Lauren Geiser (pronouns – she/her)


I am a PGR based in the Earth Surface Science Institute in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. My project is also supported in part by the Natural History Museum in London. I previously completed my Undergraduate degrees in Biology and Mathematics at the University of Dayton with my Honors Thesis in the Mathematics Department. I completed my Masters degree in Sustainability and Environmental Modelling at the University of Dundee where my dissertation compared the environmental impacts of bathyal bottom trawling with those of deep-sea mining.

I am also involved with Leeds University Union as the secretary of the Women in STEM society.


  • 2020 – 2021: MSc in Sustainability: Environmental Modelling from University of Dundee (Scotland, UK)
  • 2015 – 2019: BSc in Biology, BSC in Mathematics, minor in Chemistry from University of Dayton (Ohio, USA)

Research Interests

Environmental impact of deep-sea mining, anthropogenic impacts on the oceans

Project Title

Exploring the growth of deep-sea bivalves in areas of potential seafloor mining


  • Crispin Little (School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds)
  • Adrian Glover (Deep-Sea Systematics and Ecology Group, Natural History Museum)
  • Clare Woulds (School of Geography, University of Leeds)

Project outline

The Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) is a region in the Pacific Ocean between 0°-20°N and 110°-160°W—an area of roughly 6 million km2—where seafloor polymetallic nodules occur on the abyssal plains in high abundance. These nodules are rich in manganese, nickel, copper, cobalt, and other valuable ores, and are being targeted for deep-sea mining. Polymetallic nodules in the CCZ are one of the few hard substrates in this region and provide a diversity of habitats that support abundances of fauna living on and within its crevices. One such abundant group are bivalve molluscs. Bivalves grow by accretion in which new shell material is added onto the shell’s growth margin, creating consecutive growth lines. The study of the growth of shells—sclerochronology— has been largely confined to shallow water bivalves which are relatively large and show growth on a variety of tidal, daily, monthly, seasonal, and yearly schedules depending on the species and population.

This research aims to extend the techniques of sclerochronology to the tiny and fragile bivalves of the 4,500-6,000m deep CCZ, some of which have only been recently discovered or still remain undescribed. Results from faunal studies such as these will be critical for the International Seabed Authority in order to establish fair environmental regulations for the deep-sea mining industry in the coming decades.


NERC Panorama DTP (grant NE/S007458/1), 2023