The most exciting current developments in Geosciences are driven by links between traditional Earth Science disciplines and novel innovations in the biological, chemical and physical sciences. Geoscience research in CEG is poised at these critical boundaries with significant research strengths in Geoenergy and Biogeochemistry/Geobiology.
We are working at the forefront of significant issues related to fossil fuel use with major projects on the factors controlling shale gas production, the formation of the world’s vast heavy oil deposits and the stimulation of microbes in the deep biosphere for reduced emissions recovery of residual and heavy oil as methane. Cognisant of the environmental impacts of continued fossil fuel use we also have research programmes tackling carbon capture and storage – either in deep geological formations or through generation of inert carbon sinks such as biochar and by understanding transformations and preservation of organic carbon in a range of settings.
Our geobiology research teams are rewriting the history of the evolution of the the Earth’s environment with their work on the redox geochemistry of ancient oceans which has shifted the timing of oxygenation of the Earth’s atmosphere and the evolution of multicellular life from around 1.8 billion to a mere 0.6 billion years ago. Past Earth history is also explored in high resolution palaeoclimate studies of phenomena such as global ocean anoxic events (OAEs).
Geobiology research also encompasses important modern day geochemical processes with programmes exploring the controls on biogenic methane emissions in natural and engineered environments with important implications for future climate change. There are important links between our geobiology and geoenergy researchers in relation to the microbial transformations of hydrocarbons in surface environments and the deep biosphere and we have links to the engineering community through our work on microbial processes of significance to oil and gas production such as reservoir souring.
We also provide a wide range of consultancy and commercial services.
The geosciences group has a blog run by the PhD students that will keep you up to date with what is happening in the group and highlight the experience of some of our past and present students.