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Personal profile

Research Interests

Pending International Meetings:

  • June 2022, Organising Committee Member, 5th International Workshop on Highly Siderophile Element Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry. 
  • November 2022, Chair, Forming and Exploring Habitable Worlds

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

My personal professional interests examine natural materials to decipher the origin and evolution of habitable Earth via 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 radiogenic (including osmium isotope compositions accompanied by highly sidreophile element abundances) and stable (often mass-dependent) isotope compositions, all integrated with mineralogical study tools. Such data are married with numerical and thermodynamic modelling so as to advance understanding of the behaviour of planetary melts and their crystallisation. Plus, the diagnostic chemical and mineralogical tracers that I use are relevent in constraining the nature of core formation and early planetary pummeling by impacts, while advancing understanding of broader aspects of Solar System history via collaborative astrophyical modelling of our immediate neighbourhood's celestial / mechanical workings.


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 / past hydrothermal vents / sulphur cycling, 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. As I write creatively as an enjoyable hobby some contributions to science communication naturally arise that way.

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. As a member of the STEM community - not an expert in social and behavioural studies - 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.
  • Visitor, University of Edinburgh.
    Affiliate Scientist, SETI Institute.
    Freelance writer and editor with both academic projects, science / diversity, equity, and inclusion communication.
    As a hobby, I am developing a book of science for children.

I have gained from a diversified career. I presently 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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