Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences research is carried out by Durham Earth Sciences (DES). The Department is located in a purpose-built building opened in 2004, with an international cohort of 31 research-active staff, 17 PDRAs, 70 PhD students and 14 administrative and support staff. Since 2008, research income has risen 115%, including £8.56M from RCUK, DECC and ERC and £2.75M from industry. Growth in funding has led to increased numbers of postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers and has allowed upgrading of existing infrastructure and investment in new research facilities. We are committed to research-led teaching and DES has improved its national ranking from 14th (2008) to 4th (2013) in the Times Good University Guide. DES is ranked 32nd in the WS World University Subject Rankings (7th in the UK) and is ranked 10th in the world for citations per paper, the highest score of any Department outside of the USA.
Our expertise in Earth Sciences is spread across eight discipline-based Research Groups (geochemistry, geophysics, volcanology, environment, palaeontology, palaeoclimate, sedimentology, structural geology, and geodynamics), which are strategically integrated into four interdisciplinary Research Themes underpinned by departmental and university equipment-based facilities.
Many staff are linked to more than one Theme, each of which has a Team Leader(s) who automatically belongs to the Department’s Research Committee. The scope and activities of research carried out under the Themes are aligned with larger interdisciplinary Research Centres and Institutes spread across Durham University and also with priority areas of RCUK funding such as resources, hazards and climate change.
The same Institutes and Centres also link naturally to external end-users, and the research activities of some, such as the CeREES Centre for Geoenergy, are substantially funded by industry and involve research collaborations, consortia and consultancy-based partnerships with spin-out companies. In all cases, research activities are founded on regional, national and international cooperation and partnerships.