NEaar: North East Amino Acid Racemization

ne-aar is dedicated to providing world class amino acid racemization analysis as a tool for geochronology.


The staff of neaar have a combined total of over fifty years experience of direct relevance to the use of amino acid racemization as a geochronological tool.

The idea for the establishment of neaar was Darrel Maddy's, who had previously worked with the pioneer of aar dating in the UK, Prof. David Bowen. Darrel approached Matthew Collins, then a geochemist at Newcastle University who had published theoretical papers on the application of aar and together they secured funding from NERC, the University and the Catherine Cookson Foundation. Kirsty Penkman was recruited as a NERC PhD student and was responsible for setting up the laboratory. The first Standard Operating Procedures for the lab were written by Lyndsey Palmer, who had previously worked as an industrial analytical chemist.  The lab moved to the University of York in 2003.  Technical support has been provided by Richard Allen since 2007 alongside Sheila Taylor from 2011. The NEaar lab became NERC-recognised in 2008 and has hosted over 50 British and international researchers, from undergraduate students to academic staff.