We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Dr Geoff Nowell

Senior Research Officer in the Department of Earth Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42339
Room number: Rm 138

Contact Dr Geoff Nowell (email at


BSc. (Hons) The University of Leicester
PhD The Open University, 1993
1994-95: NERC Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Durham University and NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory (NIGL).
1995-96: NERC Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Durham University.
1996-97: NERC (ODP) Postdoctoral Research Scientist, NIGL.
1997-98: NERC funded Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Durham University.
1998-00: PIMMS & Tracer Facility Manager, NIGL.
2000-01: Scientific officer, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol.
2001-Present: Senior Research Officer/Laboratory Manager of Earth Sciences University of Durham

Career Research Highlights

Nowell is a specialist in multi-collector plasma ionisation and thermal ionisation mass spectrometry. Much of his career has specialised in Lu-Hf isotope measurements applied to mantle samples, combining this approach with Re-Os geochemistry to provide powerful constraints on the origins of potassic magmas and pyroxenite lithologies in the mantle. Recently he has been developing methods for ultra-low (pg and below) Pt analyses in DNA extracted from anti-cancer drug therapy patients (with the Northern Institute for Cancer Research) and laser ablation sulphur isotope ratio measurements in DGT gels (with Lancaster Environmental Sciences School).

Research Interests

● Development and application of the Lu-Hf isotope system.
● Development of laser ablation and solution based analytical methodolgies using Multi Collector ICP Mass Spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS)
● Methodologies for accurate and precise correction of atomic and polyatomic interferences during MC-ICP-MS isotope ratio measurements.
● Geochemistry of kimberlites and lamproites.
● Isotopic evolution of the mantle & crust

Teaching areas

Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry (Level 2: Chemical Tracing)

Research Groups


Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • J. H. Batey, T. Prohaska, M.S.A. Horstwood, G.M. Nowell, H. Goenaga-Infante & G. C. Eiden (2005). Mass Spectrometers. In ICP Mass Spectrometry Handbook. S. Nelms Blackwell. 26-116.
  • N. H. Gale, S. Stos-Gale, G. Nowell & R. E. Clay (2002). Archaeometallurgical research in the Aegean. In The Beginnings of Metallurgy in the Old World. Martin Bartelheim, Ernst Pernicka & Rüdiger Krause Rahden/Westf.: Verlag Marie Leidorf. 277-302.

Journal Article

Show all publications