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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Theme Statement:

In this research theme we address the period of Earth history that is beginning to be known as the anthropocene, where the impact of mankind on our planet has caused distinct changes. From fossil fuels, the mainstay of our energy systems, through to new developments in unconventional oil and gas, as well as the capture and storage of the carbon dioxide produced, this theme tackles some of mankind’s most pressing societal and technical challenges. Renewable energy is represented by groups working on bioenergy and geothermal, with further expertise in extraction of both conventional mineral resources and recovery of valuable metals from, and the reuse of, waste materials. Research drives our Theme, with the industry recognised Centre for Research into Earth Energy Systems (CeREES) and the internationally leading Durham Energy Institute (DEI) actively participating; our enthusiasm for this topic is strongly reflected in our teaching.


Chris GreenwellAndy AplinMark AllenJames BaldiniKevin BurtonGillian FoulgerJon GluyasDave HarperStuart JonesDarren GröckeColin MacphersonSimon MathiasDave SelbyFred Worrall

Postdoctoral Researchers

Lisa BaldiniIan Boothroyd

Geoenergy, Resources and Waste Current Research Projects

Durham Investigator(s) Sponsor Title Value Dates
Prof. Chris Greenwell BP & NERC Oil & Gas CDT Understanding the Nanogeochemistry of Low Salinity Enhanced Oil Recovery. £60,000 31/01/2020
Prof. Jon Gluyas EPSRC Systems Integration of Energy Supply and Demand * £198,048 30/09/2021
Prof. Bob Holdsworth BGS UK Oil and Gas -Student Support £49,396 31/08/2021
Prof. Colin Macpherson NERC Tellurium and Selenium Cycling and Supply * £113,087 31/05/2021
Prof. Andy Aplin Durham University (NERC CDT in Oil & Gas) and Shell Quantitative Controls of Pore Systems in Carbonate-rich Shales £20,000 30/09/2019
Prof. Fred Worrall Environmental Agency REFINE Consortium * £30,000 31/12/2018
Prof. Dave Selby TOTAL Absolute Dating of Oil by the Re-Os Geochronometer £127,234 30/09/2019
Prof. Andy Aplin
Dr. Nicola De Paola
Prof. Fred Worrall
NERC Impact of hydraulic fracturing in the overburden of shale resource plays: Process-based evaluation (SHAPE-UK) £255,372 31/05/2022

Associated Research Groups



Structural Geology



Associated Research Facilities

Durham Geochemistry Group

Sir Kingsley Dunham Earth Imaging Laboratory