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Dr Darren R. Gröcke

Associate Professor (Reader)

BSc (Hons), DPhil (Oxon)

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Associate Professor (Reader) in the Department of Earth SciencesDawson Room 129+44 (0) 191 33 42427
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing  


2017 — Associate Professor (Reader), Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, UK.

2008 – 2016 — Reader, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, UK.

2007 – 2008  — Lecturer, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, UK.

2006 – 2007  — Associate Professor, School of Geography & Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Canada.

2003 – 2006  — Assistant Professor, School of Geography & Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Canada.

2000 – 2003  — Lecturer, Department of Geology, Royal Holloway University of London, UK.

Research Interests

Darren Gröcke is the Director of the Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory (SIBL — more details can be found at in Durham University. He is an international expert in the field of stable isotope geochemistry and in particular stable carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen isotopes. His research interests are not confined to a specific topic or specific time interval, but span all the sciences and the geological record. Research areas that he has made significant advances is in stable isotope stratigraphy, understanding the causes and consequences of oceanic anoxic events, carbon isotopes in fossil plants as a stratigraphic tool, palaeodietary reconstruction with nitrogen isotopes, and the application of hydrogen isotopes in beetles as a recorder of climate and environment.

Current research projects include:

  • Stable isotopes in macroalgae
  • Cultivation in archaeology as recorded by nitrogen isotopes
  • Understanding modern organic carbon burial in estuarine environments
  • Hydrogen isotopes in archaeological collagen
  • Climatic and environmental change recorded at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary
  • Silurian stratigraphy of evaporite environments
  • Stable isotope records in tree rings
  • Archaeology and environment of submersed forests around the UK coast

Research interests

  • Stable Isotopes
  • Geochemistry
  • Palaeoclimates
  • Palaeoenvironments
  • Palaeodiets
  • Palaeoceanography
  • Palaeobotany
  • Botany
  • Sedimentology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Sea level
  • Environment
  • Black Shales
  • Oceanic anoxic events

Research groups

  • Climate and Environmental Change
  • Geochemistry Research Group
  • Geoenergy, Resources and Waste
  • Palaeoclimate Research Group
  • Sedimentology Research Group

Awarded Grants

  • 2015: Scanning probe microscope - stable isotope mass spectrometer (SPM-SIMS) for establishing mineral chemistry equilibria(£322296.00 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2014: Seaweeds: an ignored geochemical system in modern and ancient oceans(£19663.00 from OEA Laboratories Limited)
  • 2014: Unconventional Offshore Petroleum - extracting oil from active source rocks of the Kimmeridge Clay Formation of the North Sea(£90000.00 from Jersey Oil & Gas PLC)
  • 2011: Establishing causes of sea-level change and oceanic anoxia in the Late Cretaceous: regional versus global patterns(£569600.19 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2010: Environmental Challenge at Buttery Oxbrow(£8160.00 from Natural England)
  • 2009: Characterizing mantle input during the Cenomanian/Turonian oceanic anoxic event using osmium isotopes(£35498.68 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2008: OBTAINING A HIGH-LATITUDE SOUTHERN(£110538.71 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)


Chapter in book

Journal Article


  • Gröcke, D. R. & Cannon, A. (2007). Stable Isotopes in Archaeological Midden Shells: High-Resolution Paleoclimatic & Paleoenvironmental Archives.

Supervision students