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.

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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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. “
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.”
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.”
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.”

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:

Early dolomitization and partial burial recrystallization: a case study of Middle Triassic peritidal dolomites in the Villány Hills (SW Hungary) using petrography, carbon …
Early dolomitization and partial burial recrystallization: a case study of Middle Triassic peritidal dolomites in the Villány Hills (SW Hungary) using petrography, carbon …

Peritidal carbonates of the Csukma Formation (Csukma Dolomite Member) in the Villány Hills, SW Hungary, were investigated to determine the nature of the dolomitization and recrystallization processes that affected these rocks during their complex tectonic evolution, and to evaluate if…

Timing and magnitude of Miocene eustasy derived from the mixed siliciclastic-carbonate stratigraphic record of the northeastern Australian margin
Timing and magnitude of Miocene eustasy derived from the mixed siliciclastic-carbonate stratigraphic record of the northeastern Australian margin

Eustasy is a key parameter to understand sedimentary sequences on continental margins and to reconstruct continental ice volume in the Cenozoic, but timing and magnitude of global sea level changes remain controversial, especially for the Miocene Epoch. We analyzed sediment…

Effects of brine chemistry and polymorphism on clumped isotopes revealed by laboratory precipitation of mono-and multiphase calcium carbonates
Effects of brine chemistry and polymorphism on clumped isotopes revealed by laboratory precipitation of mono-and multiphase calcium carbonates

Carbonate clumped isotopes are applied to an increasing number of geological archives to address a wide range of Earth science questions. However, the effect of changes in salinity on the carbonate clumped isotope technique has not been investigated experimentally yet.…

InterCarb: A community effort to improve interlaboratory standardization of the carbonate clumped isotope thermometer using carbonate standards
InterCarb: A community effort to improve interlaboratory standardization of the carbonate clumped isotope thermometer using carbonate standards

Increased use and improved methodology of carbonate clumped isotope thermometry has greatly enhanced our ability to interrogate a suite of Earth‐system processes. However, interlaboratory discrepancies in quantifying carbonate clumped isotope (Δ47) measurements persist, and their specific sources remain unclear. To…

The magnesium isotope (δ26Mg) signature of dolomites
The magnesium isotope (δ26Mg) signature of dolomites

Dolomite precipitation models and kinetics are debated and complicated due to the complex and temporally fluctuating fluid chemistry and different diagenetic environments. Using well-established isotope systems (δ18O, δ13C, 87Sr/86Sr), fluid inclusions and elemental data, as well as a detailed sedimentological…

Evaluating climatic response to external radiative forcing during the late Miocene to early Pliocene: New perspectives from eastern equatorial Pacific (IODP U1338) and North …
Evaluating climatic response to external radiative forcing during the late Miocene to early Pliocene: New perspectives from eastern equatorial Pacific (IODP U1338) and North …

Orbital‐scale climate variability during the latest Miocene‐early Pliocene is poorly understood due to a lack of high‐resolution records spanning 8.0–3.5 Ma, which resolve all orbital cycles. Assessing this variability improves understanding of how Earth’s system sensitivity to insolation evolves and provides…

Controls on the formation of stratabound dolostone bodies, Hammam Faraun Fault block, Gulf of Suez
Controls on the formation of stratabound dolostone bodies, Hammam Faraun Fault block, Gulf of Suez

Dolomitization is commonly associated with crustal‐scale faults, but tectonic rejuvenation, diagenetic overprinting and a fluid and Mg mass‐imbalance often makes it difficult to determine the dolomitization mechanism. This study considers differential dolomitization of the Eocene Thebes Formation on the Hammam…

Constraining stratal architecture and pressure barriers in the subsalt Karachaganak Carboniferous carbonate platforms using forward stratigraphic modelling
Constraining stratal architecture and pressure barriers in the subsalt Karachaganak Carboniferous carbonate platforms using forward stratigraphic modelling

Predicting reservoir quality and pressure barriers is a challenging task in carbonate systems. In this paper, we present new model results from the Lower Carboniferous Serpukhovian carbonates in the Karachaganak Field (Northern Kazakhstan), which is characterized by complex facies architectures…

Effects of Improved 17O Correction on Inter‐Laboratory Agreement in Clumped Isotope Calibrations, Estimates of Mineral‐Specific Offsets, and Temperature Dependence of Acid …
Effects of Improved 17O Correction on Inter‐Laboratory Agreement in Clumped Isotope Calibrations, Estimates of Mineral‐Specific Offsets, and Temperature Dependence of Acid …

The clumped isotopic composition of carbonate‐derived CO2 (denoted Δ47) is a function of carbonate formation temperature and in natural samples can act as a recorder of paleoclimate, burial, or diagenetic conditions. The absolute abundance of heavy isotopes in the universal…

Ground-based hyperspectral imaging as a tool to identify different carbonate phases in natural cliffs
Ground-based hyperspectral imaging as a tool to identify different carbonate phases in natural cliffs

Recent research has shown hyperspectral imaging to be a powerful tool to distinguish carbonate phases with slight compositional differences on quarry cliff faces. The traditional remote sensing set-up uses an optimal short distance between the hyperspectral camera mounted on a…

Exploring the geological features and processes that control the shape and internal fabrics of late diagenetic dolomite bodies (Lower Khuff equivalent–Central Oman Mountains)
Exploring the geological features and processes that control the shape and internal fabrics of late diagenetic dolomite bodies (Lower Khuff equivalent–Central Oman Mountains)

The Lower Permian carbonate rock succession of the Oman Mountains represents a stratigraphical surface analogue for Middle Eastern Lower Khuff hydrocarbon reservoirs. The characteristics of the carbonate rocks are highly variable both laterally and vertically due to the superposition of…

Geostatistical modelling of cyclic and rhythmic facies architectures
Geostatistical modelling of cyclic and rhythmic facies architectures

A Pluri-Gaussian method is developed for facies variables in three dimensions to model vertical cyclicity related to facies ordering and rhythmicity. Cyclicity is generally characterised by shallowing-upward or deepening-upward sequences and rhythmicity by the repetition of facies at constant intervals…