Personal profile


I'm a geologist and I lead the 'Plastics in the Natural Environment' theme of the Manchester Environmental Research Group.

I am interested in how sediment, including mineral grains, organic fragments and anthropogenic material (such as plastic), is moved across Earth’s surface and where it ends up. My main focus is on deep-marine environments which are the ultimate sinks for much of this sediment.

My PhD (Leeds, 2007) was on submarine channel-levee systems which I investigated with fieldwork examining the Cretaceous deep-marine strata of Baja California, Mexico, and flume-tank modelling of turbidity currents. 

I lead SedResQ - we work on a range of topics broadly revolving around the transport of sediments from terrestrial environments to the coast and their transfer into deep-marine basins; a central theme is the linkage of gravity-driven sedimentological processes to the deposition of natural and anthropogenic sediments and their preservation in the stratigraphic record.

I am Executive Editor for the new Diamond Open Access Journal Sedimentologika and I was previously Editor-in Chief of the journal Sedimentology (2018-2022)

Recent Masters projects on microplastics:

Edward Keavney (2019): Microplastic contamination in the Liverpool Bay and Mersey Estuary: sedimentological constraints on distribution and concentration

Ginevra Oertel (2020): Abundance and Characteristics of Microplastic Particles in The Surface Water of The River Etherow, UK: Environmental Factors, Ecotoxicity and Implications for Plastic Waste Management

Annie Dowse (2021): Plastic Rain in a National Park: an investigation into the atmospheric transport and deposition of microplastics in the Peak District, UK


Current PhD Students:

Ziqi Zhang co-supervised by Katie Maier, Mike Clare, Rhodri Jerrett and Pete Ryan. Microplastic in Kaikōura Canyon and Hikurangi Channel, New Zealand.

Xiaotong Ji co-supervised by Rhodri Jerrett and Pete Ryan. Stratigraphic records of atmospheric microplastic transport in highland and lowland peat bogs.

Leah Costello Lead supervisor: Dr Holly Shiels. VLead supervisor: Dr Holly Shiels. Marine microplastic pollution in relation to waste water outflows in Firth of Clyde, Scotland, UK.

Joshua Marsh co-supervised by Anna Pontén, Lin Ma and Kevin Taylor. Sedimentology and stratigraphy of deep-marine lobe systems (Banaston system, Ainsa, Spain)

Daniel Ronald co-supervised by Lin Ma, Chris Jackson and Kevin Taylor. Sedimentology and stratigraphy of deep-marine lobe systems (Banaston system, Ainsa, Spain)

Faisal Abbasi co-supervised by Lin Ma and Kevin Taylor. Forties Sandstone Member as a site for carbon storage.

Nur Azeyanti Binti Norhashim Lead supervisor: Dr Holly Shiels. Microplastics in shallow marine environments: distribution and ecotoxicological effects on benthic fauna

Max Bouwmeester co-supervised By Steve Flint and Dave Hodgson. Submarine conduits are long term sediment routing systems.

Will Taylor Lead supervisor Prof Dave Hodgson: Modelling the sedimentology, and stratigraphic architecture of submarine channel margin systems

Edward Keavney Lead supervisor Prof Dave Hodgson Spilling into confinement: submarine slope valleys as pollutant and carbon sinks.


Completed PhD Students:

Jochem Bijkerk: (2015) University of Leeds/BGS. Lead Supervisor Prof. Paul Wignall. Glacio-eustatic controls on sedimentary sequences: a field and physical modelling based study.

Sarah Southern: (2015) University of Leeds. Lead Supervisor Prof. Bill McCaffrey. Slope to basin evolution of a turbidite system in a bathymetrically restricted basin, Carboniferous, UK.

Larissa Hansen: (2017) University of Aberdeen. Lead Supervisor Prof Ben Kneller: Submarine channel-related thin bedded turbidites

Dan Bell: (2019) Co-supervised by Prof Steve Flint and Anna Pontén). Prediction of reservoir properties from processes and architecture in deep-water clastic systems. 

Jefferson Nwoko: (2020) (co-supervised by Prof Mads Huuse). Large-scale mass transport deposits and complexes: formative processes and their role in sediment gravity flow routing. Insights from the Taranaki Basin, offshore New Zealand.

Euan Soutter (2020) (funded by NERC CDT; co-supervised by Prof Mads Huuse) Deep-marine reservoir heterogeneity in steep-sided minibasins – influence of basin physiography on sedimentological processes and basin-fill character. 

Ross Ferguson (2020) (co-supervised by Drs Rufus Brunt, Joris Eggenhuisen (Utrecht), Ole Martinsen, Edwin Schomacker and Simon Barker). Deep-marine channel evolution: basin-ward propagation of submarine slope channels.

Arne Fuhrmann (2020) (co-supervised by Drs Rufus Brunt, Ole Martinsen, Edwin Schomacker and Simon Barker). Allogenic vs autogenic controls on reservoir distribution and quality in deep-marine channel systems.

Zoë Cumberpatch (2021) co-supervised by Prof Chris Jackson (Imperial), Prof Dave Hodgson (Leeds) and Dr Ben Kilhams. Discerning halokinetic from autocyclic sequences in deep-marine sedimentary systems – the Bakio salt diapir.

Isaac Odeh (2022) (lead supervisor Prof Chris Jackson). Deep-water sedimentary systems around active salt diapirs.

Ander Martinez-Donate Gomez (2022) co-supervised by Prof Chris Jackson (Imperial), Prof Dave Hodgson (Leeds). Working on submarine lobe deposits in the Neuquén Basin, Argentina, and Ainsa Basin, Spain.

Ashley Ayckbourne (2023) lead supervisor: Dr Rhodri Jerrett. Controls of mass wasting on sedimentation processes and heterogeneity in slope mudstone reservoirs.

Timothy Wigan (2023) Lead supervisor Prof Chris Jackson: subsurface analysis of deep-marine lobe systems.

Lauren Clarehugh (2024) co-supervised by Mads Huuse, Dave Hodgson, Paul Spencer. Controls on clastic injectites from the Palaeogene of the Norwegian Continental Shelf and the Vocontian Basin, S. France.





Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

External positions

Editor-in-Chief, Sedimentology, International Association of Sedimentologists

1 Jun 2018 → …

Areas of expertise

  • QE Geology

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Energy
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


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