Dr Will Homoky

Dr Will Homoky


University Academic Fellow in Experimental Biogeochemistry, Earth Surface Science Institue (ESSI), School of Earth and Environment (SEE), University of Leeds, UK (since 2019)

Academic history:

  • NERC Independent Research Fellow, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, UK (2013-2019)
  • Junior Research Fellow, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, UK (2017-2019)
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, UK (2010-2013)
  • Visiting Junior Specialist, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Riverside, USA (2007)
  • Ph.D. Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, UK (2005-2010)
  • Education Abroad Programme, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA (2002-2003)
  • Masters in Geological Science, University of Leeds, UK (2000-2004)

Research interests

My research explores the interface between ocean and lithosphere - a fundamental boundary of Earth’s surface environment that both records and determines surface environmental conditions. I investigate elemental and isotopic exchanges between the ocean and lithosphere and their connections to biogeochemical processes. I seek to understand exchanges that impact or record changes in marine life and the ocean’s role in Earth’s climate, and elucidate the impact of wide-ranging human activities.

Central to this, I measure the exchanges of elemental resources for marine life supplied from crustal rocks and sediments, because they ultimately determine the chemical fertility of seawater for marine primary producers – organisams that modify greenhouse gas levels and nourish marine and human food webs. I have additional interest in the development and use of elemental and isotopic tracers (e.g. iron, radium, barium) to track and quantify these process, and in identifying the drivers and sensitivity of element fluxes that are nutrients or toxicants in the marine environment.

I combine micro-cosm experiments with ship-based expeditions to ocean boundaries: tropical to polar locations between the Pacific, Atlantic and Southern Oceans, including temperate, anoxic, riverine, glaciated and volcanic ocean margins, abyssal sediments and hydrothermal plumes. I specialise in redox sensitive and trace element analyses by ICP-MS between oceans, sediments and porewater, and in the isolation of aqueous and colloidal metals in these solutions. I pursue three connected areas of research:

(1) Understanding controls of the global carbon cycle

(2) Developing tracers of the environment

(3) Evaluating impacts of human activity

I am always interested to hear from motivated and qualified individuals interested in Ph.D. or postdoctoral research opportunities. If this is you, links to current opportunties ought to be updated at the bottom of this page. You may also contact me directly.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Ph.D. Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, UK
  • M.Geol. 1:1 (hons), University of Leeds, UK

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Challenger Society for Marine Science
  • Chair, Advances in Marine Biogeochemistry (AMBIO) Challenger Society SIG
  • Editorial Board, Ocean Challenge Magazine
  • Editoral Board, Geochemical Transactions
  • Member of the European Association of Geochemistry
  • Member of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

Student education

Postgraduated research students:

Isobell Turnbull, University of Plymouth (secondary since 2019)

Sean Selzer, University of Oxford (primary since 2017)

Former research students:

Dr Kieran Curran, University of Oxford (secondary, graduated 2018)

Dr Alistair Lough, University of Southampton (secondary, graduated 2016)

Research groups and institutes

  • Cohen Geochemistry
  • Earth Surface Science Institute
  • water@leeds
  • Palaeo@Leeds
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>