My research concerns itself with the large-scale elemental cycles on Earth. The overall goal of my studies is to reconstruct how critical elements were cycled between the solid Earth, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere and the biosphere. The interaction between these spheres is not only interesting in the context of climate change and pollution, but when reconstructed from ancient rocks, allows us to better understand the mutual influence of physical parameters (such as radioactive heat), biologic evolution and atmospheric composition.
Over its 4.567 billion year history, the Earth has experienced profound changes, whose details still await discovery. The geology of the planet reflects these changes as do the mineral resources that were deposited at different times. My research therefore also contributes to the true sustainability of modern society, whose welfare relies on an ever-increasing number of elements that fuel technological innovation.
Member of the Royal Irish Academy