I am a mineralogist, petrologist and geochemist. My research involves three main topics:
- I specialise in rare element deposits in alkaline rocks, how to find them, how they form and how they are modified by late-stage fluids. I consult for a number of Exploration Geology companies interested in the petrology and petrogenesis of alkaline and peralkaline rocks.
- How the physical properties of gems can be used as a tool to identify provenance, treatment and geological history, particularly using luminescence. I have links with several gem and gem-testing laboratories, and I run the world-class laboratories in the Facility for the Luminescence of Minerals at St Andrews University.
- How the geochemistry of biominerals is used as archives for past climate, particularly how trace elements are incorporated into biominerals and the controls on skeletal architecture.
All of these research programmes are funded by a mixture of Research Council grants, consortium funding and industrial sponsorship.
The group has been part of two major research consortia whose outputs from St Andrews can be found through the links below:
- HiTech AlkCarb, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme (grant agreement No. 689909).
- SoS RARE, funded by the NERC, the UK research funding body (reference: NE/M011429/1).