Geology and Geophysics

Geology and Geophysics


Earth science - looking back into deep time and forward to our future needs.

Study Information

At a Glance

Degree Qualification
MSc or PhD

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The Department has an international reputation, with many former graduates in prominent positions in academia, industry and government worldwide. The Department has excellent support from technical and administrative staff and our laboratory facilities include geochemical and geophysics equipment and well-equipped seismic interpretation and petrophysics laboratories.

Through collaboration with other Schools in the University, we have access to a range of other equipment including ICP-MS, XRD, Raman and NMR. A wide range of stable and radiogenic isotope facilities is accessible through the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre in East Kilbride.

Our Research

Our research is concerned with the geological evolution of planet Earth including its sedimentary basins and mountain belts. Sedimentary basins contain the long-term record of the planet’s evolving environment and climate; they chart the tectonic evolution of the lithosphere; they hold the bulk of the Earth’s resources including, water and significant concentrations of economic minerals.

Our research embraces the formation of sedimentary basins and geodynamics, their structure and sedimentary fill, the evolution of the deposits and their fluids and the generation, location and exploitation of resources.
We address not only fundamental geological questions concerning Earth processes but also the development of resources for societal benefit - including the energy transition and use of geological reservoirs as repositories of Co2 and societal waste.

Prospective research students should define their research interests explicitly in terms of the research themes of the discipline noted below:

Sedimentary and tectonic processes in both modern and ancient systems to quantify earth surface processes through deep time. We look at the tectonics and structure of the lithosphere, notably the tectonic influence on sedimentary systems and the dynamics of lithosphere deformation.

Supervisors: Dr Stephen Bowden, Dr Rachel Brackenridge, Dr Alex Brasier, Professor Adrian Hartley, Dr Malcolm Hole, Professor John Howell, Professor Andrew Hurst, Professor David Jolley, Dr David Muirhead, Dr Joyce Neilson, Dr Colin North, Dr Nick Schofield, Professor John Underhill, Professor Ian Alsop, Professor Clare Bond, Professor Rob Butler, Dr David Cornwell, Dr Iraklis Giannakis, Dr Amy Gilligan, Professor Dave Healy, Dr Katrin Loer


Our postgraduate students join a range of industries and research institutes in the resource and energy sectors and environmental and Earth consulting. Other significant areas of employment are further education (higher degrees) and academic research posts.

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Contact Details

Postgraduate Research School - School of Engineering, Geosciences and Natural and Computing Science
University of Aberdeen
Crombie Hall
AB24 3TS