James Bryson

Research Interests

The Earth’s magnetic field is generated by the convection of molten metal within the liquid outer core. The intensity, stability and longevity of this field reflect the motion of heat throughout the Earth. Paleomagnetic records preserved in rocks thereby provide a window into the past thermal state of our planet and provide unique insight into the ancient internal behaviour of the Earth. My research focusses on measuring ancient magnetic records and performing thermal modelling to better understand the formation and long-term evolution of the Earth. For example, the Earth’s magnetic field in generated at the present day by the gradual solidification of the inner core, however the time at which this process started as well as the mechanism that acted beforehand are both currently poorly constrained. My research addresses these and other similar questions, through a combination of experimental and modelling mthods. I am happy to discuss DPhil projects that cover a range of topics, from the collection and paleomagnetic measurement of ancient samples, to the mineralogical and magnetic characterisation of a broad range of samples, to the modelling of heat transfer throughout the Earth to explain the measured paleomagnetic records. I am also more than happy to discuss broad rock and paleomagnetic projects on a range of topics other than the long-term thermal evolution of the Earth. Samples can be measured in the Oxford Paleomagnetism Laboratory using both bulk and micrometre-scale paleomagnetic techniques, as well as characterised using SEM imaging, bulk magnetic methods and synchrotron-based techniques at the Diamond Light Source.

Dr Bryson can start taking students from January 2020.

MSci, PhD University of Cambridge.

Personal Research Keywords

Paleomagnetism, core processes, planetary accretion, planetary differentiation, isotope geochemistry, mineralogy