School of Earth and Environmental Sciences


Photo of Dr James Darling

Dr James Darling

  • Qualifications: PhD
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer
  • Address: School of Earth & Environmental Sciences Burnaby Building Burnaby Road Portsmouth PO1 3QL
  • Telephone: 023 92 842237
  • Email:
  • Department: Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Faculty: Science


I am a geologist who specialises in the development and application of geochemical and microstructural techniques to problems in Earth and planetary science. My research aims to better understand the origin and evolution of the Earth’s crust, and how it has been shaped by meteorite impacts through time. Recently this has involved studying impact structures, some of Earth’s oldest rocks and meteorites from the Moon and Mars. I also apply the analytical tools developed for this research into the understanding of processes that lead to major deposits of metals that are critical for sustainable technologies.

  • Dec. 2012-: Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, University of Portsmouth
  • 2011-2012: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Western University, Ontario, Canada
  • 2009-2011: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2006-2009: PhD research, University of Bristol
  • 2002-2006: BSc (Hons), University of St Andrews

Teaching Responsibilities

I teach a range of geological units, from fundamental mapping and petrological skills through to advanced courses in geodynamics, petrology and mineral resources and exploration. I greatly enjoy teaching field-skills, and contribute to field trips in the south of England, Brittany and the Alps,  as well as mapping exercises in NW Scotland.


  • Dating Solar System processes via combined micro- to nano-structural and isotopic analysis of planetary achondrites.
  • Origin and evolution of the >3.8 Ga Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt, Superior Province, Canada.
  • Formation of the Sudbury impact melt sheet – one of the largest and oldest on Earth and a possible analogue for conditions on the Early Earth.
  • Development of novel techniques for in-situ geochemical and isotopic measurements by Laser Ablation ICP-MS.
  • Application of novel isotopic tools to the dating and tracing of ore-formation.

Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile