Use links provided for further information of staff expertise:

Dr Bramley Murton – NOC

(Lead RO and PI NOC) is a research scientist of 25 years experience investigating the construction of oceanic crust and its interaction with the ocean, including seafloor mineralisation. The results of his research have been widely published in over 89 high-impact, peer-reviewed papers. The proposed research will draw on Murton’s expertise in seafloor mineralisation and leading complex science programmes (including an EC FP7 Large Consortium). Murton is well regarded internationally, having led the international ridge research organisation InterRidge since 2010. He is well known for leading complex projects such as the development of new technologies (e.g., the novel HyBIS RUV), now being commercialised by Saab-Seaeye/Hydro-Lek UK Ltd.

Mr Alan Evans – NOC

(Co-I NOC) over the past 15 years has worked on all of the UK’s submissions under UNCLOS Article 76, and presided as a member of the UK delegation attending the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) at the United Nations, New York. He is currently involved in assessing the seafloor environmental and mineral wealth within the UK Overseas Territories. He is currently the regional coordinator of the EU EMODnet Bathymetry Celtic Seas Region and has been invloved in a major EU programme where he developed a Marine Spatial Planning tool for use in the Arctic region.

Dr Paul Lusty – BGS

(PI BGS) has over 13 years of experience on hydrothermal and ore forming systems, for both academic and commercial research. His current research in collaboration with industrial partners focuses on the concentration of E-tech elements including tellurium, selenium and platinum group metals in intrusion-related mineralisation. He has led BGS research in the development of predictive mineral deposit models and a fuzzy logic-based spatial data analysis approach, known as prospectivity mapping, for assessing the distribution of potential for mineralisation and aiding exploration. Lusty is leader of the BGS Minerals Ore Deposits and Commodities Team and is involved in research to improve the sustainable use of mineral resources. He is well known in the research community where he manages the UK’s ‘Critical Metals Alliance’, to improve the capability for critical metals research in the UK, and has strong industrial research links.

Dr Mikhail V. Zubkov – NOC

(Co-I NOC) has >20 years of research experience and has over 110 refereed research publications. His research interests are in linking microbial (prokaryotes and protists) identity and diversity with the biogeochemical cycles. His research has particular emphasis on microbial mechanisms for high efficiency of inorganic and organic nutrient acquisition at ultra low (e.g. pico-Molar) concentrations using radio-isotope tracers, molecular techniques and cytometric sorting as the pivotal method for cell separation after radiotracer pulse-labelling He is currently a PI in one and a Co-I in two NERC grants and in one EU grant. And brings microbial expertise to this project.

Dr Pawel Plucinski – University of Bath

(PI Uni. of Bath) joined the University of Bath in 1998 having previously been at the University of Munich. He has 28 years’ experience in research of Chemical Reaction Engineering with the specialist knowledge in mass transfer with reactions in heterogeneous systems (heterogeneous catalysis), reactive and micellar extraction and liquid membranes and the use of hollow fibre systems for the extraction of metals from aqueous solutions with direct impact on the increased competitiveness for the metal extraction industry. Currently he is involved in the EPSRC Catalysis Hub a Co-director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Catalysis.

Prof. Andy Saunders – University of Leicester

(Co-I Leicester) is currently Professor of Geochemistry/Bennett Professor of Geology at the University of Leicester. His main area of expertise is the geochemistry of igneous rocks, especially those associated with large igneous provinces, and the pathways of chemical elements from mantle to surface. LA-ICP-MS, EMP, high-resolution reflected light imaging, SEM and XRF, will form the foundation of a study of a suite of manganese nodules from the Kiribati and Cook Islands that have been supplied by Professor Mike Petterson at SOPAC in Fiji. The principle aim of this complimentary study is to map the distribution of elements (e.g., Mn, Fe, Co, Te, REE, Y, U, Th, Pb) within the nodules and develop models for their growth mechanisms. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, and has obtained over £800k in research grants from NERC.

Dr David Holwell – University of Leicester

(Co-I Leicester) is a lecturer in Applied & Environmental Geology. His principle areas of research focus on the nature and genesis of precious and base metal deposits in magmatic hydrothermal systems. The principal tool of this are high resolution mineralogical and geochemical techniques such as LA-ICPMS, SEM and recently High Resolution X-ray CT scanning for 3D textural analysis. This work has involved mineralogical and geochemical characterisation of the interaction between e-tech elements such as Te, Se and PGE with other metals in magmatic and hydrothermal processes. He was awarded the Barrick-SGA Young Scientist Award in 2009, the IOM3’s Wardell Armstrong prize in 2007 and 2011, and has received funding from industry (Platina Resources, Orosur Mining) and NERC, including an SoS Minerals catalyst grant. He was a co-supervisor on a NERC/CASE studentship on gold mineralisation in the Scottish Dalradian with Scotgold Resources, who now have planning permission to open a gold mine in the UK.

