Dave Wray

Professor David Wray BSc, PhD, FGS, FRSC

Professor in Applied Analytical Chemistry, Centre Lead for Functional and Organised Molecules

Key details

Professor David S Wray

Professor in Applied Analytical Chemistry, Centre Lead for Functional and Organised Molecules

Professor Dave Wray is the Centre Lead for the Functional and Organised Molecules Research Group; he is also a Professor in Applied Analytical Chemistry. He is the founder and Technical Manager of the ISO 17025 accredited Analytical Services Laboratory housed within the School of Science. He specialises in inorganic elemental, isotopic and mineral analysis by ICP- and X-ray-based techniques for the purpose of solving geochemical, forensic and environmental challenges.

Much of his published work focuses on the use of elemental and mineral data in recent and geological successions to better understand palaeoenvironments and anthropogenic pollution. His laboratory supplies chemical and mineralogical data to the petroleum industry to facilitate sub-surface correlation in petroleum reservoirs and source rocks.

Since the year 2000 his team has delivered results from over 120,000 samples to a range of clients based in Europe, the USA and Australia; this equates to about 5 million individual pieces of data. In 2007 he was awarded the University of Greenwich Research and Enterprise award in recognition of his work; he has also been awarded the Richardson Award by the Geologists' Association in recognition of the best paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Geologists' Association in 2006.

Professor Wray attained a BSc Hons Geology degree at the University of Sheffield before moving to the City of London Polytechnic to undertake a PhD. He was appointed as a Lecturer in Applied Geochemistry at the University of Greenwich and subsequently become a Reader in Applied Analytical Chemistry. He currently holds the post of Director of Research and Enterprise (Enterprise) within the School and is a member of the School Management Team.

Responsibilities within the university

Professor Wray is a member of the School Senior Management Team; he represents the School at the University Research and Enterprise Committee, and he chairs the School Research and Enterprise Committee and is a member of the School Research Degree Committee.

He is Course Leader for Volcanic Processes and Environmental Systems, Earth System Science, and Environmental Analysis; contributor to Forensic Geoscience, Science and the Environment, Readings in Geography and Environmental Science and Instrumental Analysis.

He is currently supervising 2 PhD students and has successfully supervised 7 others:

  • E. L. Weavers: 2009; PhD. Faunal, sedimentological and geochemical indicators of dysoxia in Cretaceous marine sediments
  • D. Chatter-Singh: 2008; PhD. The environmental impact of heavy metals on the Kentish River Stour
  • E. DeVos: 2008; PhD. Use of precious metals as pollution indicators in East Kent
  • S. Johnson: 2006; PhD. Mercury in the sediments and biota of the Medway Estuary
  • J. L. Wood: 2001; PhD. Evolution of the Sorbas Basin (S. E. Spain) during the Messinian
  • K. Spencer: 1999; PhD. The environmental geochemistry of the Medway Estuary, Kent
  • K. A. Baggley: 1998; PhD. The micropalaeontology of Messinian sediments of the Sorbas Basin, S. E. Spain.


  • Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRCS)
  • Treasurer of the Clay Minerals Group of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and has previously acted as Secretary
  • Member of the Mineralogical Society Awards Committee

Research / Scholarly interests

Current research

  • Analytical chemistry with particular reference to the application and development of ICP and X-ray techniques
  • Sedimentary geochemistry, stratigraphy and basin evolution with particular reference to chemostratigraphy, vulcanicity and the application of geochemistry and mineralogy to stratigraphic problems
  • Heavy minerals and provenance studies, especially the application of U-Pb isotope age dating of sedimentary zircon crystals by LA-ICP-MS
  • Environmental chemistry with particular reference to metal contaminants in pharmaceutical and food products, mining activities and the urban environment.

Researcher ID profile


Key funded projects

  • Analytical Services Laboratory. This raises ca. £250,000–£500,000 p.a. through commercial funding from external clients, principally the oil industry, forensic and environmental consultants. Where appropriate, this work also results in scientific publications within refereed journals. The total revenue for this activity is in excess of £3million. The Unit is accredited to ISO 17025 by UKAS.
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) 2012-2014. Analytical and interpretative protocols for heavy mineral spectroscopy to establish an automated provenance service for petroleum reservoir correlation and mapping. £100,000.
  • Contribution to PhD studentship from Chemostrat Ltd 2012-2015. £25,000.
  • Contribution to PhD studentship from Chevron 2013-2015 $45,000.
  • EU Life grant £227,000 'Cliffe Marshes conservation park' (Consortium bid lead by Medway Council, total bid value £860,000; monies eventually returned to the EU due to legal issues relating to land ownership).
  • EU Interreg grant: £228,000 'Pilot study of technology transfer in water purification'. (With P Carey, Greenwich and L Boyle, U. Kent).

Recent publications


Finlay, Alex J , Wray, David, Comfort, Guy, Moore, Julian K (2023), Radioactive heat production variations in the Faroe-Shetland Basin: key new heat production, geological and geochronological data for regional and local basin modelling. Geological Society. In: , , , . Geological Society, Petroleum Geoscience: 2022-039 ISSN: 1354-0793 (Print), 2041-496X (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1144/petgeo2022-039) NB Item availability restricted.

McCabe, Ross , Nicolas, Christopher J, Fitches, Bill, Wray, David , Pearce, Tim (2022), Chemostratigraphic and mineralogical examination of the Kilwa Group Claystones, Coastal Tanzania: an alternative approach to refine the lithostratigraphy. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Journal of African Earth Sciences, 197: 104746 ISSN: 1464-343X (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2022.104746).

