For Earth and marine sciences
One of Europe’s leading centres in Earth, marine and ecosystem sciences, the Lyell Centre enhances Scotland’s research base and supports its innovation strategy through socially and industrially relevant research.
Fundamental and applied research combines with innovative technology to find solutions to the global challenges facing our planet from the deep sub-surface of the earth to the polar regions.
This exciting strategic collaboration develops and applies evidence-based solutions related to the Earth’s surface, sub-surface, oceans and atmosphere. Combining research and innovation sparks transformative ideas beyond traditional boundaries.
How do we do this?
Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Scottish Funding Council and Heriot-Watt, the Lyell Centre builds on interdisciplinary expertise to encourage an outstanding science culture. Advanced facilities include biogeochemistry, geoenergy, microbiology and marine ecology laboratories, deep sea research and marine operations workshops.
Research themes, directed by global science challenges, include climate, water, life in surface and subsurface environments; energy from the Earth; risk, hazards and uncertainties. These challenges are adapted as the societal, economic and research landscape evolves and new challenges arise.
Read more about: The Lyell Centre
Read more about projects undertaken by Heriot-Watt and the British Geological Survey across Earth, marine and ecosystem sciences.
Impact of PlasticsInvestigating solutions to the impact of plastic pollution on Vietnam’s coastal economy and population
Breathing OceansUnderstanding the organic skin that modulates the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and the ocean.
Deep Sea MiningQuantifying and characterising the environmental consequences of deep-sea mining in the Pacific Ocean.
The Lyell Centre
Research and innovation across marine, Earth and ecosystem sciences, combine to spark novel ideas, and find solutions, to global challenges.
Earth and marine sciences: Interviews
Dr Tracy Shimmield, Director of the Lyell Centre, and Professors Thomas Wagner and Michel Kaiser talk about the Lyell and their leading research.
Carbon on the move
Dr Ryan Pereira investigates how carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds flow through the ocean and rivers, to help scientists produce more accurate models of climate change impacts.
Dr Ryan Pereira: Planet Earth is constantly evolving and has an ever-changing climate. We need to understand how human actions effect the world in which we live in the short and long term. It’s vital for future generations.
Central to this is our research into how carbon compounds move through the environment, from the land to the ocean and from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere. Our specific area of research here, at the Lyell Centre at Heriot-Watt, is in how carbon compounds flow through water and how they change in time and space.
So, what difference does this make?
Well, understanding the movement of carbon compounds and their fate is vital to all life on earth – the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, everything’s effected in some way.
Improving our knowledge will help us live more sustainably and better understand our impact on the world.
Our work will inform what actions we can take to change how we live today to protect tomorrow.
Big-geoscience for the futureCreating a cultural shift towards a solutions-based approach at the interface of environmental, engineering and social science, to respond to urgent global problems.
Examining impact on the deepFrom augmenting fisheries’ numbers to buffering the ocean against pH changes and ocean acidification; how are human activities impacting deep-sea ecosystems?
Fishing sustainablyEnabling governments and the global seafood industry to adopt best-practice to reduce the environmental footprint on the ocean floor of wild capture fisheries.
News and media
Read about our headline-making research and innovation.