Skip to main content

Metal Isotopes

Metal Isotopes

Anirban Basu

I am an isotope geochemist, with special interest in redox-sensitive metal isotopes. My research focuses on reduction-oxidation (redox) reactions that are critical to many aspects of chemistry involved in energy and environment. The molecular mechanisms of these reactions are relatively poorly understood, and in natural environments, they often require biological intervention to proceed at significant rates.

I develop the use of non-traditional stable isotope systems as indicators of biogeochemical processes in modern and ancient environments. Several redox-sensitive elements (Cr, U, Se, and Mo) show great promise as indicators of environmental cycling of metals, essential nutrients and radionuclides.

My research combines microbiology, geochemistry and hydrogeology; integrates laboratory experiments with field-scale investigations and aims to understand processes responsible for groundwater pollution, radioactive waste management, remediation of emerging contaminants such as tellurium, sustainable management of soils, past ocean chemistry, and the formation of economic ore and strategic metal deposits.

Conceptual model for bacterial uranium removal and associated changed in U isotope ratios.

The uranium reduction is occurring on the bacterial cells. This model suggests that the balance between uranium removal rate and the chemical communication between dissolved uranium and bacterial enzyme will control uranium isotope ratios (Basu et al., 2020, ES&T).

Drilling to collect samples from a roll-front uranium deposit, Rosita, Texas.

Currently, solution mining of roll-fronts accounts for about 50% of the global uranium mining. Solution mining leaves toxic uranium in the groundwater that must be cleaned up to minimize its environmental impact. My research develops isotopic tracers of migration of uranium in groundwater at the mine sites and detect natural remediation uranium.




Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones.

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start.

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help.

Discover more about our academic departments and schools.

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Royal Holloway is a research intensive university and our academics collaborate across disciplines to achieve excellence.

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway.

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future.

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today.

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable.

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today.