School of Natural and Environmental Sciences



Biogeochemistry is a major research theme within the Geoscience Group. It underpins a research agenda that is truly multidisciplinary and covers a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.

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.