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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton
(023) 8059 9005

Professor Rachael James BSc, PhD

Professor of Geochemistry, Deputy Head of School

Professor Rachael James's photo

Rachael James is Professor of Geochemistry within the School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, based at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton.

She applies geochemical techniques to the study of ocean and earth systems and contributes to teaching within undergraduate and graduate Oceanography, Geology and Marine Biology degree programmes.

I use chemical and isotopic techniques to address environmental and societal challenges, including the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Academic qualifications and employement history:

2015-present: Professor, School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton

2013-2015: Reader, School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton

2008-2013: Principal Geochemist, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

2005-2008: Senior Lecturer in Oceanography, The Open University

2000-2005: Lecturer in Oceanography, The Open University

1999-2000: Research Fellow, The Natural History Museum, London

1996-1999: NERC/BRIDGE Independent Research Fellow, University of Bristol

1992-1996: PhD, University of Cambridge

Research interests

I develop and apply novel chemical and isotopic techniques to improve our understanding of ocean and earth processes and to address critical environmental and societal challenges.

A key focus is on developing methods for removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere to mitigate global warming. I am working on field trials for CO2 removal by enhanced rock weathering and mineral carbonation, and I am developing methodologies for monitoring and verifying potential leakage from sub-seafloor CO2 storage sites. I also study the fate of methane gas being released from sub-seafloor methane hydrates in the Arctic that have been destabilised by ocean warming.

I specialise in the development of novel non-traditional isotope techniques, including iron, chromium, lithium and magnesium. These techniques are being used to explore seafloor mineralisation processes at hydrothermal systems, to trace the history of ocean oxygenation, and to provide new constraints on marine biogeochemical cycles.

I am involved in a wide range of field programmes both on land and in the oceans, including sampling of agroecosystems, rivers, deep-sea ocean drilling and submersible studies of hydrothermal systems.

PhD supervision

Lead or co-supervisor for 3 PhD students (17 completed)

Research Projects

Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation

ULTRA: Ultramafic-hosted mineral resources assessment

Research group


Affiliate research groups

Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute, Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation

Research project(s)

GGREW - Greenhouse Gas Removal by Enhanced Weathering


STEMM-CCS – Strategies for the Environmental Monitoring of Marine Carbon Capture and Storage

Biogeochemical cycling of iron and chromium in the oceans: Insights from stable isotopes

Deputy Head of School Research and Enterprise

SOES Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee

Scientific Advisory Council GFZ Helmholtz Zentrum

Associate Editor, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

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Book Chapter




SOES1005 Introduction to Ocean Biogeochemistry – module co-ordinator

Professor Rachael James
Ocean and Earth Science
National Oceanography Centre Southampton
University of Southampton Waterfront Campus
European Way
Southampton SO14 3ZH

Room Number : NOCS/566/19

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