Blending Geoscience Research with Machine Learning

Who we Are

We are the John Lab, a research group led by Professor Cédric John and hosted in the Digital Environment Research Institute (DERI) at Queen Mary University of London. At DERI, Professor John leads the Data Science for the Environment and Sustainability Research Platform, one of four key research directions for the institute. Before joining DERI, the group was based for nearly 16 years in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London.

Our research approach blends machine learning and AI with cutting edge field and experimental methods in Earth and Planetary Sciences. The Digital Environment Research Institute is the centre of digital, data science, and AI research at Queen Mary and it underpins the university’s vision for its research Strategy 2030. For us, DERI is the perfect home for an interdisciplinary team working on scientific machine learning applied to environmental and Earth Science problems.

DERI and Queen Mary University of London are affiliated with the Alan Turing Institute.

Testimonials

Hear what former members of the lab have to say about their time with us.

Tobias Kluge (Postdoc, 2012-2015)

Tobias Kluge (Postdoc, 2012-2015)

Research topics in the John lab are at the cutting edge of the respective field and provided me a fascinating insight in current scientific developments. They were a strong motivation for my own research. A vibrant and motivated research group inspired exciting project ideas and enabled thorough scientific discussions.”
Annabel Dale (PhD Student, 2011-2015)

Annabel Dale (PhD Student, 2011-2015)

“Cedric was great to work with as a supervisor for my PhD and afterwards whilst co-supervising a PhD student. His enthusiasm and good instinct for interesting science, means that working in the John lab is an excellent place to learn and develop research skills.”
Sarah Robinson (PhD Student, 2019-2022)

Sarah Robinson (PhD Student, 2019-2022)

“Over the course of my time with John’s Lab I have benefited from a strong and diverse group of peers. I have gained knowledge in not only my own field, but the fields of my peers through discussions in bi-weekly lab meetings. I will miss working within John’s lab as I move onto my next chapter.”
Niranjana Sundararajan (MSc Student, 2022)

Niranjana Sundararajan (MSc Student, 2022)

“Working on my MSc thesis with Cedric as my supervisor was the most interesting, productive and challenging part of my academic experience at Imperial. Cedric is an excellent supervisor-  providing constant support, direction and the encouragement necessary to reach research goals.”
Qi Adlan (PhD Student, 2019-2022)

Qi Adlan (PhD Student, 2019-2022)

“Working in John Lab makes me feel engaged and valued. Cedric is very knowledgeable and kind — he helped me reach my full potential to become an independent researcher.”
Adhipa Herlambang (PhD Student, 2018-2021)

Adhipa Herlambang (PhD Student, 2018-2021)

“It was a great honor to be part of the amazing John Lab. Participating in the clumped isotope lab during my Ph.D. was an immensely satisfying experience in many ways. It allowed me to develop a series of learning experiences in a very friendly atmosphere.”
John MacDonald (Postdoc, 2013-2015)

John MacDonald (Postdoc, 2013-2015)

“I had a great time working in the John Lab. Cedric was a fantastic mentor to me as a postdoc, and he really helped me in getting to my current career stage as a Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow.”
Marta Marchegiano(Postdoc, 2019-2021)

Marta Marchegiano(Postdoc, 2019-2021)

“I did my first postdoc at John lab where I learnt about the clumped isotope technique. Cédric is a very thoughtful and knowledgeable supervisor, he always took the time to teaching me about this exciting thermometer. Thanks to his enthusiasm I became very passionate about carbonate geochemistry and this experience was an important stepping stone for my future career. “

research Highlights

We have two main research themes: Applied Artificial Intelligence for Earth and Space Sciences (we call it Earth-Centric AI) and Carbonate Research. You can also find about our publications and the software and data stemming from our research.

AI Research

Our group applies data-centric machine learning techniques to Earth and planetary sciences, leading to innovative approaches for analyzing and interpreting data in these fields.

Carbonate Research

Our research in carbonates focuses on the processes involved in their formation and alteration, and how these processes impact the geochemistry and stratigraphy of carbonate rocks.

Publications

Our group has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in a variety of fields, including clumped isotopes, carbonate diagenesis, climate change, stratigraphy, AI and machine learning.

Software and Data

Our research has led to the development of free software tools that have been widely used by researchers in our fields. These tools have made it easier to analyze and interpret data..

