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

ORCID: 0000000311155166


  • 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 = 39 based on 5903 citations (web of knowledge) and 45 based on 8500 citations (Google scholar).

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.

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


  • Stable Isotope Geochemistry

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.

Cockerton, H.E., Strret-Perrott, A., Barker, P.A., Leng, M.J., Sloane, H.J., Ficken, K.J. 2015.Orbital forcing of glacial/interglacial variations in chemical weathering and silicon cycling within the upper White Nile basin, East Africa: Stable-isotope and biomarker evidence from Lakes Victoria and Edward. Quaternary Science Reviews, 130, 57-71.

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.