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Dr Chris Standish 

Research Fellow in Isotope Geochemistry

Dr Chris Standish's photo

Dr Chris Standish is a Research Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Southampton.

After graduating with a degree in Archaeology and Geology from the University of Bristol, and spending two years working as a field archaeologist, I returned to Bristol to study for my PhD in the School of Earth Sciences which investigated the source of Irish Chalcolithic and Bronze Age gold through Pb isotope and major element analysis.  This was followed by one and a half years as a research assistant in the School of Geographical Sciences where I performed uranium-series dating for a range of research projects.  I moved to the University of Southampton in early 2014.

Research interests

REF Themes:

  • Archaeological science and computing
  • Social history (including human origins and later prehistory)

My research interests lie in the application of isotope geochemistry to the study of oceans, climate, and human societies of the past. In particular, I specialise in the use of (MC)-ICP-MS, and laser ablation systems for the in-situ analysis of solid-state samples.

My current research focuses on in-situ isotope (B, U-Th) and trace element (e.g. B/Ca, Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, U/Ca) analyses of marine carbonates. Focussing on scleractinian corals, this is to both investigate the palaeo-environmental conditions in which they grew (e.g. pH, temperature), and to date their formation. Such geochemical systems also allow calculation of the carbonate system parameters of the organisms calcifying fluid, permitting investigations into how these animals precipitate their coral skeleton. This forms the focus of my current work – the ERC funded Microns2Reefs project – which aims to generate a mechanistic understanding of coral skeleton growth to enable a better understanding of the fate of coral reefs in the future.

My other research interests surround the application of isotope geochemistry to archaeology, including: investigating the procurement, exploitation and consumption of raw materials (especially gold and silver) through Pb isotope analysis, shedding light on patterns of population mobility through Sr isotope analysis, and U-series disequilibrium dating of speleothems.

Affiliate research groups

Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins, Centre for Archaeology of Human Origins Contracting, Centre for Applied Archaeological Analyses

Research project(s)

Dating the origins and development of Palaeolithic cave painting in Europe by U-series disequilibrium

Cave art is one of the most important sources of information regarding symbolic behaviour and belief systems during the Palaeolithic. This project will employ uranium-series disequilibrium dating of calcite over-growths to investigate its origin and evolution.

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Dr Chris Standish
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton
Avenue Campus, Highfield
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom

Room Number : NOCS/184/11

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