Dr Christopher Vane

Dr Christopher Vane

Head of BGS Organic Geochemistry
BGS Keyworth

Christopher Vane’s Biography

  • 2006 – ongoing : Head of Organic Geochemistry, BGS
  • 2001 –2006 : Land & Coast Team Leader, BGS
  • 2000 –2008 : Coastal Geochemist, BGS
  • 1998 –2000 : Postdoctoral Research, Pennsylvania State University, USA
  • 1993 –1997 : PhD University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Organic Geochemistry

Research interests

  • Application of sediment toxicity tests (microtox) to sediments containing a mix of both organic and metal pollutants
  • Geochemical markers of palaeostorms, Hurricanes and Tsunamis.
  • Natural organic compounds including lipids and macromolecules such as lignin carry a wealth of structural and isotopic information that I utilise to address challenges across a broad range of science areas including palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimate reconstructions, cycling of organic matter in the coastal zone and sea level rise. All of the above research uses a variety of state-of-the-art analytical techniques including gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS-MS) housed with the organic geochemistry laboratory at BGS.
  • Organic Geochemistry of black shales for unconventional hydrocarbons i.e. shale gas. Characterisation of shale organic matter quality and kerogen typing using Rock-Eval pyrolysis and analytical pyrolysis
  • The main thrust of my research is molecular organic geochemistry, particularly applied to estuarine and coastal sediments, as well as urban soils and waters. My current research interests are focused on tracking the source and understanding the post depositional fate of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as PAHs, PCBs as well as sewerage at the molecular level in estuaries and coastal zone in the UK (Thames, Clyde, Mersey) and other locations in the world. I use changes in POPs and metals to correlate across coastal sediments and understand the potential risk and impact on humans and the ecology.

Current projects and collaborations

  • – ongoing Hydrocarbons Geochemical characterisation of mud-rocks for unconventional and conventional hydrocarbon resource assessments
  • – ongoing Thames emerging and legacy pollution Assessment of sedimentary hosted pollution including persistent organic pollutants (POPs) TPH, PAHs and PCBs in estuaries in close proximity to urban–industrial centres including tidal Thames (Gravesend to Kew).
  • 2017 – ongoing : Human impacts on the Red River, Vietnam: Providing an updated, detailed and process-based overview of macronutrient fluxes and pollutant distribution. NERC Newton Fund Award
  • 2017 – ongoing : Valuing wetlands: Quantification and characterisation of carbon stored in four exemplar Mexican wetlands. Assessment of how wetland carbon is impacted by land-use change. Upscaling of geochemical data using remote sensing, economic value of wetlands. NERC Institutional Links Grant

NERC Open Research Archive — Dr Christopher Vane

Recent Publications

Vane, C H, Kim, A W, Lopes dos Santos, R A and Moss-Hayes, V. 2022. Contrasting sewage, emerging and persistent organic pollutants in sediment cores from the River Thames estuary, London, England, UK. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 175: 113340.

Vane, C H, Kim, A W, Beriro, D, Cave, M R, Lowe, S R, dos Santos, R A L, Ferreira, A M P J, Collins, C, Nathanail, C P, and Moss-Hayes, V. 2021. Persistent organic pollutants in urban soils of central London, England, UK. Measurement and spatial modelling of black carbon (BC), petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). Advances in Environmental and Engineering Research 2, 2.

Sjögersten, S, de la Barreda-Bautista, B, Brown, C, Boyd, D, Lopez-Rosas, H, Hernández, E, Monroy, R, Rincón, M, Vane, C, Moss-Hayes, V, Gallardo Cruz, J A, Infante Mata, D, Hoyos-Santillan, J, Vidal Solórzano, J, Peralta Carreta, C and Moreno-Casasola, P. 2021. Coastal wetland ecosystems deliver large carbon stocks in tropical Mexico. Geoderma, 403: 115173.

Vane, C H, Kim, A W, Emmings, J F, Turner, G H, Moss-Hayes, V, Lort, J A, and Williams, P J. 2020. Grain size and organic carbon controls polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), mercury (Hg) and toxicity of surface sediments in the River Conwy Estuary, Wales, UK. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 158, 111412.

Vane, C H, Turner, G H, Chenery, S R, Richardson, M, Cave, M C, Terrington, R, Gowing, C J B and Moss-Hayes, V. 2020.  Trends in Heavy Metals, Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Toxicity from Sediment Cores of the Inner River Thames Estuary, London, UK. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 22, 364-380.

Vane, C H, Kim, A W, Moss-Hayes, V, Turner, G, Mills, K, Chenery, S R, Barlow, T S, Kemp, A C, Engelhart, S E, Hill, T D, Horton, B P, and Brain, M. 2020. Organic Pollutants, Heavy Metals and Toxicity in Sediment Cores from an Oil Spill Impacted Salt Marsh, Staten Island, New York, USA. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 151,110721.

Vane, C H, Lopes dos Santos, R A, Kim, A W, Moss Hayes, V M, Fordyce, F M and Bearcock, J M. 2019. Persistent organic pollutants (PAH, PCB, TPH) in freshwater, urban tributary and estuarine surface sediments of the River Clyde, UK. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 108, 2-3, 299-314.

Professional associations

  • Fellow of the Geological Society

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