Emke, E., van den Brink, N., Parsons, J. R., Kalbitz, K., & de Voogt, P. (2012). Development of a new method to extract and analyse fullerens and fullerene derivatives from soil using HPLC-MS. Abstract from NanoNextNL Risk Analysis & Technology Assessment (RATA) Meeting, .
  • Waaijers, S. L., Parsons, J. R., Kraak, M. H. S., de Voogt, P., & Admiraal, W. (2012). Aquatic Ecotoxicity & Biodegradability of Halogen Free Flame Retardants.. Paper presented at ENFIRO, A workshop on alternative flame retardants looking at flammability, applications, toxicity, exposure to life cycle assessment, Brussels, Belgium, November 2012, .
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library  or the Pure staff  of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure  to edit your publications.
  • KNCV Sectie Milieuchemie
  • Stichting Reinwater

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