Document Actions

Research interests

For many years my research concerned the origin and evolution of the Earth’s continental lithosphere (the solid outer skin of the Earth, consisting of the upper mantle and lower crust). My field areas included central Europe (where we have many locations of mantle and crustal 'xenoliths' brought to the surface by volcanic activity). More recently I have started to study lower crustal xenoliths from kimberlite pipes in ancient areas of continental crust such as Siberia, the Baltic Shield, Montana and Michigan (USA).

In the past ten years I have moved into studying meteorites, specifically those that appear to be from the mantle of another body in the solar system. These 'ureilites' are made of olivine and pyroxene, like the Earth’s upper mantle, but also contain carbon in the form of graphite and diamond, and metals. On the Earth, such metals have been separated from the mantle to form the Fe-Ni-rich core of the Earth. I am using ureilites to investigate the processes that affected small planetary bodies (asteroids) in the early solar system, particularly the formation of compositional layering in “differentiated” asteroids that possess a core, mantle and crust similar to the layered structure of the Earth.