Dr Angel Rodes
- Honorary Research Fellow (Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre)
BSc (Hons) in Geology by the University of Zaragoza (Spain) in 2002, I got my PhD in Earth Sciences by the Universities of Barcelona and Aix-Marseille III in 2008. During this time, I participated in the installation of the first laboratory of terrestrial cosmogenic isotopes in Spain (Laboratori de Cosmonúclids Terrestres, University of Barcelona). Several stays in France and the United States allowed me to incorporate the latest chemical and numerical techniques in the new laboratory.
After my PhD, I worked for the Topo-Iberia project in the Barcelona laboratory and the new ASTER acceleration spectrometer (CEREGE, France), where I learned how to interpret acceleration spectrometry data (AMS raw data) and master rock-to-age data reduction.
Since 2011, I am a researcher and laboratory manager at the Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility (CIAF, recently renamed as NEIF-Cosmo), within the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC, Scotland). In this position, I lead the development of new chemical protocols (e.g. routine 10Be analysis of olivine), standard materials (e.g. preparing a low 10Be carrier from phenakite that was distributed internationally), new numerical models (e.g. calculators that integrate stable and radioactive cosmonuclides), and new applications (e.g. agriculture) that have demonstrably shaped the discipline internationally. I do this by creating numerical and statistical tools (in MATLAB, Bash and other languages) to integrate geochemical data into meaningful Surface-process models.
In addition to my research activity, I manage the day-to-day operation of sample preparation at the Cosmo laboratories. Typically, 10 competitive research projects are allocated to the Facility every year, which require ~250 AMS analyses and supervision of 3 to 5 students and post-doctoral researchers through the CIAF student training program. I provide support to PIs during the proposal design, writing, and submission stage, and contribute significantly to joint publications.
I also designed a numerical modelling course for Geologists and Geochemists, which I started teaching in 2019. This has allowed me to position myself, not only as an international expert in landscape geochronology, but also as a trainer of researchers at the European level.
I work as a Research Scientist at the NEIF large scale facility at SUERC, producing Terrestrial Cosmonuclide (TCN) data to support UK and international research projects. In addition to providing key geochronological constraints my most relevant contribution is creating numerical and statistical tools to transform geochemical data into meaningful models, with the aim of understanding how the Earth is changing.
I bring geochemistry and numerical modeling closer to geomorphology, turning data that would normally go unnoticed into the central part of high-impact projects.
In the last years I modeled a wide variety of processes related to Global Change, River Dynamics and Agricultural Sustainability:
Quantitative climatic effects in polar & mountain areas
Understanding the climate-glacier system behaviour in the past is crucial for future projections of climate effects on sea-level rise, permafrost degradation, and the evaluation of water reservoirs. My numerical tools allowed the climatic interpretation of the TCN data from glaciated areas in Patagonia, Britain, Scandinavia, Pyrenees, Atlas, Greenland, and Antarctica, both at coastal and interior areas.
History of the large basins hidden in alluvial deposits
TCNs are widely used to date the deposition of fluvial deposits and to quantify the erosion rate of modern rivers. However, over the last years I have focused on analysing the TCN signals inherited in the sediments before their deposition. This allowed me to model the history of the sediments in the Duero and Tagus basins (chronology and rate of incision, transport and recycling conditions), unraveling the relations between climate, tectonics, and sediment production.
Agricultural soil formation rates
I recently developed a new model to forecast the lifespan of cultivated soils from TCN profiles. We tested this technique in arable and woodland environments,and already triggered a review of the global inventory of soil formation rates.
- 2003-2005 EPIC project: Paleoseismic Study using Cosmogenic Isotopes.
- 2003-2008 Quantitative study of geomorphological surfaces by in-situ produced cosmonucleides: Analysis of climatic, tectonic and seismic hazard processes in the Pyrenees.
- 2008-2011 Geosciences in Iberia: Integrated studies of topography and 4D evolution – Topo-Iberia.
- 2012-2015 The pattern, timing and dynamics of glaciation in the Cairngorm mountains.
- 2012-2015 Ice free enclaves in West Greenland during the last glacial cycle?
- 2015-2018 Temporal Variability in Sediment Flux of the Ganga River Using Detrital 10Be.
- 2019-2022 Defining the Last Glacial Maximum of the Patagonian Ice Sheet
and its termination in its understudied northeast sector (43°S).
- 2020-2022 Resolving the timing of the local Last Glacial Maximum and penultimate
glaciation in the understudied northeast of Patagonia.
- Reconstructing glacial history and landscape evolution in Patagonia.
Student: Tancrede Leger (University of Edinburgh)
- CIAF student training program (SUERC, University of Glasgow)
- 2008-2009 Topography, Aerial Photography and Remote Sensing (Degree in Geology, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)
- 2008-2009 External Geodynamics (Degree in Geology, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)
- 2008-2009 External Geodynamics (Degree in Geological Engineering, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)
- 2019-2020 MATLAB/Octave for Geoscientists (SUERC, University of Glasgow)
Professional activities & recognition
Grant committees & research advisory boards
- 2012 - 2018: NERC, CIAF (secretary)
- 2020: Geosciences Journal (MDPI)
Selected international presentations
- 2019: The State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry (SKLEG – Chinese Academy of Sciences) (Guiyang, P.R.China)
- 2013: ESF EARTHTIME-EU meeting, CENIEH (Burgos, Spain)