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

Key papers

VANE, C.H., Beriro, D. and TURNER G. 2015. Rise and fall of Mercury (Hg) pollution in sediment cores of the Thames Estuary, London, UK. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 105, 4, 285-296

VANE, C.H., KIM, A.W., BERIRO, D.J., CAVE, M.R., KNIGHTS, K., MOSS-HAYES, V. and NATHANIAL, P.C. 2014. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in urban soils of Greater London UK.Applied Geochemistry 51, 303-314

VANE, C.H., KIM, A.W., MOSS-HAYES V, SNAPE C.E, CASTRO-DIAZ, M., KHAN, N.S., ENGELHART S.E. AND HORTON, B.P. 2013. Mangrove tissue decay by arboreal termites (Nasutitermes acajutlae) and their role in the mangrove C cycle (Puerto Rico): Chemical characterisation and organic matter provenance using bulk δ13C, C/N, alkaline CuO oxidation-GC/MS and solid-state 13C NMR. Geochemsistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 14, 8, 3176-3191.

VANE, C.H., RAWLINS. B.G., KIM, A.W., MOSS-HAYES, V., KENDRICK, C.P., LENG M.J. 2013. Sedimentary transport and fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) from managed burning of moorland vegetation on a blanket peat, South Yorkshire, U.K. Science of the Total Environment, 449, 81-94.

VANE, C.H., CHENERY, S.R., HARRISON, I., KIM, A.W., MOSS-HAYES, V., JONES, D.G. 2011. Chemical signatures of the Anthropocene in the Clyde Estuary, UK: Sediment hosted Pb, 207/206Pb, Polyaromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) and Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Pollution Records. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (A) 369, 1085-1111.

VANE, C.H., KIM, A.W., McGOWAN, S., LENG, M.J., HEATON, T.H.E., KENDRICK, C., COOMBS, P., YANG, H., SWANN, G.E.A. 2010. Sedimentary records of sewage pollution using faecal markers in contrasting peri-urban shallow lakes. Science of the Total Environment 409, 345-356.

VANE, C.HYUN-JUAN MA, SHE-JUN CHEN and BI-XIAN MAI. 2010. Inventory of Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in sediments of the Clyde Estuary, U.K. Environmental Geochemistry & Health, 32, 13-21.

VANE, C.H. JONES, D.G., and LISTER T.R. 2009. Mercury contamination in surface sediments and sediment cores of the Mersey Estuary, UK. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 58, 6, 940-946.

VANE, C.H., HARRISON, I and KIM, A.W. MOSS-Hayes, V., Vickers, B.P., Hong, K. 2009. Organic and Metal Contamination in Surface Mangrove Sediments of South China. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 58, 14-144.

VANE, C.H., HARRISON, I and KIM, A.W. MOSS-HAYES, V., VICKERS, B.P., HORTON., B.P.  2008. Status of Organic Pollutants in Surface Sediments of Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary, New Jersey, USA. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 56, 10, 1802-1808.

VANE, C.H., HARRISON; I and KIM, A.W. 2007. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in sediments from the Mersey Estuary, U.K. Science of the Total Environment 374, 112-126.

Professional associations

  • Fellow of the Geological Society

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