Geobiology and Geochemistry

This Group explores how life has interacted with Earth over long time scales. We document how life has evolved, how environmental change created opportunities and constraints for diversification, and how life has controlled the evolution of biogeochemical cycles. Our research straddles the disciplines of geology, palaeontology, evolutionary biology, microbiology, ecology, oceanography, and geochemistry.

We use an integrative approach to address major issues, including:

  1. The interactions between long-term biogeochemical cycles, environments, and the evolution of life.
  2. How life, environments, and biogeochemical cycles changed during major perturbations in Earth history (e.g., mass extinctions, ocean anoxia events, ocean acidification events).
  3. Creation and calibration of biogeochemical and environmental proxies.
  4. The macroevolution of major groups in the fossil record, with an emphasis on building phylogenies and quantifying long-term diversity trends.
  5. Understanding fundamental geochemical processes, particularly biomineralisation and metal-mineral-microbe interactions.

We have key alliances with: the School of Biological Sciences, School of Chemistry, and the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh; National Museum of Scotland; SUERC.

We are keen to work with young scholars and accept PhD students through the NERC E3 DTP. We also encourage applicants from MRes students, and we will enthusiastically work with interested students to craft project ideas in our areas of study.