Our Institute

our institute

The Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences (IEPS) comprises the two departments of the University of London located in Bloomsbury: the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London, and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Birkbeck College London. We are committed to staff engagement in knowledge transfer, exchange and enterprise to maximise the impact, reach and value of its expert knowledge and key research findings.



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News from IEPS

The BBC BluePlanet

Newly discovered ocean plankton named after BBC Blue Planet.

Although measuring only thousandths of a millimetre, these plankton play a pivotal role in marine ecosystems as a crucial source of food for many ocean dwelling organisms. They are also incredibly valuable for studying the impact of climate change on ocean life now and across the previous 220 million years.
The plankton – called coccolithophores – are single cells surrounded by a calcite shell that varies drastically in shape across different species, acting as armour against predators.
“Although microscopic, the plankton are so abundant that they are visible from space as swirling blooms in the surface oceans, and form our most iconic rocks with their calcite forms making up the bulk of the white chalk cliffs and downs of southern England,” explained study co-author Professor Paul Bown.
It is the ability to produce this calcite shell that is being disrupted through ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is a symptom of climate change whereby rising atmospheric carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, increasing its acidity.
By studying fossilised plankton shells or ‘coccoliths’ in samples from drilling down deep into the ocean bed, scientists can map the impact of climate change and other global events over a very long period of time and use this to inform what might happen to in the future.

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Published: Apr 17, 2018 6:26:00 PM

second humanitarian summit image

Second UCL Humanitarian Summit on 19th June 2018

19th June 2018, 09:00 – 17:00 More...

Published: Apr 17, 2018 10:02:00 AM

digital health conference

8th International Conference on Digital Health on 23-26th April 2018 in Lyon, France

The 8th International Conference on Digital Health (www.acm-digitalhealth.org), supported by UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction and The Web Conference 2018, held in-cooperation with ACM Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD) in Lyon, France on 23rd-26th April 2018. More...

Published: Apr 17, 2018 9:57:00 AM

KLB Supergraphics

New department, new Head of Department

I will be taking over as Head of Department from Prof Lars Stixrude in July. While Lars will remain in charge during the next few months, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him for all his efforts on behalf of this department. In particular, Lars and John Bowles (with the support of our Space Committee) have done a fantastic job of guiding this department through the difficult process of building renovation. Some of us moved into the finished west wing of the Kathleen Lonsdale Building last year, but it was not until January this year that the east wing was finished and we essentially came together as a united department in a single building. The east wing is particularly important to us because it contains our new teaching labs, with a combined capacity of around 90 people. More...

Published: Mar 26, 2018 10:26:00 AM

ARIEL

ARIEL selected as ESA’s next medium-class science mission

Giovanna Tinetti, a member of the Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL/Birkbeck, and her team at UCL are leading a multi-million pound European mission to study newly discovered planets after it was selected today as the next European Space Agency science mission. More...

Published: Mar 20, 2018 1:08:00 PM


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