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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 4star icon 3star icon 2star icon 1star icon UC
15% 55% 25% 5% 0%

The grading system explained

(Overall quality profile in blocks of 5%)

Research Profile

Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences
InstitutionResearch 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  
Cardiff University 70  
Lancaster University 70  
Open University 70  
Royal Holloway, University of London 70  

Table continues to 42

How this table was compiled

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.

Student on an outcrop of rock

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.

Learn More

Learn about research at the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences

Visit the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences website