Dr Iain Neill
- Lecturer in Magmatic Processes (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)
BSc, Geoscience, University of St Andrews 2003-2007
PhD, "Tectono-magmatic evolution of the SE Caribbean Plate", Cardiff University 2007-2011
PDRA, "Orogenic Plateau Magmatism", Durham University 2011-2014
University Teacher, University of Glasgow 2014-2016
Lecturer, University of Glasgow 2016-2018
PgCAP, University of Glasgow 2018
Lecturer in Magmatic Processes, University of Glasgow 2018-
I study the manner in which Earth's lithosphere is formed, deformed and recycled through geologic time, with a view to connecting basic solid Earth geology to applications such as geothermal energy, volcanic hazards and critical metals. As the 'jack of all trades' I use a mix of geochemical proxies, fieldwork and geochronology in collaboration with geodynamic modellers, regional and resource experts, mantle tomographers and more.
I began my research career at Cardiff University as a NERC-funded PhD student, re-evaluating the origin and tectonic evolution of the Caribbean Plate. At the University of Durham, as a NERC-funded PDRA, I used fieldwork and whole-rock geochemistry to refine our models of how mantle-derived magmatism operates during continental collision, which introduced me to the geology of Iran and Armenia and to the integration of analogue data with geodynamic models.
After two years as a University Teacher at Glasgow (2014-2016), I have been re-building research interests and broadening their application into areas of economic or societal importance. These include 1) fundamental connections between magma genesis, plate tectonics and the generation of geological resources, 2) hazards posed by tectonic and volcanic activity in young collision-related settings, 3) low and high temperature geothermal energy sources, 4) the impact of the basement of the Caribbean Plate on modern subduction and 5) new insights into Scotland's terranes in deep time and their economic application.
I am also keen to work with those interested in economics, politics, rural affairs and land reform, on the impact that geology may have in Scotland's future, post-Brexit and potentially post-Independence. I am interested in using geological skills to identify locations where resources may be extracted sustainably and where they may, or may not, provide lasting benefits for communities in terms of jobs, infrastructure and envrionmental management. In particular, if you are from the Highlands of Scotland with an interest in Geology, there may be opportunities to devise cross-disciplinary scholarships.
Co-I: NERC, with University of Hull 2023-2024: Barcoding magmas: Applying machine learning in zircon geochemistry to increase provenance accuracy. £80,764.
Co-I: Oil and Gas Innovation Centre, with Getech 2018: Predicting the presence of weathered fractured granite basement reservoirs. £71,000.
Co-I: National Academy of Sciences of Armenia (foreign collaborator) for fieldwork in 2016 and 2017: Archaeovolcanological and achaeoseismological studies in Armenia applying 14C, Ar-Ar and 3He isotope age estimates. €2500.
PI: Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland Research Incentive Grant 2016: Fire and shaking in the South Caucasus: connecting geo-archaeology and hazards in Armenia. £7459.
PI: Geological Society of London Elspeth Matthews Fund 2016: Fire and Shaking in the South Caucasus: carbon dating Armenia's recent geological past. £1930.
Mmapula Phesodi, "The cratonic mantle beneath Botswana using kimberlite xenocrystic records as lithospheric probes: a comparative study", in revision, Eleanor Emory PhD scholarship.
Careen Macrae, Magmatism and Mineralisation at Strontian and the relationship of the "Newer Granites" to the Great Glen Fault System, MSc by Research.
Chloe Gemmell, Re-investigating magmatism and mineralisation at the Black Stockarton Moor porphyry copper deposit, MSc by Research.
Nathan Brammer, Revised stratigraphy of the Devonian of Kintyre, MSc by Research
Co-I, PhD: Tong Chai (China Scholarship Council), Jose del Angel Lozano, Savana van Mesdag (IAPETUS), Amanda Stubbs (IAPETUS)
Co-I, MSc by Research: Shona Swan, Ryan Mooney, Ciara Fallon, Kimberley Pentland
PhD: I participate most years in the NERC IAPETUS2 Doctoral Training Partnership, projects to be advertised in late autumn of each year on the IAPETUS website. Self- or state-funded PhD projects are also available to start at almost any time - contact me directly with your interests or ideas, but please note any prospective student must arrange to have funds in place from a sponsor to cover tuition, living costs and the cost of research itself. Research costs should be a minimum of £10,000 for a PhD project.
