Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean

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NIGL research in the Media

November 2014 – South Georgia and ancient algal blooms ... by Rowan Dejardin

South Georgia is a strikingly beautiful, uninhabited island in the Southern Ocean, west of Patagonia and hundreds of miles from any major landmasses. Remote it may be but its ancient algal blooms and sediments potentially hold the key to understanding relationships between the carbon cycle and climate change in the past and, therefore, the future. Rowan Dejardin has just started his PhD within the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry (University of Nottingham and the BGS) and tells us more about his search for South Georgian algal blooms...

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South Georgia


November 2014 – Nitrogen and the Anthropocene... by Melanie Leng

Last week BGS hosted a workshop entitled "The Nitrogen Cycle and the Anthropocene". The aim of the workshop was to bring together nitrogen experts from around the UK to discuss the modern day increase in the amount of nitrogen currently being deposited (through atmospheric fall out and as a result of mans' activities on the Earth's surface). The main culprits of this increasing nitrogen are industrial processes, increasing use of fertilisers and combustion of fossil fuels. Here Melanie Leng tells us about the workshop...

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The delegates at the Workshop


October 2014 – Caves and Climate Change... by Andi Smith

As we strive to understand modern day climate change and the possible impact humans are having on our environment, many scientists look to the past to provide evidence of natural climate evolution. Andrew Smith is one such scientist. Here he shares how analysing Spanish stalagmites has helped unlock the last 12,500 years of climatic changes as well as large scale rainfall dynamics throughout Europe...

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Here I am with some fine speleothem formations
 in Shuttleworth Pot, Yorkshire, UK


August 2014 – Abandoned landfills are pollution UK rivers

Research led by Daren Gooddy, BGS, has identified high levels of ammonium leaking out from a landfill into a river on the outskirts of Oxford. The source of the ammonium was identified with isotopic analysis carried out by NIGL scientist Sarah Bennett...

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Researchers take a sample of water from River Thames at Oxford for analysis. Photograph: Dr Daren Gooddy/NERC


August 2014 – Can isotopes help define the Anthropocene? By Dr Jonathan Dean

The Anthropocene is a term that is increasingly being used to refer to the current interval in geological time in which humans have become a dominant force of global environmental change. It was coined by Prof Eugene Stoermer, a biologist, in the 1980s and popularised in the early 2000s by Prof Paul Crutzen, an atmospheric chemist...

welcome to the Anthropocene


July 2014 – Using carbon isotopes to study Lake Baikal... by Sarah Roberts

Today we're very pleased to share a guest post from Sarah Roberts, a Postgraduate Researcher at the School of Geography, University of Nottingham. Here she introduces her exciting collaborative work, to investigate changes in nutrient fluxes at Lake Baikal, Siberia, with the Baikal research team; Dr. George Swann, Prof. Anson Mackay, Dr. Suzanne McGowan and Dr. Virginia Panizzo (BGS Visiting Research Associates) and BGS staff...

Lake Baikal.jpg


July 2014 – The Ohrid Sequel: Cheshire Mere... by Jack Lacey

Jack Lacey is a familiar face to the blog. Over the last 16 months he's taken us along on amazing fieldwork adventures to Lake Ohrid, drilling through 3 million years of Earth's history and looking for the impacts of volcanic super eruptions using lake sediment records. But this was just phase 1 of his PhD research. Here Jack tells us what's in store for Phase 2 as he works within the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry, a collaboration between the University of Nottingham and the BGS...

European Geosciences Union


June 2014 – Chicken Project gets off the ground

A new research project has begun to examine the history of chickens, involving archaeological records to investigate the history of the world's most widely established livestock species, originally descended from the wild jungle fowl of South East Asia. The project, entitled "Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions", was made possible with the help of a £1.94 million grant from the AHRC under the Science In Culture Awards Large Grants call. Researchers from Bournemouth University, as well as the Universities of Durham, Nottingham, Leicester, Roehampton and York, will be examining when and how rapidly domesticated chickens

spread across Europe and the history of their exploitation for meat and eggs. Research methods will include stable isotope analysis at the BGS Stable Isotope Facility, in collaboration with the University of Nottingham within The Centre for Environmental Geochemistry...

European Geosciences Union


May 2014 – The mass exodus of geoscientists to Vienna... by Prof Melanie Leng

Every year around this time a European Geosciences Union (EGU) is held in Vienna, Austria. The weeklong conference brings together geoscientists from all over the world to discuss their latest findings in earth, planetary and space sciences...

European Geosciences Union


April 2014 – Oxygen isotopes and lakes by Prof Melanie Leng and Dr Jonathan Dean

Lakes occur across the globe and are sensitive to climatic change. Analysing the sediments that have accumulated at the bottom of lakes over time can help us to reconstruct past environmental change...

Lake Tibetanus in northern Sweden


March 2014 – Geoblog on the new mass spectrometer at the BGS

The British Geological Survey (BGS) took delivery of a new mass spectrometer this month. This instrument, acquired with joint funding from the University of Nottingham, will provide the UK’s environmental geoscience community access to one of the most precise research equipment for use in environmental research. Melanie Leng tells us more...

Prof Mel Leng with the new mass spectrometer


February 2014 – Ancient Climate Secrets by Jonathan Dean

Jonathan Dean started working as a Stable Isotope Apprentice in NIGL this January after he finished his PhD research at the University of Nottingham. Here he tells us a little bit about his research into how lake sediments are revealing secrets of past climates...

Standing on the rock on which the first peace treaty in human history was signed between the Hittites and the Egyptians


February 2014 – Have Volcanic Super-Eruptions Impacted on the Course of Human History? By Prof Melanie Leng

Today Melanie Leng, an isotope geochemist and palaeoclimatologist at the BGS, tells us about the Toba super volcano in Sumatra, Indonesia, which has erupted on many occasions over geological time...

The ancient Toba caldera (a basin left by the volcano after eruption) from space is now occupied by a huge lake (©NASA)


January 2014 – BGS GeoBlog – The Quaternary Research Associations 50th Anniversary Conference by Prof Melanie Leng

The new year traditionally brings with it not only resolutions, gym memberships and fad diets but for our scientists a round of exciting geological conferences...

The audience at the QRAs Quaternary Revolutions meeting (©Tim Lane)