Gordon Cook

Professor of Environmental Geochemistry

Direct Line: 01355 270136

Email: Gordon.Cook@glasgow.ac.uk

Responsibilities at SUERC

  • Head of the SUERC Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory.
  • Head of Safety & Security.
  • Chairman of the SUERC Safety Committee.


Research Interests

  • Applications of 14C in forensic science.
  • Application of 14C  for estimating the biofuel content in fossil fuel/biofuel mixes.
  • Applications of 14C dating in archaeology and archaeological science.
  • Application of stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N and δ34S) in understanding palaeodiet and palaeodietary shifts.
  • Radionuclide geochemistry: The behaviour and fate of long-lived anthropogenic radionuclides in the environment (14C, 129I, Pu isotopes, etc).
  • Manmade radionuclides as tracers of environmental processes - accumulation, mixing and re-distribution processes in sediments.
  • Understanding freshwater and marine radiocarbon reservoir effects.


Recent Publications 

  • C Bonsall, A Boroneanţ,  A Soficaru, K McSweeney, T Higham,  N Miriţoiu, C Pickard, G T Cook. (2012). Interrelationship of age and diet in Romania’s oldest human burial. Naturwissenschaften 99, 321–325. doi:10.1007/s00114-012-0897-1
  • P L Ascough, M J Church, G T Cook, E Dunbar, H Gestsdóttir, T H McGovern, A J Dugmore, A Friðriksson, K J Edwards. (2012). Radiocarbon reservoir effects in human bone collagen from northern Iceland. Journal of Archaeological Science 39, 2261-2271. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2012.02.012
  • G T Cook, T F G Higham, P Naysmith, F Brock, S P H T Freeman, A Bayliss. (2012). Assessment of infinite-age bones from the Upper Thames Valley, UK, as 14C background standards. Radiocarbon 54, 845-853. doi:10.2458/azu_js_rc.v.16161
  • M J Church, S V Arge, K J Edwards, P L Ascough, J M Bond, G T Cook, S J Dockrill, A J Dugmore, T H McGovern, C Nesbitt, I A Simpson. (2013). The Vikings were not the first colonizers of the Faroe Islands. Quaternary Science Reviews 77, 228-232. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.06.011
  • J Montgomery, J Beaumont, M Jay, K Keefe, A R Gledhill, G T Cook, S J Dockrill, N D Melton. (2013). Strategic and sporadic marine consumption at the onset of the Neolithic: increasing temporal resolution in the isotope evidence. Antiquity 87, 1060-1072. link
  • K L Sayle, G T Cook, P L Ascough, H R Hastie, A Einarsson, M T Hicks, T H McGovern, A Edwald, A Friðriksson. (2013). Application of 34S analysis for elucidating terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems: Evidence of animal movement/husbandry practices in an Early Viking community around Lake Mývatn, Iceland. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 120(1), 531-544. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2013.07.008
  • G T Cook, A B MacKenzie. (2014). Radioactive isotope analyses of skeletal materials in forensic science: A review of uses and potential uses. International Journal of Legal Medicine 128, 685-698.
  • K L Sayle, G T Cook, P L Ascough, H Gestsdóttir, W D Hamilton, T H McGovern. (2014). Utilisation of δ13C, δ15N and δ34S analyses to understand 14C-dating anomalies within a Late Viking Age community in north-east Iceland. Radiocarbon 56, 811-821.
  • C Bonsall, M G Macklin, A Boroneanţ, C Pickard, L Bartosiewicz, G T Cook, T F G Higham. (2014). Holocene climate change and prehistoric settlement in the lower Danube valley. Quaternary International (in press)
  • P L Ascough, M J Church, G T Cook, A Einarsson, T H McGovern, A J Dugmore, K J Edwards. (2014). Stable Isotopic (δ13C and δ15N) characterization of key faunal resources from Norse Period settlements in North Iceland. Journal of the North Atlantic 7, 25-42.
  • G K P Muir, S Hayward, B G Tripney, G T Cook, P Naysmith, B M J Herbert, M H Garnett, M Wilkinson. (2015). Determining the biomass fraction of mixed waste fuels: A comparison of existing industry and 14C-based methodologies. Waste Management 35, 293-300.
  • R Tipping, G T Cook, D Mauquoy, A Beresford, D Hamilton, J G Harrison, J Jordan, P Ledger, S Morrison, D Paterson, N Russell, D Smith. (2014). Problems at Bannockburn, Scotland. Landscapes 15, 119–131.
  • R-H Fulop, P Bishop, D Fabel, G T Cook, J Everest, C Schnabel, A T Codilean, S Xu. (2015). Quantifying soil loss with in-situ cosmogenic 10Be and 14C depth-profiles. Quaternary Geochronology (in press).
  • S P E Blockley, K J Edwards, J E Schofield, S E F Pyne-O’Donnell, B J L Jensen, I P Matthews, G T Cook, K L Wallace, D Froesee. (2015). First evidence of cryptotephra in palaeoenvironmental records associated with Norse occupation sites in Greenland. Quaternary Geochronology (in press).


Current Research Grants and Contracts

  • 2012-2015. Historic Scotland: “High precision 14C dating of crannogs”.
  • 2012-2016. English Heritage: “Times of Their Lives – The Neolithic of Europe” Collaboration with English Heritage/Cardiff University on their ERC Grant.
  • 2013-2015.Leverhulme Trust: “Re-dating Danebury Hillfort and Surrounding Settlements-A Bayesian Approach to High Precision Chronology” with C Hazelgrove (PI) (Leicester University), C Gosden(Co-I) (University of Oxford).
  • 2013-2016. Historic Scotland: “Radiocarbon Dating Research in Scottish Archaeology”.
  • 2013-2017. NERC: “Long-lived Radionuclides in the Surface Environment Mechanistic Studies of Speciation, Environmental Transport and Transfer with G MacKinnon and S Xu (Co-Is).
  • 2015-2017. Leverhulme Trust: “Extending Histories: From Medieval Mottes to Prehistoric Round Mounds” with J Leary (PI) and N Branch (Co-I) (Reading University).


Click here for a full list of Gordon's Publications as a PDF file.