We have particular strengths in microbial ecology, mineralogy, organic, inorganic and isotope geochemistry.
Working with natural samples and experimental setups, we combine techniques from these disciplines to address major issues related to the past and present evolution of surficial Earth environments.
Our research into modern environments currently addresses topics as diverse as:
- biogeochemical cycling in soils and peatlands
- carbon cycling in tropical rainforests, through microbial, isotopic and organic characterisation of key biogeochemical reactions in the Earth system
- studies of redox sensitive environments including anoxic sediments and waters
- multi-scale processes involved in atmosphere-land-ocean coupling
This work also underpins much of our research into ancient environments, where we are investigating a range of major events in Earth history. This ranges from periods of extreme climate change in the Paleogene-Mesozoic (Oceanic Anoxic Events, hyperthermals), through most recent periods of global warmth (the warm Pliocene), to glacial-interglacial cycles of the most recent Ice Ages.
Our focus in this area also extends to biogeochemical processes that are relevant to industry, such as microbiologically influenced corrosion of metal infrastructure.
- Engineering soils for climate change - EPSRC/NERC
- Iwokrama – Developing hydroclimate, geochemistry, biodiversity and cultural heritage research in the pristine tropical rainforest of Guyana - IDB
- Reconstructing carbon and nutrient cycling in the Northeast Pacific Ocean over the past 15 million years - UK - IODP/CeG
- From sediment to rock - the role of microbes in early lithification of sabkha sediments - SAgE Faculty
- Biocorrosion – EPSRC
- Oilspore: hydrocarbon degradation by spore-forming bacteria - NERC
- Carbon turnover in forest and grassland soils will global warming turn carbon into sources? - NERC
- Geochemical control of organic matter turnover in peatlands: Long-term security or short-term vulnerability of a major carbon source? - NERC
- Effects of a warming climate on the key organic carbon cycle processes in the Eurasian Arctic - NERC
- Quantifying aerobic methane oxidation in the ocean: Calibration and palaeo application of a novel proxy (AMOProx) - ERC