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Research output per year

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Personal profile


I am a geoscientist with over 30 years of academic and industrial experience. My research interests include precious metals exploration; characterisation of industrial  wastes; water quality in mining, oil and gas extraction; mineral carbon capture systems; intramontane sedimentary basin evolution in the north Atlantic region, and tectonic processes in Himalaya-style mountain-belts. My teaching includes Earth systems science, water quality, Earth resources, environmental technologies, geographical information systems and forensic science. External activities include promotion and protection of geodiversity in Scotland, and public communication of the geological and environmental  sciences.

Area of academic expertise - outline

My research is spans several fields of the Earth and environmental sciences, mainly founded upon mineral science, petrology and geochemistry. Areas of expertise include:

  • Ore deposit geology (mainly precious metals)
  • Provenance of clastic sedimentary rocks
  • Characterisation of mineral-like industrial wastes (e.g. steel wastes)
  • Risk assessment of contaminated land (mainly mining, oil and gas)
  • Petrology and structural geology of high-grade crystalline basement terrains
  • Tectonic evolution of collisional orogens
  • Conservation of natural stone masonry
  • Microbial interactions with rock materials

Practical skills include:

  • Microbeam analytical techniques (SEM, ESEM, electron probe)
  • Petrography of all rock-types and solid-phase wastes
  • Geological mapping of crystalline basement terrains
  • Provenance analysis of clastic sediments
  • Application of geographical information systems (GIS) to geological mapping/modelling
  • Analysis of rocks, soils and waters by ICP-OES and ICP-MS
  • Geodiversity audits

Current research activities

  • Exploration methods for gold ore deposits (mainly Southern Scotland)
  • Environmental risk assessment for steel process wastes
  • Water quality and contaminated land issues in an area of historic lead-mining
  • Water quality and treatment issues from shale oil and gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing
  • Bio-availability of potentially toxic elements in soils from municipal allotments
  • Mineral carbon capture & storage in basalts in Scotland
  • Provenance of the Old Red Sandstone in relation to late-orogenic tectonics in the Caledonides of Scandinavia and Scotland
  • Ultra-high pressure metamorphism, metasomatism and subduction-collision tectonics in the Scandinavian Caledonide orogen
  • Tectonic modelling of Himalayan-style collisional mountain belts
  • High pressure metamorphic rocks in the Proterozoic and Archaean basement rocks of Scotland

Desired research direction

  • Sustainable exploration and production principles for metal resources in economically mature regions
  • Enhancing precision and resource targetting for metal resources
  • 3D geological modelling and visualisation as a basis for urban planning, risk and resources
  • Applications of findings from the Scandinavian Caledonides to understanding deep-level tectonic processes in the modern Himalaya.

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

Geodiversity audits

Masonry and stone artifact conservation

Target collaborative organisations

Renfrewshire Council

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, New York, USA

Krakow University of Science and Technology, Poland

Uppsala University, Sweden

University of Manchester, UK

University of Glasgow, UK

University of Portsmouth, UK

Target collaborative companies



External positions

Executive Member, Scottish Geodiversity Forum

1 Oct 2012 → …

Member, Fossil Grove Advisory Group

Honorary Secretary, Geological Society of Glasgow

UK representitive, International Eclogite Conference Co-ordinating Committee

Member, Scottish Geodiversity Charter Working Group


  • QE Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology
  • Geochemistry
  • Structural geology
  • Economic geology
  • Basin evolution
  • Tectonics
  • Solid phase analysis
  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • Environmental mineralogy
  • Contaminated land
  • Geographical information systems
  • Wastes management


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