Joint Research Centre for Earth and Planetary Sciences

Ammonite fossil

The School of Earth and Environment and the Institute Of Geology and Geophysics – Chinese Academy Of Sciences, (IGGCAS), have come together through an academic and research collaboration agreement, which has led to the establishment of a virtual joint research centre for earth and planetary sciences.

The centre is co-ordinated by Professor Alan Haywood (Leeds) and Professor Shiling Yang (Beijing)

Vision and scope of the virtual joint research centre

The centre is ambitious in its scope, and aims to provide a number of mechanisms to bring colleagues from IGGCAS and the School of Earth and Environment together through,

  • Development of collaborative research projects in Earth and Planetary Sciences. 
  • Joint supervision of PhD students for specific research projects, and using opportunities provided by the Leeds split-site PhD recruitment model.
  • Visiting scholars, including visiting PhD students, and staff exchange (e.g. sabbaticals).
  • Shared access to research facilities, using established cost models in place at Leeds or IGGCAS.
  • Joint activities designed to co-ordinate Leeds and IGGCAS researchers to build cooperative strategic cases to lever additional funding from UK and Chinese research agencies to support outstanding research of high strategic value.

Research themes and projects

The centre focuses on the following research themes:

  • Deep Earth and Geophysics
  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Planetary Geology
  • Earth Observation
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Engineering Geology

Memorandum of Understanding Signing, May 2018

A formal event to celebrate the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding took place in May 2018. This included two days of research talks as well as a field trip to the world famous Jurassic Yorkshire coastline.

Recent exchanges

  • Xiaofang Huang (IGGCAS) visited Leeds in 2018/19 to study the dynamics of the East Asian Summer Monsoon during the Pliocene epoch using climate models, and what this can tell us about monsoon behaviour in the future.
  • Despina Zoura (Leeds) is co-supervised by Dr Zihua Tang (IGGCAS) and is working collaboratively on understanding the drivers for the onset of central Asian aridity, spending three months at IGGCAS. 
  • Yancheng Lou (IGGCAS) is visiting the University of Leeds for 6 months (2018/19) to study the incorporation of water in to majorite, its effects on phase stability and elastic properties, and implications for the transition zone.
  • Kaihua Xu (IGGCAS) is a long-term PGR visitor at Leeds (2019-) studying simulations of Earth’s liquid core and the generation of the geomagnetic field, focussing on characterising global magnetic reversals

Contact us

To find out more about our partnership, please contact Professor Alan Haywood or Professor Shiling Yang