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RA5a: Structure,environment and staffing policy

This is the submission of the UCL-Birkbeck Research School of Geological and Geophysical Sciences (SGGS) and the Climate Physics Group of the UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics (DSCP). Since 1996, these 3 groups have become co-located on the UCL Bloomsbury campus. Our submission also includes the geochemical researchers at the Royal Institution of London, with whom we have a HEFCE-recognised research partnership. Together, we comprise 40 research staff, including 14 Professors, 6 Readers, and 8 Royal Society and Leverhulme Fellows, with 40 RAs, 51 PhD and 25 MSc students. Our common research objectives are to:
Perform excellent basic research into the past, present and future evolution of the Earth and Planetary atmospheres, oceans and interiors.
• Perform excellent applied research that benefits wealth-creation and public good.
• Provide a first class training in the mathematics, physics and chemistry of the Earth.
• Provide international and national leadership to the scientific and wider communities.

Modern Earth and Planetary research emphasises the interconnection of physical, chemical and on Earth biological systems. As stated in our RAE96 return, our research strategy is to focus research leadership, resources and appointments on central themes of 21st century Earth and Planetary science, to which we have made, or will make a contribution that is recognised internationally. We stated that we planned to focus our research on “Lithospheric and Planetary Evolution”, “Fluids in the Earth’s Crust” and “Climate & Environmental Change”. To this end, we have replaced 14 category A staff submitted in RAE96 with 12 new appointments that, together with existing strengths, provide the following research foci:
(1) Physics of Earth & Planetary forming Materials
(2) Evolution of the Crust & Lithosphere of the Earth & Terrestrial Planets
(3) Palaeoenvironments
(4) Polar Climate Modelling and Change
(5) Applied & Environmental Earth Sciences.

In sections (1) – (5) below, each theme is described in the following format: the research objectives of the themes; the action we have taken to strengthen the theme by appointment or strategic funding; the research and outstanding achievements of the theme in the reporting period; and our future intentions. In section (6) we outline our staff and student development, and in RA5c we discuss specific staff developments planned for the next five years.


(1) Physics of Earth & Planetary forming Materials
Profs Meredith, Price, Drs Alfe, Bell, Brodholt, Jones, Ross, Sammonds, Sankar, Vocadlo, Wood, Wright

We study the physical behaviour of minerals and rocks that make up the surface and interior of the Earth, and other solid bodies in the solar system, so as to constrain the dynamic, tectonic and environmental processes of planetary evolution. Our research is nationally unique and multi-disciplinary, being based on experiment and theory, combining the expertise of our rock physics and mineral physics experimental laboratories with that of our computational mineral physics group. To reach our research objectives, we have:
§ Obtained over £2.5M of NERC support, and in Nov 2000 Dr Sammonds, Brodholt, Jones and Prof Meredith were awarded a JIF grant (£1.33M) to further extend and integrate our laboratory-based research programme on the “Dynamics & Transport in the Solid Earth & Planets”.
§ Prof. Price and Dr Brodholt were partners in the JREI initiative that funded (£532k) a local super computer for high performance modelling in Solid State Physics and Earth Sciences. They also established and head the NERC supported UK Computational Mineral Physics consortium, with facility access to the CSAR national Cray T3E supercomputer.
§ Our intellectual environment attracts excellent, young researchers, and we have 7 Royal Society or Leverhulme Research Fellows (Drs Alfe, Bell, Brodholt, Sammonds, Sankar, Vocadlo, and Wright) in this field.

Our recent successes are based on our past achievements. As planned in RAE96, Meredith, Sammonds and colleagues in Rock & Ice Physics have used experimental rock physics, underpinned by the theoretical framework of damage mechanics, to study fracture anisotropy in the shallow crust and its influence on fluid flow, and the role of fluids in shear rupture in the crust (with the Earthquake Research Institute, Univ Tokyo). They have been supported by the NERC “Micro to Macro” initiative. Alfe, Brodholt, Jones, Ross, Price, Vocadlo, and Wood have used diamond- and multi-anvil cell, and X-ray and neutron diffraction experiments with atomistic and quantum mechanical computer modelling to establish the equations of state, defect and rheological properties of olivine, wadsleyite, perovskite, iron and its alloys. Research is further strengthened by Richard Catlow and Paul McMillan of the Royal Institution, who hold research appointments in SGGS, and by Bell, Sankar and Wright’s Environmental Mineral Physics programme on the oxidation and breakdown of metal sulphides, mechanism for the uptake of arsenic from solution, and the synthesis and design of zeolites and other microporous shape-selective clean catalysts.