McCarthy, Odhrán , Fairey, Brenton, Meere, Patrick, Chew, David , Kerrison, Aidan , Wray, David , Hofmann, Mandy , Gärtner, Andreas , Sonntag, Benita-Lisette , Linnemann, Ulf (2021), The Provenance of Middle Jurassic to Cretaceous sediments in the Irish and Celtic Sea Basins: tectonic and environmental controls on sediment sourcing. Geological Society. In: , , , . Geological Society, Journal of the Geological Society, 178 (5) . pp. jgs2020-247 ISSN: 0016-7649 (Print), 2041-479X (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2020-247).

Jeans, Christopher V. , Wray, David S., Williams, C. Terry, Bland, David J. , Wood, Christopher J. (2020), Redox conditions, glacio-eustasy, and the status of the Cenomanian–Turonian Anoxic Event: new evidence from the Upper Cretaceous Chalk of England. Institute of Geology, University of Warsaw. In: , , , . Institute of Geology, University of Warsaw, Acta Geologica Polonica, 71 (2) . pp. 103-152 ISSN: 0001-5709 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.24425/agp.2020.134556).

Ullmann, C. V. , Gale, A. S., Huggett, J., Wray, D. , Frei, R. , Korte, C. , Broom-Fendley, S. , Littler, K. , Hesselbo, S. P. (2018), The geochemistry of modern calcareous barnacle shells and applications for palaeoenvironmental studies. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 243 . pp. 149-168 ISSN: 0016-7037 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2018.09.010) NB Item availability restricted.

Gale, Andrew S. , Jenkyns, Hugh C., Tsikos, Harilaos, van Breugel, Y. , Sinninghe Damste, Jaap S. , Bottini, Cinzia , Erba, Elisabetta , Russo, Fabio , Falzoni, Francesca , Petrizzo, Maria Rose (2018), High-­resolution bio-­ and chemostratigraphy of an expanded record of Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (Late Cenomanian–Early Turonian) at Clot Chevalier, near Barrême, SE France (Vocontian Basin, SE France). Borntraeger Science Publishers. In: , , , . Borntraeger Science Publishers, Newsletters on Stratigraphy ISSN: 0078-0421 (Print), 2363-6122 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1127/nos/2018/0445).

Hossain, M.R. , Wray, D., Paul, A., Griffiths, P.C. (2017), Probing the surfaces of core-shell and hollow nanoparticles by solvent relaxation NMR. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, 56 (4) . pp. 251-256 ISSN: 0749-1581 (Print), 1097-458X (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/mrc.4707).

Huggett, Jennifer , Adetunji, Jacob, Longstaffe, Fred, Wray, David (2017), Mineralogical and geochemical characterisation of warm water, shallow marine glaucony from the Tertiary of the London Basin. Mineralogical Society. In: , , , . Mineralogical Society, Clay Minerals, 52 (1) . pp. 25-50 ISSN: 0009-8558 (Print), 1471-8030 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1180/claymin.2017.052.1.02) NB Item availability restricted.

Loughrill, Emma , Wray, David, Christides, Tatiana, Zand Fard, Nazanin (2016), Calcium to phosphorus ratio, essential elements and vitamin D content of infant foods in the UK: possible implications for bone health. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Maternal and Child Nutrition, 13: e12368 (3) ISSN: 1740-8695 (Print), 1740-8709 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12368).

Huggett, Jennifer , Cuadros, Javier, Gale, Andrew S., Wray, David , Adetunji, Jacob (2016), Low temperature, authigenic illite and carbonates in a mixed dolomite-clastic lagoonal and pedogenic setting, Spanish Central System, Spain. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Applied Clay Science, 132 . pp. 296-312 ISSN: 0169-1317 (Print), 1872-9053 (Online) (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clay.2016.06.016) NB Item availability restricted.

Araizi, Paris K. , Hills, Colin D., Maries, Alan, Gunning, Peter J. , Wray, David S. (2016), Enhancement of accelerated carbonation of alkaline waste residues by ultrasound. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Waste Management, 50 . pp. 121-129 ISSN: 0956-053X (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2016.01.006).

Book section

Playton, Ted E. , Hocking, Roger M., Tohver, Eric, Hillburn, Kelly , Haines, Peter W. , Trinajstic, Kate , Roelofs, Brett , Katz, David A. , Kirschvink, Joseph L. , Grice, Kliti (2017), Integrated stratigraphic correlation of Upper Devonian platform-to-basin carbonate sequences, Lennard Shelf, Canning Basin, Western Australia: advances in carbonate margin-to-slope sequence stratigraphy and stacking patterns. SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology). In: , , In: Ted E. Playton, Charles Kerans, John A.W. Weissenberger (eds.), New Advances in Devonian Carbonates: Outcrop Analogs, Reservoirs, and Chronostratigraphy. SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), . pp. 248-301 . ISBN: 978565763449 (doi: ) NB Item availability restricted.

Ratcliffe, Kenneth , Playton, Ted E., Montgomery, Paul, Wray, David , Caulfield-Kerney, Samuel , Tohver, Eric , Hocking, Roger M , Haines, Peter W , Kirschvink, Joseph , Yan, Maodu (2017), Using elemental chemostratigraphy on Mid-Late Frasnian platform-top successions from the Lennard Shelf outcrops, Canning Basin, Western Australia.. SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology). In: , , In: Ted E. Playton, Charles Kerans, John A.W. Weissenberger (eds.), New advances in Devonian carbonates: outcrop analogues, reservoirs and chronostratigraphy. SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), SEPM Special Publication (107) (1st) . pp. 319-331 . ISBN: 9781565763449 (doi: https://doi.org/10.2110/sepmsp.107.03) NB Item availability restricted.