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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”

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:

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…

Interaction of stratigraphic and sedimentological heterogeneities with flow in carbonate ramp reservoirs: impact of fluid properties and production strategy
Interaction of stratigraphic and sedimentological heterogeneities with flow in carbonate ramp reservoirs: impact of fluid properties and production strategy

Septarian carbonate concretions contain carbonate precipitated during progressive growth of the concretion and subsequent fracture-filling. As such, they have been used to track variations in _13C and _18O of pore waters during diagenesis and to define diagenetic zones in clastic…

Deciphering the state of the late Miocene to early Pliocene equatorial Pacific
Deciphering the state of the late Miocene to early Pliocene equatorial Pacific

The late Miocene‐early Pliocene was a time of global cooling and the development of modern meridional thermal gradients. Equatorial Pacific sea surface conditions potentially played an important role in this global climate transition, but their evolution is poorly understood. Here…

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…

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.…

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…

Diagenesis of phosphatic hardgrounds in the Monterey Formation: A perspective from bulk and clumped isotope geochemistry
Diagenesis of phosphatic hardgrounds in the Monterey Formation: A perspective from bulk and clumped isotope geochemistry

Understanding the authigenesis of carbonate fluorapatite through isotopic geochemistry can yield important information on fundamental geologic processes occurring on continental margins around the world. This is particularly true for phosphatic hardgrounds, which are often found in regions of upwelling, but…

Geostatistical Earth modeling of cyclic depositional facies and diagenesis
Geostatistical Earth modeling of cyclic depositional facies and diagenesis

In siliciclastic and carbonate reservoirs, depositional facies are commonly described as being organized in cyclic successions overprinted by diagenesis. Most reservoir modeling workflows are not able to stochastically reproduce such patterns. Herein, a novel geostatistical method is developed to model…

Clumped-isotope palaeothermometry and LA-ICP-MS U–Pb dating of lava-pile hydrothermal calcite veins
Clumped-isotope palaeothermometry and LA-ICP-MS U–Pb dating of lava-pile hydrothermal calcite veins

Calcite veins are a common product of hydrothermal fluid circulation. Clumped-isotope palaeothermometry is a promising technique for fingerprinting the temperature of hydrothermal fluids, but clumped-isotope systematics can be reset at temperatures of > ca. 100 °C. To model whether the reconstructed temperatures represent…

Clay assemblage and oxygen isotopic constraints on the weathering response to the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, east coast of North America
Clay assemblage and oxygen isotopic constraints on the weathering response to the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, east coast of North America

The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, a transient global warming event, is characterized by extensive evidence of a more active hydrological cycle. This includes a widespread pulse of kaolinite accumulation on continental margins, viewed as the by-product of either enhanced chemical weathering…

Linking process, dimension, texture, and geochemistry in dolomite geobodies: A case study from Wadi Mistal (northern Oman) linking process, dimension, texture, and geochemistry …
Linking process, dimension, texture, and geochemistry in dolomite geobodies: A case study from Wadi Mistal (northern Oman) linking process, dimension, texture, and geochemistry …

Understanding the distribution and geometry of reservoir geobodies is crucial for net-to-gross estimates and to model subsurface flow. This article focuses on the process of dolomitization and resulting geometry of diagenetic geobodies in an outcrop of Jurassic host rocks from…

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;…