I’m Caroline Peacock, PI of the MinOrg project and Professor of Biogeochemistry in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. I completed my PhD at the University of Bristol, before moving to the University of Southampton as a Lecturer in Geochemistry based at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton, and afterwards to the University of Leeds as an Associate Professor and now Professor of Biogeochemistry.
I’m an experimental biogeochemist with a focus on the application of fundamental chemical principles to understand the Earth system. In particular I’m interested in how minerals help control the reactivity and cycling of bio-essential elements in the marine and terrestrial environments. Our work here in MinOrg explores the mineralogical controls on organic carbon degradation versus preservation in marine sediments and seawater, and ultimately how minerals and mineral building blocks might help control Earth’s climate and oxygenation. When I’m not crushing on rocks and minerals I’m a gym freak, with an elite level deadlift and squat!
I’m Oliver Moore, a Post-Doc on the MinOrg project working at the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. I originally did my BSc and MSc at Leeds, before moving to Bristol to do a PhD in geochemistry and my first Post-Doc position… but now I’m back!
My research focuses on the fundamental mechanisms that drive organic carbon stabilisation within marine sediments, both on the surfaces of minerals and in porewater. I extensively use synchrotron based techniques, such as STXM-NEXAFS, to examine how chemical changes at the molecular level can impact global biogeochemical cycles. In my spare time I like making a racket with a guitar, collecting records and playing those records out at club nights.
I’m Ke-Qing Xiao, a postdoc in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. I did my PhD in Aarhus University, Denmark, where I studied microbial methane cycling in marine surface sediment. My current research is supported by the ERC project “MinOrg” led by Prof. Caroline Peacock. The major work is to characterize microbial degradation of various mineral-associated organic carbons, involving interactions between minerals, organic carbon and microbes.
I’m a geomicrobiologist and my main research interest lies in understanding microbially-mediated geochemical processes. I am always glad to combine geochemical and microbiological analysis to get a better understanding of our mother nature!
I often play badminton in my spare time, and do some running except during winter time.
I am Peyman Babakhani, working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds. I got a BEng in civil and MEng in hydrology engineering. My PhD was a dual-degree program between University of Liverpool and National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan) in which I worked on the interactions and transport of nanoparticulates in aquatic environments and in porous media.
My main research interest is hydrologic and environmental modelling with a focus on the fate and transport of particulate and dissolved matter. Currently my role in the MinOrg project is to develop a numerical model to incorporate attachment/adsorption of particulate/dissolved organic matter onto the surface of minerals. Following this, I am going to incorporate various mechanisms and theories from particle and solute transport physics into the current biogeochemistry model in order to obtain a better insight into the cycling of carbon in the environment. As extracurricular activities, I read non-scientific books, practice meditation, or go running, swimming, climbing…
I’m Clare Woulds, Associate Professor in Water, Soil and Carbon Interactions at the University of Leeds. My expertise is in marine benthic biogeochemistry, organic geochemistry, and stable isotope tracing and my research is broadly concerned with studying the biogeochemical processes occurring in marine sediments, with an emphasis on the cycling and burial of organic carbon and nitrogen, and the role played by benthic fauna in shaping their own geochemical environment. Work in low oxygen environments such as the Baltic Sea and the Arabian Sea has led to a particular interest in de-convolving the often co-varying factors of sediment organic matter content, dissolved oxygen concentration and benthic faunal community biomass and structure in determining the early diagenetic pathways of organic carbon. I investigate short-term benthic C-cycling using stable isotope tracer experiments, which I have conducted in a wide range of settings from intertidal sands to deep-sea sites in the Southern Ocean. I have also worked in sedimented chemosynthetic environments, investigating C sources for benthic ecosystems.
I’m Andy Bray, a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds. I’m interested in the processes occurring where life meets rock. My current focus is on soil organic carbon stabilisation as part of the EU Horizon 2020 project CIRCASA (Coordination of International Research cooperation on soil Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture; https://www.circasa-project.eu/).
I completed my PhD at the University of Leeds by investigating the (bio)weathering of biotite, and I’ve since worked on the rehabilitation and remediation of alkaline wastes (e.g. bauxite residue and steel slag). I also teach on the Geology and Environmental Sciences undergraduate courses.
When I’m not at work, I spend most of my time facilitating fermentation and evaluating the subsequent products (I brew beer and bake bread).
Hi, I’m Lisa Curti and I’m a PhD student at the University of Leeds. I did my Bachelor studies at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, and subsequently gained a Masters degree in “Geology of Territory and Resources” from Uniroma Tre University. Through my studies I have developed a keen interest in Geochemistry, and I am now developing this within my PhD at University of Leeds and Diamond Light Source. I am currently in the second year of my PhD and my project focuses on the interactions between organic matter and minerals in marine sediments, and how these organomineral interactions might help protect organic matter from microbial degradation and thus promote organic carbon preservation.
Hi, I’m Jennifer Rodley and I’m a PhD student at the University of Leeds. After studying for my undergraduate at Leeds I interned at the British Geological Survey before returning for my PhD. My current research interests focus on the ways that molybdenum becomes trapped in ocean sediments, including its interactions with organic matter. I am working part-time as an administrator/lab technician on the MinOrg project.
When I’m not at work I promote a plant-based lifestyle for health, environment and animal welfare by organising events as a committee member of the Student Union Vegetarian and Vegan Society and engaging with the public at local events. I also enjoy attending the symphony.