MSc by Research: Self-funded MSc by Research projects are available to start each October - contact me directly with your interests or ideas. These should focus largely on geochemistry, geochronology and igneous systems though anything from the list of research interests above is welcome. These projects cost 1 x year tuition fee with thesis submission any time during the following year. There is a compulsory bench fee of at least £1000 but please note due to the nature of these projects that any prospective student must arrange to have funds in place from a sponsor to cover analytical and other project expenses beyond tuition and the basic bench fees, typically a minimum of £2,500 for an MSc project.
- Brammer, Nathan
The sedimentological and igneous framework of the Devonian rocks of Kintyre, Scotland
- Chai, Tong
Economic eruptions: modelling the formation of MtAp deposits
- Del Angel Lozano, Jose Porfirio
A Comparison of Passive Atmospheric CO2 Capture with Steel Slags in Mexico and the UK
- Fallon, Ciara
The Impact of Glacial Retreat on the Geomorphology of the Black Sea Region
- Gemmell, Chloe
Caledonian magma genesis and mineralisation: the zircon perspective.
- MacRae, Careen
Zircon evidence for deep crustal magma processing during the Late Caledonian
- Pentland, Kimberley
Quantifying the mineralogical controls on precious metal enrichment in the Rum layered intrusion, NW Scotland
- Stubbs, Amanda Rebecca
Natural atmospheric CO2 mineralisation in unexpected places
- Van Mesdag, Savanna
Anthropogenic biodiversity and geodiversity – can legacy industrial waste help offset falling global biodiversity?
PI, MSc by Research: Euan McIntosh (Glasgow) "Economic mineralisation of the Loch Maree Group and Tectonic Correlation of the Lewisianoid inliers of Scardroy and Orrin", 2021. Destination: Freelance, Western Gold.
PI, MSc by Research: Eilidh Milne (Glasgow), "The Great Glen Caledonian Igneous Suite", 2020. Destination: Environmental Consultancy, Highland Ecology and Development Ltd.
Co-I, PhD: Joshua Brown (Durham, IAPETUS).
Co-I, MSc by Research: Andrew Hattie (Glasgow), Christopher Holdsworth (Glasgow).
Level 3 Geology BSc
- Igneous Geology: Geochemistry, Geochronology and Volcanology (2018-)
- Geological Synthesis and Application (2020-)
- Metamorphic geology (2022, 2023-)
- Leader, residential field course, Ullapool (2023-)
Level 4 Geology BSc
- Independent Research Dissertation supervision (2020-)
Level 5 Environmental Geoscience or Geology MSci
- Analytical Methods (2022-)
MSc Earth Futures
- Critical Metals for a Sustainable Future
- Research Methods
- Field trip to Cruachan and the Great Glen
- Level 1 Earth Science laboratories, minerals and resource geology
- Level 2 Earth Science materials and igneous geology
- Level 2 Arran residential field trip
- Level 3 Tenerife residential field trip
- Level 3 Oban residential trip
- Level 3 Mull residential trip
- Level 3 Metamorphic geology
- Level 4 Earth Science Independent Laboratory Research Projects
- Level 4 Stratigraphy and Regional Tectonic Synthesis
- MSc Academic and Professional Skills
I am potentially available for consultancy work, particularly related to Scottish geology. Please contact by e-mail in the first instance.
Senior Adviser of Studies for Geology and Environmental Geoscience (2022)
Learning and Teaching Enhancement Officer for Geographical and Earth Sciences (2019-2023).
Co-ordinator for the Earth Systems Research Group MSc by Research degree in GES (2020-).
Co-ordinator for Honours Geology (2022-).
Careers and Further Education co-ordinator for Level 4-5 Geology and Environmental Geoscience (2019-).
I also operate as an Advisor of Studies for a variety of students taking degrees in Geology or Environmental Geoscience (2016-).
Mental health first aid-trained (2016-).
Nominee for 'Best Thesis Supervisor' at the SRC Teaching Awards, 2017, for 'Best Feedback', 2018 and for 'Outstanding Contribution', 2022.
Associate Editor for Scottish Journal of Geology (2023-) and Results in Earth Sciences (2023-).
Member of the Editorial Board for Lithos (2016-).
NERC Exploring the Frontiers Panel (2023).
Overseas reviewer for the Government of Ireland scholarship and fellowship schemes (2021).
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=uNqMLsoAAAAJ&hl=en.
TV: Great Coastal Railway Journeys, Freemantle Media for the BBC, Season 1, Episode 17, Broadcast 15th February 2022 (Contributer).