Spotlight on our Papers:

Stratigraphic evolution and karstification of a Cretaceous Mid‐Pacific atoll (Resolution Guyot) resolved from core‐log‐seismic integration and comparison with modern and …
Stratigraphic evolution and karstification of a Cretaceous Mid‐Pacific atoll (Resolution Guyot) resolved from core‐log‐seismic integration and comparison with modern and …

Atolls are faithful recorders helping us understand eustatic variations, the evolution of carbonate production through time, and changes in magmatic hotspots activity. Several early Cretaceous Mid‐Pacific atolls were previously investigated through ocean drilling, but due to the low quality of…

Combining clumped isotope and trace element analysis to constrain potential kinetic effects in calcite
Combining clumped isotope and trace element analysis to constrain potential kinetic effects in calcite

The field of clumped isotope paleothermometry is over a decade old, but the influence of precipitation rate on the fractionation of clumped isotopes between natural carbonates and their environmental solutions remains unclear. Here we apply two different proxies, carbonate clumped…

Clumped-isotope thermometry of magnesium carbonates in ultramafic rocks
Clumped-isotope thermometry of magnesium carbonates in ultramafic rocks

Magnesium carbonate minerals produced by reaction of H2O–CO2 with ultramafic rocks occur in a wide range of paragenetic and tectonic settings and can thus provide insights into a variety of geologic processes, including (1) deposition of ore-grade, massive-vein cryptocrystalline magnesite;…

Fluid surface coverage showing the controls of rock mineralogy on the wetting state
Fluid surface coverage showing the controls of rock mineralogy on the wetting state

The wetting state is an important control on flow in subsurface multi‐fluid phase systems, for example, carbon storage and oil production. Advances in X‐ray imaging allow us to characterize the wetting state using imagery of fluid arrangement within the pores…

Clumped isotope record of individual limestone fabrics: A potential method to constrain the timing of oil migration
Clumped isotope record of individual limestone fabrics: A potential method to constrain the timing of oil migration

This study applied clumped isotope analyses to investigate how different limestone components (larger skeletal grains and enclosing matrix) and cements may have varying degrees of susceptibility to recrystallization during progressive burial. The results also provide new constraints on the temperatures…

Predicting marine organic-rich deposits using forward stratigraphic modelling: The Jurassic Najmah source rock–Case study
Predicting marine organic-rich deposits using forward stratigraphic modelling: The Jurassic Najmah source rock–Case study

Predicting the distribution and heterogeneity of marine Mesozoic organic-rich rocks is a challenging task that requires multi-disciplinary data integration supported by innovative numerical modelling. This study aims at investigating the factors controlling marine organic matter production, accumulation, and preservation along…

A unified clumped isotope thermometer calibration (0.5–1100 C) using carbonate‐based standardization
A unified clumped isotope thermometer calibration (0.5–1100 C) using carbonate‐based standardization

The potential for carbonate clumped isotope thermometry to independently constrain both the formation temperature of carbonate minerals and fluid oxygen isotope composition allows insight into long‐standing questions in the Earth sciences, but remaining discrepancies between calibration schemes hamper interpretation of…

Geochronological and geochemical data from fracture-filling calcites from the Lower Pedraforca thrust sheet (SE Pyrenees)
Geochronological and geochemical data from fracture-filling calcites from the Lower Pedraforca thrust sheet (SE Pyrenees)

U-Pb dating using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), δ13C, δ18O, clumped isotopes and 87Sr/86Sr analysis, and electron microprobe have been applied to fracture-filling calcites and host carbonates from the Lower Pedraforca thrust sheet, in the SE Pyrenees. These…

North American continental margin records of the Paleocene‐Eocene thermal maximum: Implications for global carbon and hydrological cycling
North American continental margin records of the Paleocene‐Eocene thermal maximum: Implications for global carbon and hydrological cycling

The impacts of the Paleocene‐Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) (∼55 Ma), one of the most rapid and extreme warming events in Earth history, are well characterized in open marine and terrestrial environments but are less so on continental margins, a major…

Interplay between depositional facies, diagenesis and early fractures in the Early Cretaceous Habshan Formation, Jebel Madar, Oman
Interplay between depositional facies, diagenesis and early fractures in the Early Cretaceous Habshan Formation, Jebel Madar, Oman

Diagenesis and fracturing can significantly alter petrophysical properties of subsurface carbonate reservoirs, but the impacts of these processes at the inter-well scale are hard to predict. However, the initial distribution of sedimentary facies is easier to predict, and could template…

Paired stable isotopes (O, C) and clumped isotope thermometry of magnesite and silica veins in the New Caledonia Peridotite Nappe
Paired stable isotopes (O, C) and clumped isotope thermometry of magnesite and silica veins in the New Caledonia Peridotite Nappe

The stable isotope compositions of veins provide information on the conditions of fluid–rock interaction and on the origin of fluids and temperatures. In New Caledonia, magnesite and silica veins occur throughout the Peridotite Nappe. In this work, we present stable…

Physicochemical Conditions of the Devonian-Jurassic Continental Deep Biosphere Tracked by Carbonate Clumped Isotope Temperatures of Granite-Hosted Carbonate Veins
Physicochemical Conditions of the Devonian-Jurassic Continental Deep Biosphere Tracked by Carbonate Clumped Isotope Temperatures of Granite-Hosted Carbonate Veins

Previous studies have shown that microorganisms thrive in oligotrophic fracture systems, and metabolisms include consumption and production of methane. In the Laxemar, Götemar, and Forsmark areas of Sweden, ancient microbial activity has previously been demonstrated by large δ13CVPDB variability of carbonate vein…