Prof Melanie Leng

Prof Melanie Leng

Science Director for the Stable Isotope Facility & Director of the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry

Location: Keyworth

Tel: 0115 936 3515

E-mail Prof Melanie Leng


  • Science Director, Stable Isotope Facility (part of the NERC Isotope Geoscience Facilities)
  • Director of the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry (a collaboration between University of Nottingham and BGS)
  • Chair of Isotope Geosciences in the School of Geography, University of Nottingham from 2014
  • Hirsch Factor = 37 based on 5,446 citations (web of knowledge) and 44 based on 7,842 citations (Google scholar).


  • Stable Isotope Geochemistry

Professional association

  • Journal guest editor for 5 special issues: Quaternary Science Reviews (2004), Earth Science Reviews (2006), Journal of Quaternary Science (2008), Quaternary Science Reviews (2013), Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (2014).
  • Member of the editorial board for the journal SILICON
  • Member of the editorial board for Quaternary Science Reviews
  • Associate Editor for Journal of Paleolimnology
  • Member of the Quaternary Research Association

Research interests

  • Deep time climate change research
  • Oxygen and silicon isotopes in biogenic silica
  • Palaeoclimate and climate change research
  • Palaeolimnology, speleothem research, oceanography
  • Stable isotope geochemistry, Palaeoclimate, Limnogeology, Climate Change

Boards and committees

Current projects and collaboration

  • NERC Standard Grant: A 500,000-year environmental record from Chew Bahir, south Ethiopia: testing hypotheses of climate-driven human evolution, innovation, and dispersal. Co-I with Dr Henry Lamb (Aberystwyth) and others.
  • Co-PI on the ICDP SCOPSCO project (Lake Ohrid drilling).
  • NERC Consortium Grant: The Mid-Palaeozoic Biotic Crisis - Setting the Trajectory of Tetrapod Evolution. Co-I with Dr Jenny Clack (Cambridge) and others.
  • NERC Standard grant: Silicon isotope records of recent environmental change and anthropogenic pollution from Lake Baikal, Siberia. Co-I with Dr George Swann (Nottingham) and others.

Published outputs

Key papers

Bailey,H.L., Kaufman,D.S., Henderson, A.C.G., and Leng, M.J. 2015. Synoptic-scale circulation controls on the δ18O in precipitation across Beringia. Geophysical Research Letters.

Dean, J.R, Leng, M.J., Mackay, A.W. 2014. Is there an isotopic signature of the Anthropocene. Anthropocene Review, 1, 276-287.

Leng, M.J. and Lewis, J.P. 2014. Oxygen isotopes in Molluscan shell: applications in environmental archaeology. Environmental Archaeology.

Pike, J., Swann, G.A.E., Leng, M.J., Snelling, A. 2013. Glacial discharge along the west Antarctic Penninsula during the Holocene. Nature Geoscience, 6, 199-202.

Barker, P.A., Hurrell, E.R., Leng, M.J., Wolff, C., Cocqyut, C., Sloane, H.J., Verschuren, D. 2011. Seasonality in equatorial climate over the last 25 k.y. revealed by oxygen isotope records from Mount Kilimanjaro. Geology, 39, 1111-1114.

Chapligin, B., Leng, M.J., Webb, E., Alexandre, A., Dodd, J.P., Ijiri, A., Lucke, A., Shemesh, A., Abelmann, A., Herzschuh, U., Longstaffe, F.J., Meyer, H., Moschen, R., Okazaki, Y., Rees, N.H., Sharp, Z.D., Sloane, H.J., Sonzogni, C., Swann, G.E.A., Sylvestre, F., Tyler, J.J., Yam, R. 2011. Inter-laboratory comparison of oxygen isotope compositions from biogenic silica. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75, 7242-7256.

Leng, M.J. and Sloane, H.J. 2008. Combined oxygen and silicon isotope analysis of biogenic silica. Journal of Quaternary Science, 23, 313-319.

Leng, M.J. and Barker, P.A. 2006. A review of the oxygen isotope composition of lacustrine diatom silica for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Earth Science Reviews, 75, 5-27.

Leng, M.J., Lamb A.L., Heaton T.H.E., Marshall J.D., Wolfe B.B., Jones M.D, Holmes J.A. and Arrowsmith C. 2005. Isotopes in lake sediments. In: Leng M. J. (ed.). Isotopes in Palaeoenvironmental Research. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. 148-176 pp.

Leng, M.J., Marshall, J. 2004. Palaeoclimate interpretation of stable isotope data from lake sediment archives. Quaternary Science Reviews, 23, 811-831.