Applications of geochemical mapping to agricultural and other problems relating to the environment were the brainchild of Professor John Webb, Director of the Applied Geochemistry Research Group, Imperial College, London in the early 1960s. This paper reviews the development and progress of research in applied environmental geochemistry at Imperial College over the past forty years, providing the basis for postgraduate training ranging from the applications of geochemistry to plant, agricultural livestock and wildlife nutrition, to evaluating contamination from metalliferous mining and smelting, to understanding the chemical nature of the urban environment and to problems of human health and disease.

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