Robert Sparkes is a Lecturer in Environmental Science at Manchester Metropolitan University. 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.

His research concentrates on understanding and quantifying the transfer of organic matter from terrestrial to marine systems. He studied organic carbon transport and deposition processes in Taiwan, Spain and Italy before joining the NERC Arctic Programme, and has experience with a wide range of analytical techinques including isotope and organic geochemistry, infra-red and Raman spectroscopy, and computational modelling and analysis. 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 scientific work is listed here. His CV is here.

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.