Dr Robin Shail

Research overview

Geology and resources of SW England, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

SW England is a resource-rich region and superb natural laboratory that underpins most of my research. My interests are in all aspects of regional geological evolution and the associated processes, i.e. Variscan / post-Variscan tectonics and its influence on, and interactions between, structural geology, sedimentation, magmatism, mineralisation and mineral / geothermal resources.













The links below provide a brief overview of six inter-related research themes and the associated publications.

Current and recent projects

  • 2019-22 NERC fourth round highlight topic: Deep subsurface heat as a potential major future energy resource - Geothermal Power Generated from UK Granites (GWatt) (NE/S003886/1, Exeter PI)
  • 2018-22 NERC Industrial CASE PhD studentship with GeoScience Limited (industrial supervisor Dr Tony Batchelor) - Geological controls on upper crustal heat flow for deep geothermal energy in Cornwall (NE/R008612/1, Lead Supervisor)
  • 2017-18 Satellite Applications Catapult Limited contract research - Space enabled exploration and monitoring of Cornwall lithium resources (PI).
  • 2016- NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee, grant-in-kind (equivalent value £65,825) for collaborative study with Dr Simon Tapster (NIGL) - Long‐lived structural controls on magma genesis, crustal pathways and fluid traps in the post-orogenic SW England batholith: the key to forming the world‐class Hemerdon tungsten‐tin deposit?
  • 2015-16 NERC Innovation Project - Tellus How - An exemplar approach for end-user innovation and follow up of major NERC environmental survey projects (NE/M021777/1, Co-I).
  • 2014-18 NERC GW4+ DTP PhD - Advanced Geoscience Modelling of South West England using TELLUS high resolution multivariate data (joint with, and hosted by, the British Geological Survey).
  • 2012-14 NERC/TSB Knowledge Transfer Partnership (No. 8750) with Imerys Minerals Ltd - Characterisation of the occurrence of critical metals (Nb/Ta/REE/W) + Sn within china clay operations and evaluation of processing strategies and the viability of extraction as a by-product (PI).
  • 2010-12 EU FP7-ENV-2009-1 (Led by Geonardo Ltd., Hungary) - Impact Monitoring of Mineral Resources Exploitation (Co-I).

Collaboration and Knowledge Transfer

The knowledge and understanding associated with over 30 years of geological research in the region is underpinned by, and further contributes to, collaborative and contract minerals industry research / consultancy and knowledge transfer. Present and past collaborators include: British Geological Survey, Cornish Lithium, Cornwall Council, Cornwall Resources, CSM Associates, David Roche Geo Consulting, EGS Energy, Elcon Western, GeoScience, GEL, Helford Geoscience, Imerys Minerals, JSC Altynamas, Menteri Besar Incorporated, Satellite Applications Catapult, Treliver Minerals, Western United Mines and Wolf Minerals on projects that typically involve regional geology, structural geology, granites, mineralisation and/or mineralogical characterisation and their mineral / geothermal resource implications. The National Trust and The University of Plymouth are collaborators on projects involving coastal landsliding.