Our research aims to increase understanding of modern-day and ancient environments and the way they are affected by natural processes and the actions of mankind. It interfaces with a wide range of different fields but the majority of work that we do can be divided to the six following areas:
Investigating the chemistry of ancient pottery sherds, artefacts and skeletal remains to inform about diet, resource use and climate in Antiquity.
Determining how elements cycle in the environment is key to understanding processes such as organic matter storage, nutrient flow and climate change.
We develop and apply cutting-edge techniques to investigate major pollutants including microplastics, sewage and agricultural runoff.
Organic geochemistry may be utilised in criminal investigations to provide additional evidence obtainable from substrates such as soil or sediments.
Molecular signatures of micro-organisms, particularly in extreme environments, can give insights into evolution and the search for extraterrestrial life.
Molecules found in sediments can provide temperature records, spanning millions of years, helping us explain past climate and predict future events.
The work carried out in the OGU is highly interdisciplinary which means that we are constantly interacting with other researchers from across the globe as well as collaborators in other departments within the University.