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Department of Earth Sciences

Department of Earth Sciences

Department of Earth Sciences gains an Athena SWAN Bronze Award

Athena SWAN Bronze award

Durham University’s Department of Earth Sciences has gained an Athena SWAN Bronze Award from the Equality Challenge Unit. The Athena SWAN Charter (http://www.ecu.ac.uk/equality-charters/athena-swan/) recognises work undertaken to address gender equality as well as actions to remove barriers to progression that affect women who are academic, research, professional or support staff, and students in Higher Education. The Department’s application was compiled by a Self Assessment Team, led by Dr. Jonny Imber, and will remain valid until April 2019 when it can be renewed or superseded by a higher level award from the Athena SWAN scheme.

(29 Apr 2016) » More about Department of Earth Sciences gains an Athena SWAN Bronze Award


Cooling climate and oceanographic changes main drivers behind great mass extinction event

Fossiliferous surfaces from the latest Ordovician Ellis Bay and Becscie formations, Anticosti Island. Photo: S. Finnegan.

Climate change and the changing oceans contributed towards one of the first great mass extinctions in the history of life on Earth, according to new research.

Almost half of the marine invertebrate genera and an estimated 85 per cent of species became extinct during the event at the end of the Ordovician Period, about 445 million years ago.

It is thought the mass extinction had coincided with a sudden ice age, but a team of researchers, including experts at Durham University’s Department of Earth Sciences, say there were other contributing factors.

The findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

(27 Apr 2016) » More about Cooling climate and oceanographic changes main drivers behind great mass extinction event


First UK 'Teacher at sea' describes her Research Cruise on board the RRS James Cook

The first UK 'Teacher at Sea', Angela Bentley, was a member of the scientific party for Prof. Christine Peirce's last research cruise aboard the RRS James Cook (JC132). 

(21 Apr 2016) » More about First UK 'Teacher at sea' describes her Research Cruise on board the RRS James Cook


Geological Society of London Young Author Award

Congratulations to PhD Student Cat Hirst, who won the W Dearman Award 2015 for her role in the co-authored paper 'The late field life of the East Midlands Petroleum Province; a new geothermal prospect?' (QJEGH 48 (2) 104-114. 

(15 Mar 2016) » More about Geological Society of London Young Author Award


VoiLA website and Research Cruise blog

The first research cruise (JC133) of the NERC funded VoiLA project is underway. The project will explore volatile cycling in the Lesser Antilles arc. The RRS James Cook will sail up and down the Lesser Antilles from Trinidad to Antigua laying out an array of passive Ocean Bottom Seismometers (the largest of its type ever deployed at an Atlantic subduction zone). You can find information on the VoiLA project and follow blog updates during the cruise at www.voila.ac.uk and follow on twitter (@VoiLA_NERC).

(8 Mar 2016)




Contact Details

Department of Earth Sciences,
Durham University,
Science Labs,
Durham DH1 3LE

Tel: +44 0191 3342300
Fax: +44 0191 3342301
E-mail: earth.sciences @durham.ac.uk
Athena SWAN Bronze Award