Bryne Ngwenya is currently a Professor of Microbial Geochemistry at The University of Edinburgh. He has a BSc in Geochemistry from the University of Reading (1987), which was followed by a PhD on the Magmatic and Post-Magmatic Geochemistry of Phosphorus and REEs in Carbonatites (1992). Following 6 years as a postdoctoral associate at the University of Edinburgh, he was appointed to a lectureship in 1996. His research focuses on microbial geochemistry, with an interest in critical metal geochemistry, including REE and lithium mobility during weathering and interactions with microbes.
Ian Butler is Senior Research Fellow in Experimental Geoscience at the University of Edinburgh where he manages the Experimental Geoscience Facility. He gained his degree in geochemistry (University of Reading) and his PhD in metal sulfide geochemistry (University of Wales, Cardiff). His expertise covers experimental investigations of chemical and physical processes ranging from geochemical kinetics and mechanism, to stable isotope fractionation, mineralisation, rock-physics and coupled chemical and mechanical processes. His interest in the design and construction of novel research equipment has led to the development of instruments ranging from chemostatic reactors to an x-ray computed microtomography instrument for experimental investigations.
Broadly, my research interests are in applying isotope geochemistry to problems in Geoscience. My research has tackled various aspects of carbon, nutrients and other elemental cycles in the ocean, coastal and riverine systems and I have developed and applied new geochemical tools. Previously, my research has elucidated barite formation in sea water and apatite formation in marine sediments. In the LIFT project, I will be combining Li isotope measurements with laboratory experiments and field sampling to understand variously, Li release during rock dissolution and weathering, Li cycling during transport and processes that govern Li enrichment in brine systems.
Dr Maxwell Thiemens is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh. He received his B.Sc. from the University of California, San Diego, his master's from Washington University in St. Louis, and his doctorate at the University of Cologne. His research background spans bio-, geo-, and cosmochemistry, with work on lunar samples, meteorites, the snowball Earth, and microorganisms. His current research focus as part of the LiFT project is the isotopic fractionation and behavior of lithium.