The department, in association with the Natural History Museum, conducts a wide range of research in geochemistry and environmental change. Geochemical research in the department benefits from assess to world-class analytical facilities. If you are interested in one of the projects listed below please feel free to contact the associated staff.


Hard Rock to Heavy Metal: Data and tools for geochemical baselines and chemical fluxes through landscapes [Info Sheet - Hard Rock]

Supervisors: Dr Gareth Roberts, Dr Yves Plancherel, Dr Alex Whittaker, Charles Gowing (British Geological Survey), Dr Alex Lipp (University of Oxford, Earth Sciences)

Integrating Geochemistry and Geophysics to Make Critical Metal Treasure Maps [Info Sheet - Critical Metal Treasure Maps]

Supervisors:  Dr Fred Richards, Dr Gareth Roberts, Professor Saskia Goes, Dr Mark Hoggard (Australian National University), Dr Karol Czarnota (Geoscience Australia)

Exploiting the GEOTRACES toolbox to characterize ocean biogeochemical processes: trace elements, isotopes and new quasi-conservative tracers [Info Sheet - GEOTRACES]

Supervisors: Dr Yves Plancherel, Professor Mark Rehkamper, Professor Tina van de Flierdt

Mapping pollutants and biodiversity throughout drainage basins [Info Sheet - Drainage Basins]

Supervisors: Dr Gareth Roberts, Dr Leon Barron (School of Public Health), Professor Guy Woodward (Life Sciences), Dr Alex Lipp (Earth Sciences, University of Oxford)

Electrokinetic enhanced in-situ resource utilisation (EK-ISRU) for green copper production [Info Sheet - EK-ISRU]

Supervisors: Professor Matthew Jackson, Dr Pablo Brito-Parada, Professor Stephen Neethling

Efficient numerical modelling of subsurface hydrogen storage for low carbon energy [Info Sheet - Subsurface Hydrogen Storage]

Supervisors: Professor Matthew Jackson, Professor Gary Hampson

Sediment routing controls on CO2 mineralisation potential [Info Sheet - Sediment Routing Controls]

Supervisors: Professor Gary Hampson, Dr Alex Whittaker, Dr Rebecca Bell, Dr Sam Krevor

Assessing the sustainability of lithium brine extraction in high Andean salars [Info Sheet - Lithium Brine Extraction]

Supervisors: Dr Andrew Hughes (British Geological Survey), Professor Anna Korre, Dr Evi Petavratzi (British Geological Survey)

The origin of Earth’s volatiles – new constraints from isotopic analyses of meteorites [Info Sheet - Terrestrial Volatiles]

Supervisor: Professor Mark Rehkämper

Mixing and Volatile Depletion in the Early Solar System [Info Sheet - Early Solar System]

Supervisor: Professor Mark Rehkämper

Detrital mineral records of magmatism and fertility in porphyry copper districts [Info Sheet - Detrital Accessories Porphyry]

Supervisor: Professor Jamie Wilkinson

Residence and mobility of metals in the alteration zones of porphyry ore systems [Info Sheet - Porphyry Metal Mobility]

Supervisor: Professor Jamie Wilkinson

Development of UV-fluorescence spectroscopy as a tool for mineral exploration [Info Sheet - UV Fluorescence]

Supervisor: Professor Jamie Wilkinson


Mineralisation Processes for CO2 Storage [Info Sheet - CO2 Mineralisation InFUSE]

Supervisors: Dr Sam Krevor; Professor Martin Trusler, Department of Chemical Engineering; Professor Mary Ryan, Department of Materials; Steffen Berg, Shell; Sharif Ahmed, Diamond Light Source

Biochar to Mitigate Climate Change [Info Sheet - Biochar to Mitigate Climate Change

Supervisors: Professor Mark A. Sephton and Professor Jason Hallett (Department of Chemical Engineering)

Capture Carbon Dioxide on Shales [Info Sheet - Carbon Dioxide and Shales]

Supervisors: Professor Mark A. Sephton, Professor Craig Smalley and Professor Al Fraser

Forensic Detection of Microplastics [Info Sheet - Microplastics]

Supervisors: Professor Mark A. Sephton, Dr Simon Davis and David Bell (Protium)

Recognising Life in Samples Returned from Mars [Info Sheet - Mars Sample Return Life Detector]

Supervisors: Professor Mark A. Sephton, Dr Simon Davis and David Bell (Protium)

The volatile fingerprints of life – a new method to indicate the biological or non-biological sources of gas [Info Sheet - Biotic-Abiotic Gas]