Recent highlights include (numbers in [] refer to individual's papers listed in RA2):
§ First integrated application of neutron diffraction and acoustic emission to rock physics, and the microscopic origin of thermal cracking in rock (Meredith, Wood, GRL in press).
§ In fulfilment of plans outlined in RAE 96, we have papers in Nature and Physical Review Letters describing the first ab initio free energy calculations on high P/T solid and liquid Fe and its alloys, to determine (i) the viscosity of the outer core, (ii) the high P melting temperature of Fe, and (iii) the probable composition of the outer and inner core (Alfe [3], Price [1,3], Vocadlo [2]).
§ Our calculations on the defect properties of perovskite in Nature show that Al could have a major effect on its elastic properties (Brodholt [1]).
§ Our high-pressure, electrical conductivity measurements, reported in Science, indicate a mantle thermal structure that is only consistent with whole-mantle convection (Brodholt [4]).
§ Development of the first atomistic models for ordered clusters in mesoporous silica (Bell in Science [1])
§ Paper in Nature, using simulation techniques to understand the mechanism and influence of coke-molecule formation during acid catalysis of H-ferrite zeolite (Bell, Sankar [4]).

Our JIF award will enable us to extend our study of planetary forming materials, including the experimental and theoretical study of high pressure ices, and the evolution of icy satellites. From 2002, we will be further strengthened by Dr David Dobson who has been awarded a NERC Advanced Fellowship in experimental petrology.

(2) Tectonic Evolution of the Crust & Lithosphere of the Earth & Terrestrial Planets
Profs Guest, McGuire, Platt, Vita-Finzi, Drs Downes, Dunkin, Hurford, Jones, Milsom, Platzman, Roberts, Sammonds, Stofan

Our objective is to determine the chemical and mechanical evolution of the Earth’s crust, and use this to interpret the surface evolution of other solid bodies in our solar system. We combine rock physics, palaeomagnetic and fission track laboratory studies with field studies and planetary imagery to develop models for terrestrial processes and test whether such models are applicable on other planetary bodies. To help achieve these goals:
§ Prof. Guest and his Planetary Science group joined the SGGS in 1999 and established in the School the nationally unique NASA-sponsored Regional Planetary Image Facility.
§ The creation of this attracted Dr Sarah Dunkin on a Royal Society Research Fellowship and Dr Ellen Stofan on a 3 year academic secondment from NASA’s JPL.
§ Prof. McGuire’s appointment to the Benfield Greig Chair in Geohazards (entirely funded by the re-insurance industry) provided further expertise in active volcanism.
§ Dr Hilary Downes was a partner in a JREI-funded multi-sourced multi-collector ICP-MS located at the University of London central facility at RHUL, and Dr Hurford obtained JREI funding (Nov 2000) to establish a U/Th/He Fission Track thermochronology laboratory at UCL.

In the RAE period, we developed methods of neotectonic and seismic hazard analysis (e.g. Roberts demonstrated that established earthquake models do not explain the kinematics of active faults and earthquake ruptures in central Greece, and created a new model which unites seismology, structural geology and palaeoseismology) and gravity field analysis (e.g. Milsom’s characterization of the sub-glacial Grimsvoten volcano, Iceland). Platzman and Platt integrated rock magnetics and geochronology to constrain the kinematic development of the Betic arcuate orogenic belt. Platt, Hurford and co-worker’s thermotectonic modelling (using Fission Track analysis) quantified uplift rates during Atlantic and Red Sea rifting, as well as defining basin maturation models. As planned in RAE96, planetary research has focused on volcanological, tectonic and stratigraphic studies of Venus using data from the Magellan mission. Three quadrangle maps by Guest and Stofan have been completed for the USGS/NASA Geologic Atlas of Venus, showing that Venusian history does not show the simple directionalism suggested by previous workers. Since her arrival, Dunkin has started working with RAL on an X-ray spectrometer flying on ESA's Europe's SMART-1 Moon mission and Mars Express. The first fracture toughness measurements on basalt under Venusian crustal conditions (Vita-Finzi and Sammonds) showed that the spacing of cracks on the Venusian plains were caused by gravitational effects associated with the Western Eistla topographic rise. In the field, Jones reported the first observation of massive carbonate melting caused by the Chicxulub K/T impact (about 500 km3). Guest and McGuire’s field-based volcanological studies on Etna, the Canaries, the Azores and Montserrat have refined their eruptive histories and have informed our Hazards research programme (see below). Downes showed that crustal xenoliths often post-date the formation of the exposed upper crust and must have been added to the base of the crust by underplating.

