First field trip for new students in our geology subject area

Welcome to all our new students!

Professor Martin Smith introduces our new geology subject area students to working in the field with a trip to Telscombe Cliffs.

“After two days of welcome to university information for new Geology, Physical Geography and Geology and Earth and Ocean Science students, we headed out to Telscombe Cliffs to actually experience some earth science and coastal oceanography. Braving the wind and (luckily) less rain, 30 students and staff investigated how the cliffs record slices of earth history.

We started with periglacial weathering and soil processes at the cliff top. Then we climbed down the steps to the beach to look at the sedimentation of the ancient (Cretaceous) ocean floor recorded in the chalk and flint, including a wide range of fossils – brachiopods, sea urchins and sponges all had a starring role.We then looked at the record of post-depositional tectonic events in faults, fractures and flint-filled mineral veins. Finally, we walked along the water line and found evidence of modern change in the coastal environment, from plastic pollution to the reduction in the water table and the shift of freshwater spring discharge to below sea level. Read More

Rising sea levels threaten the South East

Rising sea levels and extreme weather events (storm surges, intense rainfall) are threatening to overwhelm coastal defences in the UK, according to research at the University of Brighton.

Dr Ward recently was interviewed for a BBC South East ‘Inside Out’ programme which focused on the threat to homes close to cliffs at Cuckmere Haven near Seaford.

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Graduate stories – Esme Whitehouse

Graduating from Geology BSc(Hons), Esme won the Rory Mortimore Geology Prize as the student with the best overall performance across the university’s geology courses.

  • What made you choose Brighton and this course?

I have loved Geology since I took it as a GCSE so I didn’t struggle to make a choice when it came to picking a degree course. I chose Brighton through clearing.

  • How did you feel when you were first accepted to Brighton, and how has the reality compared to what you imagined?

I was very glad to have a place to study Geology but I was obviously nervous about moving to university. It didn’t take long for me to realise I had nothing to be nervous about, it’s too much fun! Read More

Geology student rocks the judges

University of Brighton student Mary Harrow has received national recognition for her hard work and commitment to geology studies.

The second-year Geology BSc(Hons) student was one of only ten university students from around the country to receive an Institute of Quarrying (IQ) National Students Award.

The geologists-of-the-future were nominated by their universities for their “continuous hard work and passion towards their course, as well as demonstrating strong potential for a successful career in the mineral extractives industry”.

Winners received certificates acknowledging their achievement plus two years free student membership of IQ. Read More

Sun, Sea and Science?

Last weekend saw Brighton host this year’s Soapbox science in glorious sunshine at the Brighton seafront. Soapbox science is a novel public outreach platform where female scientists stand on their soapboxes and preach their science to the passing general public. This year saw Dr Laura Evenstar give a very hands-on demonstration on how the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world,  formed the Andean mountain chain in South America.

Members of the public were involved in building a miniature version of the Andes mountains out of sand. Adults and children alike got involved in looking at how plate tectonics work to produce the different theories on how the Andes uplifted. They then got to pretend to be clouds (cotton wool) traveling over the Andes and created their own rainfall events in the mini Atacama Desert to look at what sort of techniques scientists use to understand climate change in the geological record.

“It’s a great opportunity to show what women in STEM subjects are doing and to bring the joy of our science to people by playing in bags of sand at the beach!”

Brighton scientists unlocking the secrets of Stonehenge

University of Brighton academics are helping solve the mystery of where the ancient stones at Stonehenge originate.

Different theories have been debated by archaeologists and geologists for more than 100 years and now English Heritage, which manages the prehistoric site in Wiltshire, is hoping chemical analysis and comparisons by the Brighton scientists will unlock the puzzle.

The origins of the smaller ‘bluestones’ at the centre of the monument have been traced to Pembrokeshire in west Wales. This latest research focusses on the large sarsen stones that make up the main stone circle and inner sarsen horseshoe.

In 2018, the Brighton team analysed the chemistry of the sarsen uprights at the monument. This latest research involved chemical analysis of the sarsen lintel stones that sit across the top of these uprights. The non-invasive procedure used a portable spectrometer that can identify chemical concentrations of a range of elements.

Professor David Nash, the University of Brighton’s Professor of Physical Geography, said: “We have now analysed the chemistry of all the sarsen stones and will be comparing the data against the chemistry of areas of sarsens from across southern England. Read More

A field trip to the seaside

Final year students from across our Geography, Geology, Environmental Sciences, Civil Engineering, and Chemistry courses took a trip to the beach this week to collect grab samples of bathing water from seven sites between Brighton Palace Pier and Brighton Marina.

The trip was part of a water and health module and was to look at how water quality varies.

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Enrol online

Congratulations to everyone who’s received an offer. If you’ve had your place confirmed, you’ll be able to enrol from today.

There are a few things to do before you get here, including the first stage of your enrolment and getting started with your email account and course materials.

Once you’ve enrolled online, you’ll also be able to see all the essential details about your course, including your start date, welcome events and a draft timetable.

Find out more about what you need to do before you start.

See you soon!

Publish your work through our e-journal

Our Geography, Geology and Environmental Sciences students have the opportunity to publish assignments or their dissertation on eGG, the e-journal for undergraduate research in Environment(e), Geography (G) and Geology(G) in our school.

We have just published first-class research from recent graduate Edward Daws on glacial retreat in the Chamonix Valley, French Alps which you can see here.

Find out more about eGG, here and how to get work published through the author guidlines, here.