Mr Xinyuan Zheng

Postgraduate Student

TEL: +44 (1865) 272062
FAX: +44 (1865) 272072

Research Profile

I have moved 

New contact: 
xinyuan.zh (at) 
xinyuan.zheng (at) 


I am interested in developing and using geochemical tracers (elements and isotopes) to study the modern and past ocean, and its role in the climate change. Currently, I am working on three seemingly different, but actually complementary projects.

  • Ocean circulation in the Cretaceous: Without faithful information on ocean circulation during the Cretaceous, it is impossible to fully understand the evolution of the Cretaceous warm climate, and the occurrence of several Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs) during that time. In this project, I am using Nd isotopes preserved in fossil fish teeth, collected mainly from the English Chalk, to reconstruct changes in ocean circulation during the Mid- to Late Cretaceous, with particular focus on Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE 2).
  • Trace metals in modern seawater: Although Nd isotopes have been widely used as tracers for paleo-circulation reconstructions, current knowledge on the cycling of rare earth elements (REEs) in the modern ocean is still incomplete. In this project, I am measuring REEs concentrations in seawater to investigate how these elements behave in the ocean, validating their usefulness as paleo-tracers, and also explore the possibility of using them to trace the input of micro-nutrients, such as Fe, into the modern ocean.

Selected Publications

  • Zheng, X.-Y., Yang, J, Henderson, G.M., (2015). A Robust Procedure for High-Precision Determination of Rare Earth Element Concentrations in SeawaterGeostand. Geoanal. Res.
  • Zheng, X.-Y., Jenkyns, H.C., Gale, A.S., Ward, D.J., Henderson, G.M., (2013). Changing ocean circulation and hydrothermal inputs during Ocean Anoxic Event 2 (Cenomanian–Turonian): Evidence from Nd-isotopes in the European shelf sea, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 375, 338–348.

view Extended Publications