Recent highlights include (numbers in [] refer to individual's papers listed in RA2):
§ Paper in JGR by Guest [2] showing that coronae on Venus do not all involve an initial uplift nor was their formation confined to a single time period, as previously thought.
§ Modelling of the P-T history of rocks from the floor of the western Mediterranean which shows that wholesale convective removal of the subcontinental lithosphere preceded massive post-orogenic extension (Platt [1,2]).
§ Paper in Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta outlining the first thermal model for rifting and coastal uplift of the S Red Sea margins based on fission track analysis (Hurford [2]).

We will develop (i) our NERC-supported research into the timing and rate of exhumation of high-pressure rocks in collisional and accretionary orogens, using Lu-Hf dating of garnet, and (ii) the JREI and industry supported U/Th/He analysis methods on apatites to extend their use in thermal modelling of basins down to ~90° C, (iii) the detailed spectroscopic mapping of Mars (with colleagues at JPL) prior to planned future landings. As institutionally agreed in our Strategic Plan, a new staff appointment is planned in Planetary geophysics/geology.

(3) Palaeoenvironments
Profs Lord, McArthur, Pickering, Rawson, Drs Atkinson, Bown, Bristow, Kaminski, Platzman, Thurow, Underwood

We use geochemistry, palaeontology, palaeomagnetism and sedimentology to establish past environments, and to develop proxies that can be used in palaeoclimatic reconstructions. We have particular expertise in micropalaeontology, and focus on fundamental investigations of ecology/palaeoecology, evolution, and biostratigraphy. In the reporting period:
§ We recruited Dr Atkinson, who brings expertise in hydrogeology and in Quaternary science.
§ Prof McArthur was a Co-PI in a JREI-funded purchase of a multi-collector ICP-MS recently installed in the Department of Geology, RHUL.
§ We appointed a new entrant Dr Underwood (w.e.f. Sept 2000) who is developing a novel approach to palaeoenvironmental analysis.

As planned in RAE96, with Pickering and Thurow we have a strong focus on marine paleoenvironments. We have developed annual-scale models for Holocene varved sediments in marine environments and lacustrine settings, that will be used to evaluate the extent of geographic coherence of climate variability. Our results show an unstable Holocene climate with cycles similar to those observed during glacials. Icehouse climate cyclicity is compared to climate cycles observed in Mesozoic Greenhouse records (onshore Southern Morocco, Ocean Drilling Programme). Thurow has shown that sediment colour is a proxy for sediment composition/chemistry and has established 'Digital Sediment Colour Analysis' as the standard method to generate long time series from laminated/varved sequences to analyse climate cycles with an annual resolution. Bown’s work on nannofossils is also providing calibration for Milankovitch and sub-Milankovitch timescales. Platzman has developed the use of marine sediment magnetsim as a proxy for wind strength and aridity variation in the Quaternary. Atkinson has developed techniques for reconstructing Quaternary palaeo-climates, including applying his widely-used Mutual Climatic Range Method to plants and palaeo-water balance, isotope systematics of speleothems and biogenic aragonite as indicators of palaeo-precipitation patterns, and U/Th dating of Pleistocene interglacials and the last Neanderthals in Britain. Bristow has combined geomorphological, sedimentological and GPR with geochronological studies of sand dunes that revises the models for the age and development of coastal and desert dune systems. The LOWESS calibration published by McArthur and colleagues is now a global standard used by >50 groups world-wide for dating sediments using the Sr/Sr method. Lord, Bown and Kaminski form a group with microfossil expertise in Calcareous Nannofossils, Foraminifera, Ostracoda and Diatoms. We are currently studying the sea-floor recolonisation by benthic foraminifera following the Mt Pinatubo eruption (June 1991). Following RAE96, Rawson, via IUGS work, led research on global correlation of Cretaceous sequences and has initiated work on ammonites from the poorly known Southern Hemisphere Lower Cretaceous fauna. Invertebrate studies are now to be complemented by Underwood, whose investigations of Mesozoic sharks allow their application as indicators of palaeosalinity change, nutrient flow and temporal evolution of water masses.

