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Department of Earth Sciences

Staff and Postgraduate Students

Dr Darren R. Gröcke, BSc (Hons), DPhil (Oxon)

Associate Professor (Reader) in the Department of Earth Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42282
Room number: Rm 1.04, Christopherson Building

(email at


2017 — Associate Professor (Reader), Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, UK.

2008 – 2016 — Reader, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, UK.

2007 – 2008  — Lecturer, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, UK.

2006 – 2007  — Associate Professor, School of Geography & Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Canada.

2003 – 2006  — Assistant Professor, School of Geography & Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Canada.

2000 – 2003  — Lecturer, Department of Geology, Royal Holloway University of London, UK.

Research Interests

Darren Gröcke is the Director of the Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory (SIBL — more details can be found at in Durham University. He is an international expert in the field of stable isotope geochemistry and in particular stable carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen isotopes. His research interests are not confined to a specific topic or specific time interval, but span all the sciences and the geological record. Research areas that he has made significant advances is in stable isotope stratigraphy, understanding the causes and consequences of oceanic anoxic events, carbon isotopes in fossil plants as a stratigraphic tool, palaeodietary reconstruction with nitrogen isotopes, and the application of hydrogen isotopes in beetles as a recorder of climate and environment.

Current research projects include:

  • Stable isotopes in macroalgae
  • Cultivation in archaeology as recorded by nitrogen isotopes
  • Understanding modern organic carbon burial in estuarine environments
  • Hydrogen isotopes in archaeological collagen
  • Climatic and environmental change recorded at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary
  • Silurian stratigraphy of evaporite environments
  • Stable isotope records in tree rings
  • Archaeology and environment of submersed forests around the UK coast

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

Research Interests

  • Black Shales
  • Botany
  • Environment
  • Geochemistry
  • Oceanic anoxic events
  • Palaeobotany
  • Palaeoceanography
  • Palaeoclimates
  • Palaeodiets
  • Palaeoenvironments
  • Sea level
  • Sedimentology
  • Stable Isotopes
  • Stratigraphy


Selected Publications

Chapter in book

Journal Article


  • Gröcke, D. R. & Cannon, A. (2007). Stable Isotopes in Archaeological Midden Shells: High-Resolution Paleoclimatic & Paleoenvironmental Archives.

Show all publications

Departmental Contacts

RoleNameExtemail address
Head of Department Professor Andy Aplin 42332
Undergraduate Admissions Tutor Dr Richard J Brown 42303
Deputy Undergraduate Admissions Tutor Prof. Fred Worrall 42295
Chairman of the Board of Examiners Professor Ken McCaffrey 42299
Postgraduate Admissions Tutor Dr. Stuart Jones 42319
Department Manager Mrs Jill Hoult 42326
Learning & Teaching Administrator Mrs Janice Oakes 42310
Senior Finance Assistant Mrs Paula Elliott 43490
Finance Administrator Mrs Karen Atkinson 42318
Director of Postgraduate Studies Dr. Jeroen van Hunen 42293
Director of Research Dr Ed Llewellin 42336
Teaching and Learning Committee Chairman Dr Simon Mathias 43491
Director of Undergraduate Studies Dr Claire Horwell 42253
Staff-Student Liaison Committee Chairman Dr Claire Horwell 42253
Natural Sciences Academic Contact Prof. Yaoling Niu 42311
Safety Officer Dr Chris Ottley 42325
Safety Adviser Fieldwork Dr Nic de Paola 42333
Departmental Research Administrator Mrs Dianne Whatcott 42305

Departmental Superintendent Mr James Dyson 42281

Department International Coordinator Prof. Dave Selby 42294