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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Staff and Postgraduate Students

Prof Kevin Burton, PhD

Professor of Geochemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 44298
Room number: Rm 331

Contact Prof Kevin Burton (email at


2010 – present  — Professor of Geochemistry, Director of NCIET, Durham University

2007 – 2010  — Professor of Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences,

2006 – 2007  — Professor of Paleooceanography, Université Paul-Sabatier,

2000 – 2006  — Professor of Isotope Geochemistry, Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University

1999 – 2000  — Professor of Geochemistry, Université Blaise-Pascal

1998 – 1999  — University Lecturer, Dept. de Sciences de la Terre, Université Blaise-Pascal

1997 – 1998  — Visiting scientist, Dept. of Geological Sciences, Univ. of Michigan.

1995 – 1997  — Physicien adjoint, IPG-Paris, Lab. de Géochimie et Cosmochimie.

1994 – 1995  — European Science Exchange Fellowship, IPG-Paris, Géochimie et Cosmochimie, Univ. Paris VII. Royal Society and CNRS-CIES funded fellowship.

1991 – 1994  — NERC Advanced Research Fellowship, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

1988 – 1991  — University Research Associate, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

1986 – 1988  — NERC Ad hominem Research Fellowship, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Career Research Highlights

Isotope geochemistry is a broad field that has made some remarkable contributions to our understanding of the history, surface process and inner workings of the Earth and other solar system objects. Personal research interests have sought to bring together a number of interrelated disciplines within the Earth and environmental sciences, linked by the use of a range of mass spectrometric techniques to provide key information on:


  • The timing of events, from the age of the solar system to the timing of climatic or tectonic events recorded in ocean sediments
  • Tracing the sources of components, from ocean circulation to identifying the types of stars that contributed to our solar system.
  • Past conditions of the Earth system, from the redox state of the mantle to past temperatures of the Oceans.


In parallel, my research has been driven by the measurement of both conventional long-lived radiogenic isotopes and non-traditional stable isotopes, with an emphasis on measuring isotope compositions to a very high precision with enhanced spatial resolution (i.e. on smaller samples).

Committee and Society Service

Expert evaluator for EU 6th and 7th Framework

2002 – 2006  Member of the NERC - Ion microprobe steering committee


1991 – 1994 — NERC Advanced Research Fellowship

1986 – 1988 — NERC Ad hominem Research Fellowship

Invited Speaker (selected)

2005, 2010; EGU General Assembly[KAM1] 

2007, 2009: AGU Fall meeting

2004; 2006: Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference,


Invited lectures at Paris, Zurich, Berne (Switzerland) Royal Holloway and Imperial College (London), Oxford, Bristol, Durham, Southampton and British Antarctic Survey.

Membership of Organisations and Societies

Member: American Geophysical Union

Member: Geochemical Society

Research Groups



Departmental Contacts

RoleNameExtemail address
Head of Department Prof. Andy Aplin 42332
Undergraduate Admissions Tutor Dr Richard J Brown 42303
Deputy Undergraduate Admissions Tutor Prof. Fred Worrall 42295
Chair of the Board of Examiners Prof. Ken McCaffrey 42299
Postgraduate Admissions Tutor Dr. Stuart Jones 42319
Department Manager Mrs Jill Hoult 42326
Learning & Teaching Manager Mrs Janice Oakes 42310
Finance Manager Mrs Karen Atkinson

42318 or

Finance Administrator Mrs Paula Elliott 43490
Director of Postgraduate Studies Dr Julie Prytulak 42328
Director of Research Prof. Ed Llewellin 42336
Chair of Education Committee Prof. James Baldini 42334
Director of Undergraduate Studies Prof. Claire Horwell 42253
Staff-Student Liaison Committee Chair Prof. 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
Senior Research Administrator Mrs Dianne Whatcott 42305

Departmental Superintendent Mr James Dyson 42281

Department International Coordinator Prof. Dave Selby 42294

Contact Dave Selby