Recent highlights are (numbers in [] refer to individual's papers listed in RA2):
§ Using Sr/Sr dating, integration of Northern and Southern Hemisphere biostratigraphy has overturned 50 years of Antarctic biostratigphic age assingment (McArthur [3]).
§ A chronological framework for the British interglacials corresponding to oxygen isotope stages 9 & 11, placing the major Anglian glaciation of Britain in OIS 12 (Atkinson [2,4]).
§ Comprehensive presentation of nannofossil biostratigraphy with new high-resolution zonation for Lower Cretaceous (Bown [3]).
§ A paper in Nature giving the first description of the origin and structure of longitudinal dunes (Bristow [1])
§ First study of benthic foraminiferal recovery after mass mortality event following volcanism (Kaminski [Marine Micropaleontology in press]).

In collaboration with the Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC) headed by Professor Rick Battarbee (UCL Geography) we intend using SRIF-support to establish a joint stable-isotope laboratory to analyse spatial and temporal climate variability in the Holocene-late Pleistocene and longer timescales. A new staff appointment in this field is planned in our institutionally agreed Strategic Plan to provide a closer link to climate change modelling.

(4) Polar Climate Modelling and Change.
Profs Wingham, Hunt FRS, Drs Feltham, Laxon, Sammonds.

Our objective is to study mechanisms and changes in the Earth's cryosphere that may affect Earth albedo, the polar atmosphere and ocean circulation, particularly processes affecting convection, and sealevel. We aim to use theoretical and laboratory-derived understanding to form new mesoscale models of interactions between the cryosphere, ocean and atmosphere, and to use ground and satellite observations to test the predictions of these and other climate models. To achieve this objective, we have co-located and expanded our cryospheric satellite (DSCP) and laboratory (SGGS) scientists, and, through strategic grant applications and new appointments, initiated parallel theoretical and numerical research. In particular, we have:
§ Provided leadership for the atmosphere and ocean modelling with the appointment (1998) of Prof. Lord Hunt FRS (formerly, Director General, Meteorological Office and Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge) to the SGGS and DSCP Chair in Climate Modelling (heralded in the 1996 RAE submission); and initiated theoretical study of sea ice with the appointment of Dr. D.L. Feltham (formerly DAMTP, Cambridge) to a 5-year UCL Fellowship.
§ Initiated at UCL atmosphere, ocean and sea ice modelling with funding from the NERC Universities Group of Atmospheric Modelling (Profs. Hunt and O’Neill, Univ. Reading) and the NERC COAPEC Thematic Program (Drs. Laxon & Feltham).
§ Provided long-term research funding by establishing (2000) under Prof. Wingham’s Directorship the NERC Centre for Polar Observation & Modelling (£2.2M over 5 years) with Prof. Hunt, Dr. Laxon and Prof. J. Dowdeswell of Univ. Bristol.
§ Created new opportunities for the measurement and study of large-scale fluctuation in Arctic sea ice through Prof. Wingham’s leadership with Dr. Laxon of the £80 M CryoSat (launch 2003), the first European Space Agency Earth Sciences mission selected through open, scientific competition.
§ Created new opportunities for climate, rheological and other ice core studies through Dr. Sammond’s installation on the UCL site of a new, large-scale refrigerated ice laboratory with British Petroleum support, equipped with a true triaxial loading cell for ice, funded by a Royal Society Paul Instrument Fund award.

This strategic expansion has depended on the impact of our scientific work. In the RAE period, Hunt has shown why coherent mesoscale motions result in atmosphere forecast errors growing more slowly than previously thought; how current parameterisations of turbulence must be changed, and how Coriolis effects change calculations of mountain drag, coastal air flows and vertical fluxes of momentum in the presence of stable stratification. Feltham has initiated fundamental studies of how wind stress separately affects sea ice and ocean motion (presently impossible with current sea ice models). Wingham used 10 years of satellite altimeter measurements to determine that the contribution to sea level of 60% of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is less than 60 Gt/yr (a six-fold reduction in IPCC 1995 estimate). Using radar altimetry and interferometry, Wingham has confirmed IPCC speculation that ice-dynamic thinning is occurring in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet interior. Laxon has developed the first measurements from space of sea ice thickness, (demanded by e.g. CLIVAR). He has shown that fragmentary surface observations of Arctic sea ice thinning are in fact representative of the entire Arctic Ocean. Sammonds has used laboratory-derived fracture laws to predict surface and bottom crevassing of Antarctic ice shelves and compared these with satellite and field measurements to confirm the first large-scale application of quantitative fracture mechanics in the Earth Sciences. He is also providing the first laboratory measurement of anisotropy in ice rheology, ignorance of which is a well-known limitation of ice sheet modelling. He is examining in the laboratory the contribution of sub-glacial deformation of unlithified sediments to overall ice sheet motion.

