Dr John MacDonald

Dr John MacDonald
Position: Post doctoral research associate
Office: RSM 440/13
Telephone: 47326
Email: john.macdonald@imperial.ac.uk



My main current research interest is in the exciting, emerging field of clumped isotope analysis and what this can tell us about burial diagenesis conditions in carbonate hydrocarbon reservoirs. In a short but varied research career so far, my other interests are: the microstructure, geochemistry and geochronology of zircon (from my PhD); the formation and structural/geochemical evolution of Precambrian lower crustal rocks (from my PhD); and the actions that can be taken to adapt to the inevitable effects of Earth’s changing climate (from working with the Scottish Government).


PDRA Carbonate Research Group, Imperial College London Jan 2013 –

 My PDRA research here at Imperial College London involves testing whether the clumped isotope signature of dolomite can be extended to the temperatures involved in burial diagenesis. This will involve analysing dolomitised limestones from the Marion Plateau and samples from the Aquitaine Basin provided by TOTAL, collaborators and funders of this project. If we can show that the carbonate ions in dolomite are resistant to bond reordering at burial diagenesis temperatures, then clumped isotope analysis may be a valuable addition to the toolbox for dolomitised carbonate reservoir characterisation.

PhD Earth Sciences at University of Liverpool Sept 2008 – Jan 2013

“The Effects of Overprinting on Isotopic Ages and Rock Fabrics: the Lewisian Gneiss Complex as a Case Study”

This project was an interdisciplinary approach involving a range of analytical techniques, including SIMS, to investigate the physical and chemical characteristics of zircon through multiple tectonothermal events so as to try and understand its behaviour and better interpret zircon data.

Supervisors: Prof. J. Wheeler, Dr. E. Mariani, Dr. D. Tatham (all Liverpool), Prof. S. Harley (Edinburgh), Dr. Q Crowley (Trinity College, Dublin) & Dr. K. Goodenough (British Geological Survey)


NERC DTG studentship + £4500 CASE award from BGS

£25000 NERC award for 2 weeks ion microprobe time

£1000 from Inverness Field Club for Highland research

£300 from Edinburgh Geological Society for fieldwork

£200 from University of Liverpool for travel and accommodation expenses for TSG2012 conference

Internship with the Scottish Government Jan 2011 – Apr 2011

During this internship I worked as part of the Climate Change Adaptation team within the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Division in Edinburgh. I gathered information on current actions taken by Scottish Government departments to enable adaptation to the effects of climate change through meetings with senior civil servants and other stakeholders. I compiled the findings into an internal report Policy analysis project for Scotland’s climate change adaptation programme. This provided a starting position for the forthcoming Climate Change Adaptation Programme.

BSc (Hons) in Earth Science 1st class (achieved), University of Glasgow Sept 2004 - June 2008


Shiells prize for ‘Most distinguished account of independent work (mapping)’, University of Glasgow

Sir Alwyn Williams prize for ‘Outstanding performance in 3rd year’, University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow departmental awards for top 5 student

2004 ConocoPhillips award for top score in SQA Higher Geology