UCL Earth Sciences


Research Areas

Dynamics and Evolution, Environmental Hazards, Paleoenvironments, Polar Modelling and Change, Plant Dynamics and Evolution.
Crust Dynamics & Evolution

Crust Dynamics & Evolution

We study how the mechanical, physical and transport properties of Earth’s crust determine its response to tectonic forces and the transfer of matter and energy from and to other elements of the Earth system – atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and mantle.

Environmental Hazards

Natural & Environmental Hazards

Our research addresses the mechanisms and processes that underpin natural hazards, the prediction, forecasting and monitoring of hazardous geophysical events, and community preparedness via effective early warning, risk communication and improved hazard and risk perception.

Palaeoclimate, Palaeobiology, and Palaeoenvironments


Our research is focussed on the study of sediment and fossil archives using complimentary techniques (stratigraphy, sedimentology, geochemistry, palaeontology) and shared laboratories. Our aim is to understand the history of Earth’s life and climate, and the interactions between the two in both the marine and terrestrial realms.

Polar Climate Modelling and Change

Polar Climate Modelling and Change

We study the role of the cryosphere in Earth’s present climate. The work is pursued through fluid-dynamic and thermodynamic theory, laboratory experiments, computer models, field experiments and satellite observation. We aim to bring these techniques to bear on the key uncertainties introduced by the presence of ice in predicting changes to Earth’s sea level and ocean circulation.

Planet Dynamics and Evolution

Planet Dynamics and Evolution

Our research covers a wide range of areas spanning the Earth’s inner core, outer core, lower mantle, upper mantle, the lithosphere, the surfaces and interiors of the Moon, Mars and Venus, meteorites, and, more recently, the evolution and interiors of the icy moons such as Titan. The overarching rationale is to understand the properties, behaviour and evolution of the Earth and the other planetary bodies, and their place within the solar system. more


The joint UCL-Birkbeck Institute for Earth and Planetary Sciences (IEPS) takes full advantage of the wider strengths of the respective Universities through engagement with inter-disciplinary research centres and institutes, including the Institute for Origins via our leadership of the Centre for Planetary Science, and the UCL Grand Challenges in Global Health and Sustainable Cities.