Quality of Research
School of Earth & Ocean Sciences
Research Assessment Exercise (2008)
|Unit of Assessment||Staff submitted (FTE)||By percentage, research activity in the submission judged to reach quality standard|
|Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (E17)||37.00||4||3||2||1||UC|
(Overall quality profile in blocks of 5%)
|Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences|
|Institution||Research 4* and 3*|
|University of Cambridge||90|
|University of Oxford||85|
|University College London and Birckbeck College: joint submission||80|
|University of Bristol||75|
|University of Liverpool||75|
|University of Reading||75|
|Royal Holloway, University of London||70|
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The School of Earth and Ocean Sciences is a large international research School whose staff are addressing some of the most significant research themes in world science at the moment, including global change, biosphere-hydrosphere-geosphere interactions, environmental science, natural resource exploration, and the evolution of Earth and its biosphere.
Research in the School is organised into five research groups: Geobiology; Geodynamics; Geoenvironmental; Magmatic and Hydrothermal Processes; and Palaeoclimate.
Each research group is at the forefront of agenda setting research. Areas of study include: the effects of biological processes on Earth and geological records of the evolution of life; depositional and deformational processes in sedimentary basins; modelling and assessing the effects of climate change, including marine, coastal and atmospheric surveying; mantle circulation and the relationship between tectonic and igneous activity; the response of the ocean-climate system to changing greenhouse gas concentrations and ocean circulation patterns.
Earth Science undergraduate undertaking independent fieldwork in Spain.
In addition to its many on-land activities, the School has a long-standing international reputation in marine science which led to its twice running international offices of Ocean Drilling Programs: the JOIDES Office in the 1990s and the ESSAC Office in 2005-2007.
Research by the School includes shedding light on the mystery surrounding the appearance of the Antarctic ice sheet, determining the extent and impact of subsurface microbial activity (kilometres) on diagenetic and global biogeochemical processes, including controls on methane formation and developing novel techniques to assess the landslide risk in South Wales. The School has also a number of other pioneering contributions in the areas of palaeoclimate, environmental and coastal research, and provides science-based evidence for policy makers such as the Welsh Assembly Government and Environment Agency.
The School’s research is underpinned by state-of-the-art facilities including laboratories for geochemical fingerprinting and isotopic analysis of geological samples; geomicrobiology; 3D seismic interpretation; and advanced microscopy and imaging laboratories.
The School offers a number of funded PhD studentships each year which are attached to specific projects.