UCL Earth Sciences

Biogeochemistry Laboratory






Biogeochemistry Laboratory
  • Location: Biogeochemistry - Room OG5C, Ground Floor, Kathleen Lonsdale Building
  • Telephone Extension: 32362
  • Laboratory Manager Prof Juergen Thurow


The Biogeochemistry lab houses a LC/MS and elemental analyser.  The lab also offers a dedicated work area for solvent extraction of biomarkers. 

Agilent 1200/6130 LC/MS

Agilent 1200

The LC/MS is dedicated to the measurement of TEX86 and related indices as palaeotemperature proxies. The general group of GDGTs (glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers) is derived from the cell membrane of archaea and bacteria, the remains of which are ubiquitous in marine and terrestrial sedimentary organic matter. Bacteria modify the composition of their cell membrane when ambient conditions, like temperature, change to regulate osmotic exchange with the environment. The ratio of different GDGT molecules relative to each other in marine organic matter correlates with ambient temperature. This ratio, TEX86, yields accurate sea surface temperature estimates from sediments dating as far back as the Eocene and the Cretaceous. We found that sediments with as little as 0.3% organic carbon yield well preserved GDGTs.

FlashEA Elemental Analyser

The FlashEA can measure the abundance of organic elements in samples as small as 0.01 mg depending on the type of material. It is routinely set up for analysis of C and N in sediment samples, but can be reconfigured for CHNS-O or any combination of those elements.

If you require use of the Biogeochemistry Laboratory, please contact the laboratory manager, Prof Juergen Thurow, to discuss the work proposed.

After discussion with the laboratory manager, should technical assistance be needed for the work, fill out this Geochemistry Job Requisition Form and e-mail it to the chair of the Geochemistry Scheduling Forum, Prof. John McArthur.

Please note requests for assistance with student projects must originate from supervisors.