Skip to content
Fellows Directory

Stephen Larter

Professor Stephen Larter FRS


Elected: 2009


Stephen Larter is an internationally renowned petroleum geochemist whose research is acclaimed in academic and industrial arenas. Stephen played a pivotal role in developing quantitative chemical typing of sedimentary organic matter, which has improved our ability to model petroleum generation.

He pioneered the use of molecular tracers to follow the primary and secondary migration of hydrocarbons. Respectively, this is the path that oil and gas take from the source rock in which they form to the reservoir rock in which they are stored, and their subsequent movement within this rock. Stephen uses similar methods to understand the origins of gas condensates and tar mats, as well as the microbial degradation of oil.

In 1998, Stephen was awarded the prestigious William Smith Medal of the Geological Society of London, and in 2000 he received the Friendship Medal of the People’s Republic of China for his contributions to the country’s economic progress. In 2012, he was elected FRSC, and in 2014 he received the Treibs Medal of the Geochemical Society for lifetime achievements in organic geochemistry.

Professional positions

J.B. Simpson Chair of Geology, Newcastle University, Physics Department

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Analytical chemistry, Biogeochemistry, deep biosphere, Earth sciences, Fossil fuels, Petroleum