Earth sciences

Dr Chiara Petrone taking notes in front of Popocatépetl volcano

Volcanologist Dr Chiara Petrone takes field notes in the shadow of the Popocatépetl volcano, central Mexico

Our researchers are tackling compelling challenges in earth science research, from the formation of the solar system and the evolution of life through deep time to the characterisation of new mineral species.

The Museum’s vast collections of meteorites, rocks, minerals and fossils support our staff's unique expertise in natural resources, planetary geology and the evolution of life on Earth.


Studying the growth and development of early humans and modern people worldwide. 

Fossil invertebrates

Using our fossil invertebrate collections to investigate the quality of the geological record.

Fossil vertebrates

Investigating the role of vertebrate evolution in shaping the history of life on Earth. 

Fossil plants

Using our palaeobotany collections to unravel the origins and evolution of plants over the last 470 million years.


Reconstructing past environments and locating hydrocarbon reserves using our huge microfossil collection. 

Mineral and planetary sciences

Investigating the origins and evolution of Earth and our solar system.

Economic and environmental earth sciences

Researching the formation, discovery and sustainability of Earth's natural resources. 

Ancient DNA analysis

Using DNA preserved in ancient biological specimens to trace molecular evolutionary processes through time and space. 

Data Portal

Access digitised earth science collections and research datasets. 


Browse our world-class collections of meteorites, fossils, rocks and minerals. 

Core research labs and consulting

Our research labs are available for complex analyses of mineralogical and palaeontological samples, including ancient DNA.


Read the latest posts from our earth scientists in the field and at the Museum.


Seminars, conferences and other events for earth scientists.