2018 – Present: Senior Lecturer in Geochemistry, University of Edinburgh

  • Open ended faculty position with research focused on geochemical tracing of waters and gases for GeoEnergy applications (Carbon capture and storage, geothermal energy, unconventional hydrocarbons) and magmatic degassing.
  • Deputy programme director for GeoEnergy MSc and Convener of Edinburgh Earth Resources

2013 – 2018: Chancellor’s Fellow in Geochemistry, University of Edinburgh

  • 5 year University of Edinburgh funded fellowship position culminating with progression onto academic staff.
  • Focused on building a research group around developing natural tracer techniques to monitoring of CO2 storage and unconventional gas extraction.

2012 – 2013: SCCS and PANACEA Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

  • SCCS Fellowship focused on engaging SCCS research activities with active CO2 injection and storage projects in North America.
  • PANACEA consortium project funded through 7th framework programme of the European Union, focused on predicting and monitoring the long-term behaviour of CO2 injected in deep geological formations.

2009 – 2012: NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

The role of natural tracers in CO2 storage and monitoring

  • Personal Fellowship focused on identifying the role of natural tracers in CO2 storage and monitoring
  • Using helium and neon isotopes as tracers, I have identified the presence of dissolved CO2 in natural springs and groundwater wells which has migrated from the natural St. Johns Dome CO2 reservoir in Arizona, US.
  • I have applied similar methods to unequivocally determine that CO2 injected into the Weyburn oil field (Saskatewan, Canada), to improve oil recovery, is not leaking onto a farm located above the field. This was part of an independent investigation into the allegations undertaken by the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of CO2 (IPAC-CO2) which I was selected to participate in.

2006 – 2009: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh (2 years) University of Glasgow (1 year)

Investigating CO2 storage and migration in natural analogues and the implications for engineered CO2 storage

  • Principle Investigators Prof. Stuart Haszeldine (University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Zoe Shipton (University of Glasgow).
  • A full time postdoctoral research assistant post funded by the UK Consortium on Carbon Capture and Storage (UKCCSC) project as part of the Towards a Sustainable Energy Economy (TSEC) programme by NERC.
  • Project primary focused on identifying the long term storage mechanisms of CO2 contained in natural CO2 reservoirs and the identification of likely CO2 leakage pathways from the reservoirs to the surface.
  • I determined the mechanisms and conditions that had stored the CO2 in these natural reservoirs over geological time periods, discovering that a large amount of CO2 had dissolved into the reservoir formation water. These findings were published in Nature in 2009
  • Using noble gases and carbon stable isotopes I was able to determine the origins and approximate residence times of the CO2 stored in natural CO2 reservoirs located in the Colorado Plateau region of the USA. This was published in Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta in 2008.

Academic Education and Qualifications

2006 – 2002: NERC Funded PhD Student, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (SEAES), University of Manchester

Deep Magmatic Degassing and the Colorado Uplift

  • Supervisor: Prof. Chris Ballentine
  • A geochemical investigation into the source and composition of CO2 from natural reservoirs and springs from the four corners region of the USA, using noble gas and carbon stable isotope tracers.
  • Planned and implemented two fieldtrips to the US for specialist sample collection:
  • May – June 2003: Four week trip collecting samples from producing gas fields in CO, UT, AZ and NM
  • July 2004: 10 day trip to collect spring samples from the Green River region, UT.

1998 – 2002: BSc (Hons) Earth Sciences (2.1), University of Glasgow

  • An extensive four year course covering all aspects of Earth Science including hard and soft rock geology, glaciology, quaternary science and environmental chemistry. Included extensive supervised fieldwork in the UK and Europe. During the course I completed;
  • Four weeks of independent field work in the Assynt region of Northwest Scotland.
  • Dissertation focused on the application of structural geological principles to glacier deformation and involved three weeks of supervised fieldwork on the Tungnaarjökull region situated on Iceland’s Vatnajökull icecap.

Relevant Employment

2002 – 2005: Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Manchester

  • Assisted with teaching of laboratory practicals in the subjects of geochemistry, lithopsheric processes, structural geology, mapping and field techniques. Demonstrated all aspects of geology on undergraduate fieldtrips to France, Tenerife and North Wales.

2003 – 2005: Resource Submitter, PSIgate, University of Manchester

  • Employed on a casual basis by the Physical Sciences Information Gateway to find, catalogue and submit high quality resources to the PSIgate Catalogue. PSIgate provides free access to high quality Internet resources for students, researchers and practitioners in: astronomy, chemistry, earth sciences, physics, science history and policy.

2000 and 2002: Soil and Sediment Sampler, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham

  • Employed for a total of 13 weeks over two summers as a voluntary worker to collect soil and river sediment samples as part of the BGS Geochemical baseline survey project (G-BASE). Worked in the urban regions of Coventry and Glasgow and rural areas of Norfolk, Devon and Cornwall.

Academic Responsibilities:

2008 – 2012: Founding Member and Co-Chair of the School of GeoSciences Research Staff Organisation

2007 – Present: Organiser of the Research Seminar Series for the Earth and Planetary Science Research Group at the School of GeoSciences

Professional Memberships:

2002 – Present: Fellow of the Geological Society of London

2005 – Present: Member of the Geochemical Society