Research Overview

I am a mineralogist, petrologist and geochemist. My research involves three main topics:

  1.  I specialise in critical 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

I also advise government and other decision-making bodies on Critical Metal resources, particularly those in the Arctic and Europe. I advise on the relationship between the availability of critical metals and the future of the green energy transition.

All my research programmes are funded by a mixture of Research Council grants, consortium funding and industrial sponsorship.

My publications, research grants and honours and awards are listed on separate pages. My research group members past and present (the ‘A’-team) are given here. My most recent citation data are given here. Currently I have an h-index of 34 and attract 350+ citations per year.

The group has been part of two major research consortia whose outputs from St Andrews can be found through the links below:

  1. HiTech AlkCarb, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme (grant agreement No. 689909).
  2. SoS RARE, funded by the NERC, the UK research funding body (reference: NE/M011429/1).
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