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Shasta Marrero

Dr Shasta Marrero

Lecturer in Environmental and Physical Geography

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

+44 29208 74579
Main Building, Room Room 2.36c, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT


I want to understand how different processes change Earth's surface. I use tracers (called cosmogenic nuclides) to look at processes that shape the surface (like erosion) and to date when events happened (like volcanic eruptions or glacial movements).

I apply this technique to many different topics and field areas while continuing to improve the laboratory techniques and computer programs we use to interpret the data.

My interests include:

  • Glacial history
  • Geochronology
  • Geomorphology















My research investigates features and surface processes using a geochronological tool called cosmogenic nuclides. Because cosmogenic nuclides are primarily produced in the top two meters of the earth’s surface, they can provide important information on the exposure ages of features at the surface, such as glacial moraines or paleoshorelines, as well as quantitative information on the rates of surface processes, such as erosion rates or fault slip rates. I have worked on projects involving volcanoes, glaciers, faults, and erosion on four continents.

In addition to applying cosmogenic nuclides in the landscape, I’m also working to improve the technique itself. I have written an online calculator, the first to calculate exposure ages for all five commonly used nuclides: I am also an expert in cosmogenic chlorine-36, which is particularly useful for landscapes with carbonate rocks or basalts.

I’m now working towards creating new tools (models and lab methods) that we can use to investigate surface processes using cosmogenic nuclides as tracers in the landscape. This relies on novel combinations of nuclides to provide new insights in order to answer more complex questions.


I'm currently teaching environmental geography, focusing on large-scale environmental issues (e.g. flooding, deforestation, climate change) and human interactions with these.

I am also supervising undergraduate dissertations in glaciology and geomorphology.

Previous Teaching:

  • Hydrology (undergraduate and postgraduate levels)
  • Lake District residential field work, mapping
  • Introductory Physical Geography
  • Introductory geology/geoscience
  • Laboratory and field methods
  • Physical geography/geomorphology field trips




Disglair Lecturer

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Cardiff University

Research into surface processes using cosmogenic nuclides as tracers, specifically focusing on new computer programs for interpretation. Teaching Environmental Geography. 



Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh

Design of material and teaching physical geography to Landscape Architecture students (undergrad and postgrad). [part-time]


Project Manager

Scotland's Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW), The James Hutton Institute

The Scottish Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) works at the interface between research, policy, and practice, providing the practical translation between the needs of Scottish government and researchers/practitioners. My role involved project management and facilitating co-production of policy-driven projects.


Hydrology Network Coordinator

School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh

Coordination associated with the initiation of a new water research network.


Postdoctoral Researcher

School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh

Using blue-ice moraines to determine the history of the West Antarctic ice sheet in the Ellsworth Mountains over the last 1.4 Ma. Antarctic field work, cosmogenic nuclide laboratory preparation, and modelling of the results.


Hydrology Lecturer

SUNY-Oneonta (NY, USA)

Undergraduate course design, teaching of lectures/labs/field trips, and research advising at an institution focused on high-quality teaching.

June 2012


New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

PhD in Earth and Environmental Science, specialization in Hydrology

Title: Calibration of cosmogenic chlorine-36

Part of the CRONUS-Earth Project, a large, multi-institution project to improve the use of cosmogenic nuclides.

January 2009


New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

MS in Earth and Environmental Science, specialization in Hydrology

Committees and reviewing

Current Positions:

  • Associate Editor, GSA Bulletin
  • Journal Reviewer:
    • Science Advances
    • Earth and Planetary Science Letters
    • Journal  of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface
    • Quaternary Geochronology

Previous Positions:

  • Board of Directors (International Alternate Delegate), Association of Women Geoscientists
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland Representative, United Kingdom Research Staff Association