Oxygen burrowed away

Multicellular animals probably evolved at the seafloor after a rise in oceanic oxygen levels. In 2013, Graham Shields-Zhou and his Chinese colleague Maoyan Zhu proposed that when these animals began to rework (bioturbate) the seafloor for the first time close to the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary, they triggered a negative feedback that reduced and stabilised global atmospheric and ocean oxygen levels.  More...

Senior Promotions

Senior Promotions

Warmest congratulations to Paul Upchurch and Ian Wood on their promotions to Professor of Palaeobiology & Professor of Crystallography respectively. We also would like to congratulate Dr  Pieter Vermeesch on his promotion to Reader in Geochronology. More...

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Rock & Ice Physics Laboratory

Experimental & theoretical rock physics, ice mechanics & petrologyapplied to planetary dynamics, geohazards, sub-surface reservoirs & ice sheets

The Rock & Ice Physics Laboratory (RIPL) at UCL is a major research facility which forms part of the Earth Sciences Department. RIPL has over 15 members and consists of 11 laboratories, housing over £4M of research equipment., supported by over £2 million of current peer-reviewed funding. The Rock & Ice Physics Laboratory has a unique breadth of experience and ability to design and build its own experimental apparatus.


We study the physical behaviour of ice and rocks that make up the surface and interior of the Earth, and other solid bodies in the solar system, so as to constrain the dynamic, tectonic and environmental processes of planetary evolution. Our research is nationally unique and multi-disciplinary, being based on experiment and theory.