Dr Jeremy Spearman – HR Wallingford

(PI HRW) is a Technical Director at HR Wallingford who specialises in the development and application of dispersion models for dredging, mining and disposal and in the sediment transport and morphology of estuarine waters. Dr Spearman has been a key research partner in long term projects to develop better representation of dredging processes for modelling tools for the dredging industry. The TASS model (Spearman et al, 2011) has been developed over many years in collaboration with the Dutch dredging industry (most recently the Building with Nature Project) to improve knowledge of the effects of dredging and to disseminate this knowledge so that the environmental impact assessment of dredging operations is made more rigorous. Dr Spearman has also been instrumental in research into the physical effects of offshore mining for aggregate in UK waters (e.g., Spearman, 2014) and has used this expertise in studies to evaluate the potential impacts of deep sea mining on the Pacific Shelf and New Zealand.

Prof. Frederico Pereira Brandini – University of São Paulo

(PI-FAPESP) is professor of oceanography at the Insituto Oceanografico da Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brazil. He is chemical-biological oceanographer with over 30 years of experience leading major marine research programmes in Brazil. As leader of the group, Brandini will oversee the USP group’s contribution in oceanography, geology, micro-biology and geochemistry on the FAPESP-funded programme that will partner the MarineE-tech project.

Prof. Luigi Jovane – University of São Paulo

(Co-I-FAPESP) is a professor at USP specialising in environmental magnetism, and marine geology and geophysics. Having studied at university of Bologna and as a post-doc at UC Davis, Jovane will focus on dating and bulk geochemistry of deposits on the Brazilian margin.

Dr Paulo Yukio Gomes Sumida – University of São Paulo

Prof. Sumida obtained his PhD in 1998 from the University of Southampton (National Oceanography Centre, UK) and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Hawaii in 1999-2000. Prof. Sumida joined the University of São Paulo in 2000 as an Assistant Professor. In 2007, Professor Sumida became an Associate Professor after obtaining a Habilitation title from the same university, where he still teaches several biological oceanography courses. During his career, Prof. Sumida worked on several aspects of the ecology of deep-sea benthic organisms in different ocean basins, such as the North and South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, North Pacific and Southern Ocean. He participated in over 40 oceanographic cruises and dived in many research submersibles down to 4200 m depth. At the University of São Paulo, Prof. Sumida has been supervising dozens of undergraduate and graduate students and publishing several scientific papers. He is currently involved in projects dealing with several aspects of deep-sea benthic ecology, including the study of reducing environments, deep-water corals and fauna from abyssal polymetallic nodule areas.

Ilson Carlos Almeida da Silveira – University of São Paulo

Bolsista de Produtividade em Pesquisa do CNPq - Nível 1D - CA OC - Oceanografia

Ilson has graduated from Bacharelado Em Oceanografia by Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (1984) , master's at Oceanografia (Oceanografia Física) by Universidade de São Paulo (1990) , Ph.D. at Ph D Earth Science Oceanography by University of New Hampshire (1996) and Postdoctorate by University of Rhode Island (1997) . Currently is professor of Universidade de São Paulo, Revisor de periódico of Revista Brasileira de Geofísica, Revisor de periódico of Journal of Physical Oceanography, Membro de comitê assessor of Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico e Revisor de projeto de fomento of Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico. Has experience in the area of Oceanografy , with emphasis on Oceanografia Física. Focused, mainly, in the subjects: Corrente do Brasil, correntes de contorno oeste, instabilidade baroclínica, instabilidade barotrópica, meandramento.


Vivian Helena Pellizari – University of São Paulo

Bolsista de Produtividade em Pesquisa do CNPq - Nível 1D - CA OC - Oceanografia

Master's at Microbiology from Universidade de São Paulo (1992) and ph.d. at Microbiology (1996). Vivian has experience in Microbiology, acting on the following subjects: biodegradation, microbial ecology, extremophiles, response of microbial community anthropogenic activities.


Christian Millo – University of São Paulo

Stable Isotope Geochemist with interest in: Isotope fractionation processes, Paleoclimatology, Paleoceanography, Geomicrobiology, Marine Geochemistry, application of stable isotope geochemistry to Food Research. MSc in Stable Isotope Geochemistry obtained at the University of Trieste (Italy) in 2001. PhD in Paleoceanography obtained at the Christian Albrechts Universitaet, Kiel (Germany) in 2005. From 2006 to 2011, Posdoc at the Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris (France): Application of stable isotope geochemistry to Geomicrobiology. From 2011 to 2014, Posdoc at the University of Sao Paulo USP (Brazil): Paleotemperature reconstruction based on oxygen isotope composition of fluid inclusion in stalagmites. At present, Marine Geochemistry professor at the Institute of Oceanography of the University of Sao Paulo (IOUSP).


Alexander Turra – University of São Paulo

Graduated in Bachelor in Biological Sciences from the State University of Campinas (1994), undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the State University of Campinas (1994), master's degree in Biological Sciences (Ecology) from the University of Campinas (1998) and PhD in Sciences biological (Ecology) from the University of Campinas (2003). He is currently professor of the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo. It has experience in the areas of Marine Ecology, Biological Oceanography and Coastal Management, acting on the following topics: management and marine conservation; marine environmental impact; Ecology of marine populations, with an emphasis on hermit crabs; Structure and organization of marine communities.