TIGeR focuses on understanding the mechanisms of geological processes and their timescales by integrating fieldwork, experiments, theory and modelling. Our research broadly falls under two areas: Earth past and Earth present.
Our research into the early Earth and the solar system is motivated by both fundamental science and practical applications. Fundamental aspects include the interpretation of mineral assemblages and microstructures of rocks, their compositions and ages in relation to their tectonic environment as well as global-scale continental reconstructions and seismic studies of continental basins. Practical reasons for researching the early Earth include understanding the temporal and spatial distribution of ore bodies and petroleum reservoirs, and identifying the drivers of long-term climate change.
This research involves the study of meteorites, lunar material, crustal remnants on Earth, seismic data and the changing configuration of Earth’s continents. We place an emphasis on studying paleoenvironmental change, biogeochemical cycling of carbon and hydrogen, and their applications to petroleum exploration.
Our research into the Earth’s present configuration and its surface features provides an important benchmark for evaluating global changes. Research in this area focuses on gravity field determinations, modern tectonic movements, lithospheric strength, and laser and radar scanning.
We also investigate stable isotopic compositions preserved in organic matter to gain insights into biochemistry, ecology, climate change and hydrologic and atmospheric processes. We apply compound specific isotope analysis to determine the stable isotopic compositions of individual organic components in complex mixtures, such as petroleum, natural gases, sediments, soils, groundwater and extracts from plants.