Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

Short Courses (CPD)

Short Courses (CPD)

About the Course

Molecular Marker Compounds

  • Monday 6 - Friday 10 November 2017

This course describes the geochemistry and application of molecular marker compounds ("biomarkers") in petroleum source rocks and crude oils. The objectives are to measure maturity and assess palaeoenvironment of deposition.

You'll be introduced to biomarkers, biomarker classes, isoprenoids, steroids, hopanoids, aromatic hydrocarbons, and non-hydrocarbon biomarkers. We discuss biomarkers in sediments and the application of biomarkers in petroleum geochemistry (biological sources, maturity), and the application of light hydrocarbon gases in petroleum geochemistry.

Who is the course aimed at?

Geoscientists working in the petroleum industry would benefit greatly from this course on biomarkers. The course is aimed both at those with no knowledge or for specialists wanting to update knowledge especially for those interested in oil-rock and oil-oil correlations.

Objectives and Outline

Molecular Marker Compounds

Course Objectives

When you've finished the course, you'll:

  • have learned the structures and origins of the important classes of biomarkers (including non-hydrocarbons) in petroleum geochemistry
  • understand how molecular markers can be used as indicators of maturity and of organic matter origin
  • appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of the biomarker approach, and understand its routine applications in petroleum exploration
  • know how to identify the different biomarkers from their mass spectra and mass chromatogram fingerprints
  • be able to put this ability into practice in the interpretation of the biomarker distributions of samples

Course Outline

  • Introduction to biomarkers.
  • Biomarker classes.
  • Applications of biomarkers to determination of maturity.
  • Biomarkers in sediments.
  • Markers for biological inputs.
  • Hopanoids.
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons.
  • Non-hydrocarbon biomarkers.
  • Light hydrocarbon gases.
  • BHPs, GDGTs and IPLs.
  • Monday 6 - Friday 10 November 2017

Further Information

Molecular Marker Compounds


Prerequisite knowledge

To attend the course, you should have a reasonable level of knowledge of the following topics:

  • Geology
  • Chemistry

Please contact the Professional Development Unit if you require further information.

Academic Module Outline

This course is also delivered as a Module (code CEG8621) on at least one of the Faculty's Masters programmes, the majority of which can be studied part time, making them suitable for those in employment. You will attend with full and part time registered students. The Academic Module Outline is available via the University's Module Catalogue.


Molecular Marker Compounds


Newcastle University
  • Dr Geoff Abbott (Course Leader)
  • Dr Martin Jones


Molecular Marker Compounds


  • Molecular Marker Compounds
    • £1325

We offer a 30 percent discount to full time students and to Newcastle University staff.

The course fee includes tuition, course materials, lunch and refreshments.

[ Information about Cancellations ]

Formal assessment may be available for this Course. Assessment attracts an additional fee of £365, and delegates will be issued with a transcript and Certificate of Credit Achieved. Owing to visa restrictions the assessment option is not available to international students outside the European Economic Area (EEA).