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Personal profile

Research Interests

Geochemistry and petrology are broad fields of study. I specialise in magmatic processes and planetary science.

My personal professional interests decipher the origin and evolution of habitable Earth through records of its construction as preserved among meteorites and interrogations of our home world's bulk composition. This research and scholarship draws on a range of element abundance systematics, high-precision stable (mass-dependent) and radiogenic isotope compositions, all integrated with mineralogical study tools. Such data is married with numerical and thermodynamic modelling so as to advance understanding of the behaviour of planetary melts and their crystallisation. 

In particular my research interests and experience include studies of:

  • Small (asteroidal) bodies that represent protoplanets and trace the interior compositions, volcanism, and formation path of rocky planets. Inclusive of their records of high-velocity impacts.
  • Meteorites considered to be from Mars that probe magmatic styles, give cryptic evidence of Martian volcanic edifices, and are useful for decoding our red neighbour's internal characteristics and accretion history.
  • Earth's mantle petrology, composition, chemical geodynamics and secular evolution. Including peridotites from ancient continents with potentially obscure, multi-stage, or multi-terrane tectonic histories. Plus mantle rocks from certain modern-day settings that encompass analogues for the formation of Earth's earliest yet persisting crust.  
  • Large Igneous Provinces, where certain magma types have been used as analogues for selected melt types on other planets.


Additional areas of established and developing interest are represented among published works, contracted books concerning planetary science, and other ongoing projects.

I'm also passionate about inclusive education / teaching and training, as well as entertaining, creative outreach and fun, inspiring science communication for the public. Especially among school-aged children that could determine humanity's destiny.

Websites

Media

I am happy to be contacted by the media to comment on important matters relating to planetary science and space exploration, and Earth's evolution and interior composition. I also take an interest in matters of diversity and inclusion in science. 

Examples of accessible contributions to science communication include:

Biography

I come from humble beginnings and was the first member of my extended family to attend university to pursue any form of degree. It has been fun, and life-long learning is an enduring love. In becoming a planetary geologist my training and career has been multi-displinary and international, including:

  • 1st class MSci in Geolgical Sciences, Durham University, UK.
  • PhD in Mantle Petrology and Isotope Geochemistry, Open University, UK.
  • NASA-funded Postdoctoral appointment, Planetary Geosciences Institute, University of Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canadian Centre for Isotopic Microanalysis / Arctic Resources Geochem. Labs, University of Alberta, Canada.
  • Project Manager and National Geographic Explorer.
  • Planetary Science focused Marie Curie Individual Fellowship, University of Durham, UK.
  • Analytical Geochemist (planetary), University of Glasgow.
  • Freelance writer and editor with both academic projects and science story telling for children.

As a writer and editor I remain connected with academia at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and SETI Institute, USA. I also serve as Co-Chair of the European Association of Geochemistry's energetic and empassioned Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

External positions

Co-Chair, DEI Committee, European Association of Geochemistry

Affiliate Scientist, SETI Inst

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