Professor Richard Davies 

Richard Davies is Professor of geo-energy at Newcastle University, having previously been Director of the Durham Energy Institute at Durham University. He has been working on hydraulic fracturing for the last ten years, the last several of which have been focused on hydraulic fracturing used to exploit shale gas and oil.
Richard has presented to NGOs, media, regulators and governments across Europe on the risks associated with fracking and published peer-reviewed papers on some of the key risks. He previously spent seven years in the petroleum industry in Aberdeen, London and Houston working for ExxonMobil on development and exploration projects.
In the UK, Richard is an advisor to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas. He is agnostic about the issue of shale gas and oil exploitation but very outspoken about his commitment to expanding the evidence base in the European fracking debate. He is Project Lead of ReFINE.


Project Leaders

Project Leaders are directly funded by ReFINE to carry out research on all topics related to the impacts of shale gas: from public perceptions of fracking, to measuring fugitive emissions from wells. 

Professor Fred Worrall, Durham University, UK

Fred Worrall is a Professor in the department of Earth Sciences at Durham University, Fred's research interests focus on agricultural pollution, carbon biogeochemistry, contaminant hydrology and environmental chemistry. His current research includes assessing the fugitive emissions from onshore gas infrastructure.


Professor Peter Styles, Keele University, UK

Peter Styles is Professor of applied and environmental geophysics and has 40 years' experience covering areas such as geohazards, subsidence, sinkholes, karst mining collapse, shale gas induced seismicity and microseismology. He is also a member of the Research Institute for the Environment, Physical Sciences and Applied Mathematics (EPSAM).

‌‌Prof. Gillian Foulger, Durham University, UK

Based at Durham University, Professor Foulger's research focuses on volcanics and tectonics, with a particular focus on Iceland. Within the ReFINE project she is examining the link between seismicity and faults in the UK.


Dr. Will Coombs, Durham University, UK

Will Coombs is a Lecturer in the Mechanics Group in the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences at Durham University. His past research has focused on the theoretical development and numerical implementation of finite deformation constitutive models for pressure-sensitive particulate geomaterials.

Dr. Neil Thorpe, Newcastle University, UK

Neil Thorpe is a lecturer in transport studies at Newcastle University. His research interests include travel behaviour modelling, attitudinal modelling and travel demand management techniques, with the aim of reducing congestion and atmospheric pollution and improving road safety.


Dr. David Reiner, Cambridge University, UK

Dr. David Reiner is senior lecturer in technology policy at Judge Business School and is assistant director of the ESRC Electricity Policy Research Group. His research interests include the political and social acceptability of carbon capture and storage, public perceptions of energy technologies, and science and energy communication.

Professor Zoe Shipton, University of Strathclyde, UK

Zoe is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. Her research focusses on understanding the 3D structure of faults and applying this to issues such as seismicity and permeability.

Professor Anthony Zito, Newcastle University, UK

Anthony is Professor of European Public Policy at Newcastle University. His research focuses on environmental politics and policy making. Within ReFINE he will be examining the legal liability issues associated with shale gas development.


Professor Robert Jackson, Stanford University, USA

Robert B. Jackson is Professor of Earth System Science at Stanford University School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. His research focuses include energy, global climate change and hydrofracking with a focus on well integrity issues


Professor Steven Rushton, Newcastle University, UK

Prof. Rushton's expertise are in biological and medical modelling. Within ReFINE he will be examining the potential public health impacts of fracking, such as the pathways for contamination and risks of exposure to fracking-related chemicals.


Researchers are hired by the Project Leaders to work towards producing peer-reviewed papers on the impacts of shale gas development. This research involves tasks such as computer modelling, conducting fieldwork, and performing laboratory experiments.

Dr. Ian Boothroyd, Durham University, UK

Ian has a background in environmental sciences, and is currently working under Fred Worrall at Durham. Ian is working on several research projects for ReFINE, primarily focussing on fugitive emissions from oil and gas infrastructure.

‌Dr. Rachel Westwood, Keele University, UK

Rachel's background is in computational mathematics. Within ReFINE she works alongside Peter Styles examining and modelling the behavior of hydraulic fractures, with the aim of estimating their maximum extent.

Dr. Anil Namdeo, Newcastle University, UK

Anil is a Senior Lecturer in Transport and Sustainability at Newcastle University. His research focuses on traffic emissions and air quality. He will be working with Dr. Neil Thorpe to develop models to predict the impact of fracking-related traffic.

Dr. Paul Goodman, Newcastle University, UK

Paul is a researcher in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Newcastle University. His research themes have included acoustics and air-quality issues. Within ReFINE he will be working on modelling the impact of traffic associated with the fracking process.


‌Dr. Ole Pedersen, Newcastle University, UK

Ole is a Reader in Environmental Law at Newcastle University, with a research focus on environmental regulation. He will be working alongside Prof. Anthony Zito to investigate legal liability issues surrounding the fracking process.


Mr. Sam Almond, Newcastle University, UK

Sam is based at Newcastle University and is responsible for project management and coordination. He has a background in Environmental Geoscience and is also involved in several ReFINE research projects examining fugitive emissions from oil and gas infrastructure.



Affiliates are not directly funded by ReFINE. Though not directly funded, affiliates conduct work that is related in terms of staff and project scope; for example, PhD projects supervised by ReFINE research staff.

Sarah Clancy, Durham University, UK

Sarah is a Durham graduate who has spent several years working in industry. She is now completing a Masters degree at Durham. Supervised by Fred Worral, Sarah will be investigating the impact of well pad infrastructure, with regard to public safety and environmental footprint. 

Miles Wilson, Durham University, UK

Miles is currently beginning a PhD at Durham University. Fred Worrall will be supervising Miles' project which will research the potential for frack-fluids at depth to contaminate shallow aquifers.

Chris Ward, Durham University, UK

Chris is completing a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Fred Worrall. He will be continuing planned ReFINE research examining the chemical composition of flowback water, examining reactions that occur between frack fluids and rocks at depth. 

Dr. Graham Ferrier, University of Hull, UK

Graham is a senior lecturer in geography at the University of Hull. He is currently supporting the work of Professor Fred Worrall (Durham University) on developing technologies to measure fugitive gas emissions and differentiate between biogenic and thermogenic methane.