Richard Thomas

Academic Profile


MSc Geoscience - University College London - (Distinction in all modules) - Thesis involved the development of thermodynamic models for fault melt generation and evolution.
BSc Applied Geoscience (First Class Honours)

Professional experience

Exploration geochemist for 41/2 years working in Siberian Russia, India, Turkey, Nepal, Africa, Ireland, and the UK on several deposit types

Key Awards

Ancient and Glorious Order of William Smith - Geological Society
Nicholas Marvin Costello Award for the highest overall academic grade
Full membership and scholarship from the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain
Fellow of the Geological Society

Current Research

The primary aim of my DPhil is to define the thermodynamic activities of the Halogens (F, Cl, Br and I) in silicate melts. Although they are typically found as minor components in many magmatic and hydrothermal systems they are thought to greatly influence the chemical and physical properties of a melt, the genesis and evolution of magmas and their eruptive processes. In an attempt to understand and model the properties of a melt, the fluids they exsolve and the glasses they form, a detailed understanding of the underlying thermodynamic properties is vital.  Therefore, this project aims to develop a novel methodology to define the activity of halogens in silicate melts at relevant conditions. This will shed light on both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial geochemical processes such as on Mars, volatility, planetary differentiation and evolution.  The changing behaviour of halogens may also have vast influences on the dynamics of a melt and thus will influence the mass transfer and migration of matter.


Thomas, W, R., Dobson, P, D., Mitchell, M, T., (2017). Diffusion profiles around quartz clasts as indicators of the thermal history of pseudotachylytes. Geophysical Research Letters. In Press.

Thomas, W, R., and Honig, S., (2017) The Chemistry of Gold: New approaches to BLEG sampling. Journal of Geochemical Exploration. In Review.

Contact information