Skip to main content

Earth Science News

Durham undergraduates survive sea survival training

Two Durham geophysics undergraduates, have successfully completed a sea survival training course.
Student wearing sea survival gear in the water

Oldest fossils of mysterious animal group are actually seaweeds

A leading scientist from our Department of Earth Sciences has collaborated with researchers in China to reveal that a group of prehistoric sea creatures is not as ancient as we thought - their earliest fossils are actually seaweeds.
Fossils seaweed


The 2023 Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal is awarded to David A. T. Harper in recognition of his outstanding work on the evolution and biostratigraphy of Lower Paleozoic invertebrate faunas, as well as his important contributions to quantitative palaeontology education.
David A. T. Harper

Ancient fossils shed new light on evolution of sea worm

Ancient fossils have shed new light on a type of sea worm linking it to the time of an evolutionary explosion that gave rise to modern animal life.
A 515 million year old fossil of a sea worm

IAPETUS2 Doctoral Training Programme

Available studentships for the 2023/24 cohort will be added here throughout September, October and November 2022. Applications will open early November 2022.
A mountain

Gender Equality Silver Award Success

The Department of Earth Sciences has recently been awarded an Athena SWAN Silver award.
Diversity Initiatives balloons

NERC's Ocean-Bottom Instrumentation Facility

The Facility has, funded by the NERC's URGENCY scheme, just deployed a set of six ocean-bottom seismographs around the islands of the Azores
OBS deployment

Scientists discover world’s longest underwater avalanche after rescue of lost data

We’ve discovered the world’s longest underwater avalanche – after recovering lost data swept away by the dramatic event.
A sensor is lowered from a boat into the ocean

Earth Sciences Professor named as Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellow

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy has announced its 2022 intake of Fellows. We are pleased to share the news that Professor Bob Holdsworth from the Department of Earth Sciences has been named as one of the intake alongside a range of academic and artistic minds.

Mohammad Daud Hamidi Awarded UNESCO Silk Roads Youth Research Grant

With co-awardee Asma Bachich from Morocco, PhD student Mohammad Daud Hamidi has been awarded a prestigious UNESCO Silk Roads Youth Research Grant to study the “The Shared Heritage of Water Management and Allocation along the Silk Roads”. The project is just one of twelve selected out of a total of 800 proposals from around the world, from postgraduate researchers aged 35 and younger.
Water Distribution Systems

Mine water geothermal heat project funded

The department of Earth Sciences is the lead on the large, interdisciplinary research project entitled “The Geothermal Energy from Mines and Solar-Geothermal heat (GEMS)”, which will explore the geological, engineering, social, and economical aspects of extracting geothermal heat from water in abandoned coal mines.
Drilling for Geothermal energy at Louisa Centre Stanley

Taught postgraduate courses (MSc degrees)

The Department is now offering and participates in 2 taught postgraduate degree programmes:
Satellite image with nodes and edges