Dr Alexander Brasier

Dr Alexander Brasier
Dr Alexander Brasier

Dr Alexander Brasier

Senior Lecturer



Senior Lecturer in Geology, University of Aberdeen, 2018 - 

Lecturer in Geology, University of Aberdeen, 2014 - 2018

Tenure track postdoc, VU University Amsterdam, 2012 - 2014

Postdoc, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre / Glasgow University, 2009 - 2012

Stratigrapher, Neftex, 2007 - 2009

PhD, University of East Anglia School of Environmental Sciences, 2003 - 2007

International Exchange student, Queens University Ontario, Canada, 2001 - 2002

BSc Geology, University of Edinburgh, 1999 - 2003

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Examinations Officer for Geology

Academic Lead for Aberdeen Centre for Electron Microscopy, Analysis and Characterisation (ACEMAC): https://www.abdn.ac.uk/business-info/facilities-and-expertise/acemac-nano-scale-electron-microscopy-and-analysis-facility-846.php

Member of the Core Facilities Working Group (2017)

Member of the Space Enhanced Teaching Working Group (2018)

External Memberships

Chief Editor, Sedimentology (2021 - )

Associate Editor, Sedimentology (2017 - 2020)

External examiner for PhD theses, including Hannes Claes (KU Leuven, 2015), Matthew Warke (University of Manchester, 2017) and Ying Shields-Zhou (UCL, 2017)

Member of the board of the Scottish Microscopy Society (2021 - )

Prizes and Awards

2020 - 2021 - Funniest Lecturer Award (Aberdeen University Students Association / University of Aberdeen)

2018 - 2019 - Most Inspiring Lecturer Award (Aberdeen University Students Association / University of Aberdeen)

2020 Sun Shu Prize (International), International Association of Sedimentologists


Current Research

Stable isotope and elemental geochemistry combined with petrography (optical and electron microscopy) of carbonate rocks and sediments for palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, exploring connections between climate, biosphere and tectonics through all of Earth history, from the Quaternary to the Archaean.

Astrobiology and geobiology, including processes of microbe fossilisation and identification of ancient microbial fossils (see for example http://theconversation.com/the-hunt-for-life-on-mars-new-findings-on-rock-chimneys-could-hold-key-to-success-97998 and https://www.newscientist.com/article/2172262-these-eerie-rock-towers-may-have-been-built-by-microorganisms).

Diagenesis, particularly of carbonate rocks and sediments, distinguishing original from secondary (alteration) features.

FAR-DEEP (Fennoscandia Arctic Russia – Drilling Early Earth Project) team member, examining the oxygen and carbon stable isotope record of Palaeproterozoic deep marine to shall marine and lacustrine carbonates from cores drilled by the ICDP, including regional vs global controls on the Lomagundi-Jatuli δ13C excursion and purported global glaciations in the Palaeoproterozoic.

Examining deposition and diagenesis of non-marine carbonates (microbial tufas, hot-spring travertines, soil calcretes and cave speleothems), including the impact of the arrival and diversification of vascular plants on these terrestrial carbonates. I do this using a combination of field techniques, petrography and (isotope and elemental) geochemistry. This work has both applied and academic relevance.


Numerous collaborators, including (but certainly not limited to):

Peir Pufahl (Queen's University, Ontario)

John Reijmer and Hubert Vonhof (VU University, Amsterdam / MPI Mainz)

Enrico Capezzuoli (University of Florence)

Mike Rogerson (Northumbria University)

Tony Fallick (SUERC), Tony Prave (St Andrews), Victor Melezhik (NGU), Dan Condon (BGS)

Anneleen Foubert and Eva de Boever (Universite de Fribourg, Switzerland)


Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate Teaching:

GL1005 The Earth through Geological Time (Palaeontology and Stratigraphy)

GL1505 Earth's Materials (Sedimentology)

GL2014 Earth's Life, Environments and Climate through Time / Stratigraphical Principles (Course Coordinator)

GL2510 Introduction to Field Geology (Arran fieldtrip)

GL4028 Geochemistry and Geofluids (Thurso fieldtrip)

GL4530 Planetary Geology / Geological Synthesis (Course Coordinator)


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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Journals