Geochemistry, geobiology, biogeochemistry, micro-palaeontology, organic geochemistry, chemical sedimentology, sedimentary petrology, biosignatures, astrobiology, exobiology, correlative microscopy
Associate Professor in Geochemistry and Astrobiology
|Associate Professor in Geochemistry and Astrobiology||4.C4 Center for Nanotechnology|
|GEOL0001: Earth Materials|
|GEOL0014: Geoscience Report|
|GEOL0006: Surface Processes (contributor - fieldwork component)|
|The London Geochemistry and Isotope Centre (LOGIC)|
020 7679 3404 (33404)
My main research interests are aimed at understanding the origin and evolution of life during the first four billion years of Earth history in order to predict what might be found on other planets and planetary bodies with liquid water and volcanism. I am interested in knowing:
- how biochemistry can arise from pre-biotic geochemical evolution,
- how micro-organisms form communities that affect or are affected by the biogeochemical cycles of C, N, S, and P
- how the atmosphere and oceans became oxygenated and led to the rise of multicellular organisms in the late Paleoproterozoic and compartmentalized early animals in the late Neoproterozoic.
I believe that a solution to these scientific problems will help to unify Earth Sciences and give the necessary basis to explore other ancient planetary surfaces for biosignatures. The dream of finding extra-terrestrial life is a ‘raison d’être’, an outcome of the evolution of consciousness on this planet, and potentially a way to bring peace on Earth, since private wars for money become irrelevant if we all realize that we are unified as a single animal species on one of many inhabited planets.
- Correlative Microscopy
These techniques include: optical microscopy, micro-Raman, Fourier Transform InfraRed micro-spectroscopy (FTIR), Elemental Analysis and Gas Bench Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (EA & GB-IRMS), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Electron Probe Micro-Analysis (EPMA), Focused Ion Beam (FIB), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS), Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS), Nanoscale Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS), Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), synchrotron-based Scanning Transmission X-ray Micro-spectroscopy (STXM), He-Ne microscopy, Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES), and Atom Probe Tomography (APT).
The integration of these techniques to analyse microscopic mineral assemblages associated with organic matter in old rocks provides complementary and partly redundant geochemical analyses of elemental, isotopic, and molecular analyses. In turn, these results yield a complete compositional picture to achieve the most solid interpretation to answer the challenging questions about the origin and early evolution of life, as well as to pave the way for the analysis of geological specimens that will returned from the Moon and Mars.
- Research Projects Opportunity
To inquire about projects (B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., Postdoctoral, and Visiting Scholar), please e-mail me directly to discuss your interests. Some examples are given in the Astrobiology tab of the Centre for Planetary Sciences webpage or London NERC DTP Doctoral Training Programme).
2019 July, Fully funded PhD project: