Dr Robin Shail

Research themes

Geology of SW England, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

SW England and, in particular, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is a superb natural laboratory that underpins most of my research and teaching. My interests are in all aspects of regional geological evolution and the associated processes summarised below but the interplay between tectonics / structural geology and sedimentation, magmatism and mineralisation / geothermal resources is the main focus.












Select links below for a brief overview of each of five inter-related research themes and the associated publications.

Current and recent projects

  • 2018-2022 NERC Industrial CASE PhD with GeoScience Limited (Dr Tony Batchelor) "Geological controls on upper crustal heat flow for deep geothermal energy in Cornwall".
  • 2017-18 Contract research for Satellite Applications Catapult Ltd "Space enabled exploration and monitoring of Cornwall lithium resources".
  • 2016- NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee, £65,825 (November 2016), grant-in-kind 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?”
  • 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, to characterise the occurrence of critical metals (Nb/Ta/REE/W) + Sn within china clay operations and evaluate 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 25 years of geological research in the region is partly underpinned by, and further contributes to, collaborative and contract minerals industry research / consultancy and knowledge transfer. Current/past collaborators include: Imerys Minerals Ltd, Treliver Minerals, EGS Energy, Helford Geoscience LLP, Western United Mines Ltd, British Geological Survey, David Roche Geo Consulting Limited, Cornwall County Council, Elcon Western Ltd, CSM Associates Ltd on projects that typically involve regional / structural geology, mineralisation and/or mineralogical characterization and The National Trust and The University of Plymouth on projects involving coastal landsliding.