Recent highlights are:
§ The first determination by satellite of Antarctic Ice Sheet mass imbalance (Wingham et al., 1998, Science, 282, 456-458, 1998).

§ The first direct evidence of unsteady ice flow in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet interior (Science, 291, 862-864, 2001).
§ Discovery of ocean-ice interaction leading to corrugations of sea ice thickness (Feltham et al., J. Fluid Mech., 391, 337-357, 1999)
§ The first theory for the large drag forces produced by mountains and associated wind speed up effects (Hunt, Q. J. Roy. Met. Soc., 127B, 1-33).
§ First application of fracture mechanics and satellite imagery to predicting Antarctic ice shelf surface crevassing and break-up (Sammonds, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 2973-2987,1999).

We will develop our newly funded NERC Centre for Polar Observation & Modelling to investigate numerically and observationally mesoscale atmosphere-ice-ocean interactions, particularly in regions of deep-water formation. We will use the new satellite observations to investigate fluctuations of Arctic sea ice and of the WAIS ice sheet in parallel with the first BAS expedition into the Thawites sector of WAIS. Our interactions with Ice Physics will be strengthened further by the use of our expanded cold-room facilities to test ice core from the EPICA borehole at Dome C in Antarctica, and develop an anisotropic flow law for ice.

(5) Applied and Environmental Earth Sciences
Profs Barker, Guest, Hunt FRS, McArthur, McGuire, Meredith, Pickering, White, Drs Atkinson, Bristow, Burgess, Connell, Hudson-Edwards, Roberts, Sammonds

Our research allows scientists from different disciplines to jointly tackle important problems of social and economic relevance whose resolution depends on a quantitative understanding of the environment. We encourage this focus, as the study of applied problems stimulates new areas of fundamental research. In the RAE period, four initiatives have taken place:
§ Established the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre with insurance industry support, led by McGuire. The Centre provides expert risk assessment to the re-insurance industry with particular emphasis on extreme weather events and volcanic hazards. It provides an entry-point for companies to access 39 experts in 7 Universities and London Colleges. The BGHRC has developed strong links with industry and the financial sector, and is supported by the TSUNAMI initiative of the DTI, NERC and Insurance industry.
§ As planned in RAE96, we have strengthened hydrogeology with the appointments of Dr Connell in computational groundwater flow modelling, Dr Hudson-Edwards in environmental geochemistry, and Dr Atkinson in tracer and contaminant transport. Prof. Barker and Dr. Atkinson have established a Groundwater Tracing Unit to help users implement the UK Environment Agency's guidelines on best practice, which was co-authored by Barker.
§ Pickering and White have established industry-supported consortia (>£800k in the reporting period) to develop novel solutions to hydrocarbon reservoir characterization.
§ Hunt is organising the first conference (Sept. 2002) on London’s Environment.

Hazard Research. McGuire and colleagues co-ordinated EU-funded projects looking at large volume landslides, and at lava flow properties. They produced a volcanic emergency manual for small Caribbean islands (UK Department for International Development funded), and defined the mechanism by which the lateral collapse of volcanoes is triggered. They were involved in evaluating risks associated with future eruptions of Uluwan volcano (PNG), and McGuire was a Senior Scientist at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory during the recent emergency. With Meredith and Sammonds, they study fracturing in volcanic systems, controlled by subcritical crack growth at depth that causes accelerating deformation and eventual catastrophic failure, and model volcanic-related seismicity, to assess the landslide disaster preparedness in the Canary Islands. Guest has undertaken a detailed reconstruction of the past 5000 year history and styles of eruption of the Fogo volcano, Azores. Roberts is developing high-resolution seismic hazard maps based on geological slip-rates rather than historical earthquake data. Saunders has established a research group specialising in the long-range statistical prediction of industry-sensitive weather and extreme weather. These include (a) hurricanes, typhoons, and European windstorms, and, more recently, (b) rainfall, droughts and floods, and (c) temperature extremes. Bristow’s NERC and MAFF-funded studies on spits and nesses, and the impact of sea-level rise on the north Norfolk barrier island coastline have been used in making coastal management decisions around the UK.

