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Dr Mervyn Greaves

Dr Mervyn Greaves

Senior Research Associate

Climate Change and Earth-Ocean-Atmosphere Systems

Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 333444

Research Interests

Research: Development and Application of Methods for Trace Element Determinations in Ocean Geochemistry and Palaeochemistry

Analytical geochemist in charge of the chemistry laboratories in the Godwin Laboratory for Palaeoclimate Research.   My research involves the development of trace element proxies and analytical methods for the determination of trace metal contents of the carbonate shells of planktonic and benthic foraminifera.  

The quality of results obtained from an analytical determination depends both on the precision and accuracy of the instrumental method,  and on the analytical procedures employed.  An instrumental technique may be the limiting factor in the accuracy of a determination but, more often, the accuracy is governed by the sampling and chemical procedures.  Therefore my research includes both development of the chemical and separation procedures for trace metals and the instrumental methods required for final determination.  The successful application of any trace element proxy requires development of the analytical methodology;  to ensure accurate data with the necessary sensitivity,  and understanding of the relationship between proxy and seawater chemistry.  

Current projects include:

  • Development and verification of methods for the determination of multiple element/calcium ratios (Li/Ca, B/Ca, Mg/Ca, Al/Ca, Mn/Ca, Fe/Ca, Zn/Ca, Sr/Ca, Cd/Ca, Ba/Ca, U/Ca) in foraminiferal calcite using ICP-OES and ICP-MS.
  • An investigation of the planktonic foraminiferal Mg/Ca temperature proxy over Chatham Rise in the Southwest Pacific Ocean.  Comparisons of planktonic foraminiferal Mg/Ca, shell weight and oxygen isotope records demonstrate the effects of hydrography,  foraminiferal habitat and dissolution as controls on Mg/Ca.
  • A calibration study of the partition coefficient,  DCd,  for cadmium incorporation into planktonic foraminifera.

Key Publications


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