Research news and awards

Latest news about our research. Project progress and collaboration. Awards and achievements.


AGI award winner
We're proud to announce our staff and projects received several nominations and awards at the Association for Geographic Information Awards for Geospatial Excellence presented by Prof Iain Stewart (University of Plymouth).


19 November 2014

BGS staff member Sev Kender
Congratulations to Dr Sev Kender from the Centre of Environmental Geochemistry who has won a NERC-IODP small grant to work on reconstructing deep Pacific Ocean circulation since the Oligocene. The project will analyse Nd isotopes in fossil fish teeth collected during IODP Exp. 351 to the Philippine Sea.


7 November 2014

Dr Jonathan Dean
Congratulations to Dr Jonathan Dean who has been appointed as a Post Doctoral Research Associate (at the BGS and in association with the School of Geography) on NERC Standard Grant: A 500,000–year environmental record from Chew Bahir, south Ethiopia: testing hypotheses of climate-driven human evolution, innovation, and dispersal. Jonathan is currently working as an Isotope Apprentice within the BGS and will transfer to this new post in March 2015.


7 November 2014

BGS staff member Angela Lamb
Congratulations to Dr Angela Lamb on her appointment as Honorary Research Fellow within the Department of Archaeology, University of Nottingham. Angela’s appointment is due to her role in heading stable isotope-archaeology collaborations within the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry and her research with Dr Naomi Sykes and Dr Holly Miller on the AHRC grant: Changing Scientific and Cultural Perspectives on Human-Chicken Interactions.


7 November 2014

Dr Simon Chenery
Congratulations to Dr Simon Chenery on his appointment as Honorary Research Fellow within the Department of Archaeology, University of Nottingham. Simon has worked on pottery, flints and teeth with archaeologists across the UK. His current research collaboration with Prof Julian Henderson and Prof Jane Evans is on provanancing and understanding the geochemical characteristics of source materials for Middle Eastern ancient glasses.


7 November 2014

Naomi Sykes
Congratulations to Dr Naomi Sykes from the Department of Archaeology, University of Nottingham who has been appointed as a Visiting Research Associate within the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry, British Geological Survey. Naomi works closely with Dr Angela Lamb and Prof Jane Evans on a variety of isotope-based zooarchaeology projects including the recently awarded AHRC grant: Changing Scientific and Cultural Perspectives on Human-Chicken Interactions.


7 November 2014

BGS staff member Robert Ward
Congratulations to Rob Ward (Director of Science for Groundwater, BGS) on his appointment as Honorary Professor within the School of Geography. Rob is responsible for managing an integrated programme of research addressing groundwater protection, management and impacts of environmental change at the BGS. His personal research interests include assessing the risks to groundwater from shale gas exploitation, groundwater pollution by nitrates and emerging contaminants, the impacts on groundwater from extreme climate-driven events, and developing better links between science outcomes and policy/decision making.


24 October 2014

Sampling water supplies in Cornwall

Lancaster University will lead on training scientists of the future who will improve our understanding of soils, which are key to tackling many of today’s global challenges, including food, water and energy security.

This follows major funding to launch a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in soil science at Lancaster. It has been awarded to the Soils Training and Research Studentships (STARS) consortium led by Professor Phil Haygarth. The other members of the consortium are Bangor, Cranfield, Nottingham, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Rothamsted Research, the British Geological Survey and the James Hutton Institute.

This £2.3m programme funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) aims to create a new generation of highly-skilled soil scientists who understand the soil ecosystem from both environmental and biological viewpoints.

Read the NERC press release



13 October 2014

Nottingham University

Dr Barry Lomax from the School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham has been appointed as Visiting Research Associate within the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry, British Geological Survey. Dr Lomax will hold this honorary position with the British Geological Survey alongside his post and ongoing research projects at Nottingham. Barry is a lecturer in Environmental Science at Nottingham and his research is focused on quantifying how the Earth's climate has changed over geologic time, how these changes have influenced the Earth's terrestrial biosphere and how in turn the Earth's terrestrial biosphere has influenced climate. Particular interests include palaeopolyploidy and plant genome size over geological time, plant responses to CO2, and sporopollenin chemistry as a palaeoclimate proxy.



3 October 2014

Geology Journal

Late Cenozoic climate history in Africa was punctuated by episodes of variability, characterized by the appearance and disappearance of large freshwater lakes within the East African Rift Valley. In the Baringo-Bogoria basin, a well-dated sequence of diatomites and fluviolacustrine sediments documents the precessionally forced cycling of an extensive lake system between 2.70 Ma and 2.55 Ma. One diatomite unit was studied, using the oxygen isotope composition of diatom silica combined with X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and taxonomic assemblage changes, to explore the nature of climate variability during this interval. Data reveal a rapid onset and gradual decline of deepwater lake conditions, which exhibit millennial-scale cyclicity of ∼1400–1700 yr, similar to late Quaternary Dansgaard-Oeschger events. These cycles are thought to reflect enhanced precipitation coincident with increased monsoonal strength, suggesting the existence of a teleconnection between the high latitudes and East Africa during this period. Such climatic variability could have affected faunal and floral evolution at the time.

Wilson, K.E., Maslin, M.A., Leng, M.J., Kingston, J.D., Deino, A.L., Edgar, R.K., Mackay, A.W. 2014. East African lake evidence for Pliocene millennial-scale climate variability. Geology.



26 September 2014