• KY16 9TS

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

Personal profile

Research overview

I am Professor of Geology at the University of St Andrews, specialising in the mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry of rift-related magmas and focussing particularly on the metal resources that can be found within them. My research focusses on describing the mineral deposits which form in rift environments, which include rare earths, niobium and tantalum. I work by explaining the shape and grade of the deposit and by developing models of how they formed. I have worked on alkaline rocks from all over the world (Mongolia to Malawi to Greenland) with a particular reputation for fieldwork in the Arctic.

I have been an advisor to decision makers, including, for example, the Government Office in Science at Westminster (GOScience) on resource issues and member of the University advisory panel on Sustainability. I am a member of the St Andrews Centre for Energy Ethics. I consult to exploration companies and my geochemical work is underpinned by access to some of the best analytical facilities available worldwide.

I have a BSc degree from University of Durham and a PhD in mineralogy and petrology from the University of Edinburgh. I was awarded a personal fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000. I am a Fellow of the Geological Society, the Society of Economic Geologists and a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society.

Other expertise

Arctic Fieldwork (12 field seasons)

Industrial relevance

Key researcher in the mechanisms by which rare element deposits are formed in alkaline igneous rocks. Frequent consultant for exploration geology companies.

Academic/Professional Qualification

PGCE, Higher Education, University of Hertfordshire; B.Sc., University of Durham; Ph.D., University of Edinburgh; Fellow Geological Society of London; Mineralogical Society (Council Member 1995-1998; 2004-date. Also Publications Manager); UK Mineral-Physics Interest Group (Committee Member 1998-2000)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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