Claire Nichols

Research Interests

I use magnetism as a novel tool to understand Earth and planetary formation, the environment of early Earth and planetary habitability. Earth has undergone billions of years of complex physical and chemical evolution leaving many questions about its earliest history unresolved. By interrogating the magnetic signals preserved by ancient terrestrial and extraterrestrial materials much insight can be gained as to how our solar system and planet formed and how life subsequently emerged. I combine synchrotron and electron microscopy techniques with rock magnetism, paleomagnetism and fieldwork in an attempt to understand planetary formation and Earth’s earliest history. Potential PhD research projects include: -Characterizing the magnetic mineralogy of banded iron formations to constrain the redox state of the Archean ocean, precursor mineralogies and diagenetic processes -Studying terrestrial and laboratory analogues for ancient Martian lacustrine environments to learn more about the process and rate of magnetite authigenesis -Using magnetization as a proxy for the thermal structure of subduction zones


Qualifications and Experience

PhD, experience supervising undergraduate MSci projects.

Personal Research Keywords

Early Earth, Magnetism, Geodynamo, Banded Iron Formation, Habitability