Robert Sparkes is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science at Manchester Metropolitan University. He collaborates with colleagues at MMU, around the UK and worldwide, focusing on how carbon is moved and stored on our planet.

He was previously a Post-Doctoral researcher at the University of Manchester, working to research the effect of thawing permafrost on the Arctic Ocean carbon cycle with Bart van Dongen.

Prior to his work in the Arctic he completed his undergraduate, masters and PhD studies at the Univeristy of Cambridge, working with Niels Hovius, Albert Galy and Vasant Kumar.

His research concentrates on understanding and quantifying the transfer of organic matter from terrestrial to marine systems, whether that is mountain belts, saltmarshes or permafrost coasts. He studied organic carbon transport and deposition processes in Taiwan, Spain and Italy before joining the NERC Arctic Programme to look at Siberian rivers. Recent research focuses on understanding the burial of carbon in newly-created saltmarsh environments.

He has experience with a wide range of analytical chemistry techinques including:

  • liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • isotope ratio mass spectrometry
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • computational modelling and analysis.

Defrosting the Freezer is here to provide access to his scientific output, to inform readers about organic geochemical techniques and to encourage public understanding of Arctic permafrost and carbon cycle research.