Current academic staff
Dr Chris Coath
Mass spectrometry hardware and technique development. Numerical methods and statistics.
Professor Tim Elliott
I am an isotope geochemist who studies planetary formation and evolution. Specific interests range from modern geological processes to meteorite cosmochemistry, using an approach that focusses on high precision isotope analyses.
Dr Kate Hendry
I am a biogeochemist and chemical oceanographer, interested in understanding nutrient cycling in the modern ocean, and the link between past climatic change, ocean circulation, nutrient supply and biological productivity.
Professor Laura Robinson, Research Group Leader
Drawing on samples collected through field work, ocean exploration and geochemistry our research group is looking at the interactions between oceans and climate in the modern and the past. We apply a diverse range of geochemical analyses to deep sea corals including uranium series, radiocarbon and trace metal approaches. The data reveal unique insights into the links between deep ocean biogeochemistry and global climate, as well as the vulnerability of deep-sea ecosystems in a changing world.
I am a research lab manager for the Isotope Geochemistry Labs, my role involves supporting lab users and carrying out various lab based research projects.
Current postdoctoral researchers
Hong Chin Ng
My recent research focuses on the acceleration of glacier retreat with climate change, and its impact on the delivery of nutrients to proximal fjord and marine ecosystem (ICY-LAB project). Glacier is an important agent of rock weathering, which releases nutrients such as silicon (Si) that can stimulate diatom phytoplankton bloom in fjord and coastal area. Using the stable isotopes of Si, I aim to examine the evolution of the high-latitude Si cycle - its supply, transport, uptake by biology and sediment burial, in the light of accelerated glacial melting. The project findings will have important implications for Greenland fisheries, and future regulation of carbon dioxide as diatoms account for about half of carbon burial in marine sediments.
My broad interests are in applying novel and existing geochemical techniques to help solve geological and archaeological problems. My PhD thesis focused on measurements of strontium isotopes in archaeological enamel and the extent to which diagenetic alteration can affect the results given by this method. I have also undertaken work using stable strontium isotopes (δ88Sr) to investigate trophic level spacing and ancient diets using controlled feeding experiments.
I am an isotope geochemist studying the chemistry of marine biogenic carbonates to better understand the chemistry of the seawater in which these organisms lived. More recently research efforts have been focused on the refinement and application of boron isotope proxy for seawater pH measured in corals and calcified algae. The aims of this research are (i) to identify suitable coral substrates for use as pH biosensors, (ii) document changes in past ocean pH and (iii) to further our understanding of coral bio-mineralization and the impact of ocean acidification on marine calcifiers.
My research focuses on the extraterrestrial formation of alteration minerals within Martian meteorites. These hydrous mineral assemblages provide an opportunity to gain key insights into the past Martian fluid reservoirs (hydrosphere) and the ancient atmosphere of Mars. I build on previous investigations by employing new geochemical characterization of the alteration veins and adjacent anhydrous mineral surfaces. This work uses state of the art instrumentation including X-ray Computed Tomography, NanoSIMS (δ13C, δ18O and δD) and (LA)-MC-ICPMS (Li, B, Pb and Na). These studies integrate data collected using these analytical instruments and results from FIB-SEM, Raman, TEM and EPMA and new preparation techniques to provide a comprehensive investigation of Mars’ history through meteorite analyses.
Current postgraduate research studentsMaria Luiza de Carvalho Ferreira
My current work is using cold-water corals to reveal oceanic conditions at past climate changes. The age of the corals can be determined by U/Th dating method, and their spatial and temporal distribution can provide hints on environmental changes, for instance associated with climate driven events (e.g., Last Glacial Maximum). Corals can also be used as environmental proxies recording seawater parameters as radiocarbon (oceanic circulation/stratification), temperature (Mg/Li) and pH (boron isotopes).
Using Silicon and Germanium isotopes, my research aims at understanding early sediment diagenesis and tracing seafloor nutrients to better our understanding of the benthic Silicon cycle. I am particularly interested in the high latitudes and am currently analysing water and sediment samples from the West Antarctic Peninsula.
Stylasterids are an abundant and ecologically important group of azooxanthellate coral. Using a suite of geochemical measurements including stable isotope ratios (ẟ11B, ẟ13C, ẟ18O), element/Ca ratios and radiometric isotopes, I study the biocalcification mechanisms of stylasterid corals, their resilience to ocean acidification and their use as proxies of past oceanic conditions.
I am currently working on radiocarbon recorded in cold-water corals for the recent past (past 1-2 centuries) to reveal ocean ventilation. I am particularly interested in bamboo corals (Family: Isididae) as their unique structure allows us to look at both surface and intermediate ocean environment. Combining with element/Ca ratios and stable isotopes (ẟ13C, ẟ18O), I also study biogeochemical conditions of past ocean documented in cold-water corals.
My work is applying the novel isotope, mainly Mg and Si isotope systems, to understand the mantle evolution process. MORB and OIB samples are the mantle messager as they are the partial melting product of mantle. By deciphering the geochemical information carried out by the basalt, we would be allowed to re-build the isotope composition of mantle and its evolution history.
I am an isotope geochemist using novel isotope systems such as Uranium and Potassium to study the mantle. My research project is focused on tracing the recycling of crustal material into the mantle, with the aim on understanding the generation of chemical heterogeneity in the mantle.
Studying Ti isotopes to investigate processes involved in early solar system formation. I use the novel collision cell MC-ICPMS Proteus alongside laser ablation to measure the isotopic composition of stardust.
I am an isotope geochemist studying the chemical evolution of the Earth using tungsten isotopes. My research spans samples from some of the oldest terranes preserved on Earth, to the modern products of volcanic arcs and mantle plumes. Using these I can trace the interaction between different geochemical reservoirs over the past ~4 billion years.