Supervisors: Professor Mark A. Sephton and Professor Craig P. Smalley

Extracting Records of Life on Mars [Info Sheet - Life on Mars]

Supervisors: Professor Mark A. Sephton and Dr Jonathan Watson

Organic Preservation in Jezero Crater – Site of the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover [Info Sheet - Jezero Crater]

Supervisors: Professor Mark A. Sephton and Dr Jonathan Watson

EPSRC CASE studentship:

Dynamic semi-structured meshes for fast numerical simulation of Multi-Phase Modelling in Oil and Gas
Info Sheet - Dynamic semi-structured meshes

For further information and to apply, please contact supervisors Professor Christopher Pain or Dr Pablo Salinas

Extending the carbonate clumped isotopes paleothermometer to new mineral systems: a computer modelling approach [Info Sheet - Clumped Isotope Modelling]

Supervisor: Dr Cedric M. John

Environmental reconstruction using clumped isotopes: testing the effects and signs of recrystallization in carbonates [Info Sheet - Clumped Recrystallization]

Supervisor: Dr Cedric M. John

iCASE studentship: Pore-to-core linkages and upscaling for CO2 Storage in carbonates [Info Sheet - Digital Rock CO2 Storage‌]

Supervisor: Dr Sam Krevor

Global CO2 storage capacity: Modeling limitations of geography and injectivity [Info Sheet - CO2 Storage Capacity]

Supervisor: Dr Sam Krevor

Understanding Modern Biogeochemical Cycles in the context of the international GEOTRACES project – Lead, cadmium, neodymium [Info Sheet - Modern Biogeochemical Cycles, GEOTRACES Project]‌

Supervisors: Professor Tina van de FlierdtDr Yves Plancherel and Professor Mark Rehkämper

The project is suitable for a student with a background in chemistry, geology or an equivalent qualification. Further information can be obtained directly from the supervisors. 

Using Cosmogenic Surface Exposure Dating to Reconstruct Late-Holocene Glacier and Climate Stability to Determine Precedence for Recent Declines in Snowpack and Water Resources in the American Pacific Northwest [Info Sheet - Cosmogenic Surface Exposure

Supervisor: Dr Dylan Rood


Exploring terrestrial geological evidence for past glaciation and volcanism in the Thwaites Glacier catchment, Antarctica [Info sheet]

Joanne Johnson (British Antarctic Survey), Dr Dylan Rood (Imperial College London), Associate Professor Brent Goehring (Tulane University), and Stephen Roberts (British Antarctic Survey)

Novel applications of trace metal stable isotopes in medical research [Info Sheet]

Professor Mark Rehkämper  

Environmental effects and fate of engineered nanomaterials [Info sheet]

Professor Mark Rehkämper and Dr Claus Svendsen, NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)

Cadmium enrichment in cocoa beans – a stable isotope investigation of Cd sources and mitigation strategies [Info Sheet]

Professor Mark Rehkämper and Laurence Maurice (Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar, Quito, Ecuador; IRD & GET, Université de Toulouse)

Arsenic Contamination of Drinking Water [Info sheet‌‌]

Professor Dominik Weiss

Geochemistry of Non-Traditional Stable Isotopes [Info sheet‌]

Professor Dominik Weiss

Micronutrient cycling in submerged soils and uptake into rice [Info sheet‌]

Professor Dominik Weiss

Nuclear Waste – How to deal with it safely [Info sheet‌]

Professor Dominik Weiss

 Modeling the global Pb cycle: from industrial emissions to the bottom of the ocean [Info Sheet‌‌]

 Dr Yves Plancherel 

Measuring and modelling the interfacial properties of crude oil [Info Sheet - Measuring and modelling interfacial properties‌‌‌]

Supervisor: Professor Matthew Jackson

Validating Earthquake Hazard Models For Critical Engineered Structures Using Geologic Data And Cosmogenic Isotopes [Info sheet]

Dr Dylan RoodDr John-Paul Latham and Dr Peter Stafford

‌‌Histories of mantle convection: Constraints from Arabia's landscape [Info sheet‌]

Dr Gareth Roberts, Dr Alex Whittaker and Dr Dylan Rood

Will climate change make coastal erosion rates faster?: Comparing historic and Holocene cliff retreat rates using cosmogenic isotopes with numerical models [Info sheet]

 The Aqueous Chemistry of Actinides and Metalloids [Info sheet]

Professor Dominik Weiss