Hydrogeology & Environmental Chemistry. Barker, Burgess, Connell and Atkinson address groundwater resources management and protection through research on the processes that control groundwater flow and quality. The research emphasises linking theory and modelling with data from artificial and natural tracers and hydrochemistry. They work closely with the BGS and the Environment Agency (EA), as well as many UK and world-wide consultancies. The Group undertook research for the EA to underpin their Groundwater Protection Policy, developing a practicable method to delineate protection zones for fractured aquifers. This led to formation of our Groundwater Tracing Unit (GTU), which gained >£175k funding and produced eight refereed publications in its first 18 months. Hudson-Edwards has used an interdisciplinary geomorphological-geochemical approach to the long-term fate of sediment-borne heavy metal pollution in the Rio Guadiamar arising from the disastrous 1998 Aznalcóllar tailings dam spill in southwest Spain, and has shown that the clean-up operations have further remobilized the spill-deposited contaminants. McArthur, Burgess and colleagues have developed a generic model that explains worldwide severe arsenic pollution of groundwater, a problem which afflicts 28 million people in Bangladesh alone. Predictive testing of the model is under way in West Bengal and Vietnam using NERC and DfID funding.

Reservoir Characterisation. Pickering established the Ainsa Project, funded by a consortium of seven oil companies, aimed at understanding deep-marine sediment transport and deposition processes. This project is unique in the study of ancient deep-marine clastic sediments, by its inter-disciplinary, integrated outcrop-subsurface approach. Following RAE96, White's research in Exploration Seismology concentrated on developing techniques (in part in collaboration with Worthington (at Imperial College)) via an industry-funded programme and with MacBeth (at Heriot-Watt) to map the lithological properties and fluid content of hydrocarbon reservoirs, guided by (a) petrophysical and seismic modelling, and (b) data possessing and analysis.

Recent highlights include (numbers in [] refer to individual's papers listed in RA2):
§ The first demonstration that climate change has no discernible influence on Tropical Cyclone numbers in any northern hemisphere basin (Saunders), contrary to the view that the frequency of tropical storms will increase with global warming.
§ McGuire [1] has identified a link, published in Nature, between the intensity of Mediterranean volcanism over the last 80,000 years and the rate of sea-level change, illustrating how our applied research generates insights into fundamental processes.
§ The production for the EA of the national guidelines for groundwater tracing (Barker [4]).
§ Publication (Nature, Water Resources Research) and wide adoption of a generic model for natural arsenic pollution of groundwater in deltaic environments (McArthur, Burgess [1] and in Applied Geochemistry 15, 2000, Water Resources Research, 37, 2001).
§ White's petrophysical model [1,2] for predicting P- and S-wave velocities in consolidated siliciclastics has been adopted by many oil companies and geophysical contracting companies in interpreting their seismic data.

In seismology, we plan (i) to develop further diagnostics and tools (e.g. from thin bed responses) that provide the foundation for genuinely quantitative interpretations of angle-dependent reflectivities, and (ii) to extend our research in multi-component seabed and down-hole seismology. Pickering has a collaboration with Schlumberger to establish a reservoir modelling programme. In Hazards we will start operation and assessment of Real-time kinematic GPS for volcano monitoring, and begin research on the anthropological impact of the Toba 'super-eruption'. In hydrochemistry, we are developing a programme on As speciation as we seek to understand the source, mobility, and fate of arsenic in the environment.

(6) Staff Development and Research Management

A School Management Committee, chaired by Prof. Price, oversees the formulation and implementation of our research policy. Our staffing policy is to appoint researchers with outstanding potential or internationally proven research ability (we have 14 Professors and 6 Readers in our submission), and to encourage them to grow and expand their skills and research base. We attract excellent, young researchers, and have 8 Royal Society and Leverhulme Research Fellows. We plan jointly their long-term career development. Following UCL policy and agreed planning, Drs Brodholt, Sammonds and Wright already have permanent positions underwritten after the 8th year of their Fellowships. We consider the presence of our young Research Fellows and the appointment of the four new academics (Drs Connell, Feltham, Hudson-Edwards and Underwood) as a guarantee of our continuing research vitality. We are concerned that new entrants can develop their research strengths still further, thus when appointed, younger staff have reduced teaching loads (usually half of the first few years are totally free for research). New staff have Mentors to help them establish their research. Connell, Hudson-Edwards and Feltham have already won support from NERC or ESPRC. We also train our RAs and PhD students in subject specific skills, and in generic and transferable skills (including IT, oral and poster presentations) via courses run by our Graduate School. A supervisory panel oversees their academic progression and development.

Users of this website should note that the information is not intended to be a complete record of all research centres in the UK

Copyright 2002 - HEFCE, SHEFC, ELWa, DEL

Last updated 17 October 2003

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