How do planets form, and how can a planet form that can support life? Fundamentals questions such as these are the main focus of my research. My approach to solving these involves dividing them into a series of smaller, answerable topics, that my DPhil students then address. This currently includes: using the isotopic compositions of meteorites to track the behaviours of the protoplanetary disk that led to planets forming from dust and gas; using computational models to examine how the first planetary bodies evolved; using synchrotron methods to probe the details of the compositions of meteorites to explore how life-critical elements were incorporated into the Earth; using both bulk and high-resolution paleomagnetic techniques to scrutinise the magnetic history of a range of samples to understand both the behaviour of the protoplanetary disk and the first planetary bodies. A DPhil project could be conducted on any of these topics, or related topics.
Qualifications and Experience
PhD in Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge; supervised 6 PhD students; taught a range of undergraduate courses and field courses