Professor in Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

I study the properties of materials in Earth, from biominerals in seas shells to the nature of Earth's inner core. I use neutron and synchrotron light sources to study these properties at the atomic scale, and link the results to phenomena at the global scale.

As a British Science Association Media Fellow this year I have been reporting for BBC Science, follow my experiences at

My PhD was carried out at Cambridge University Department of Earth Sciences. After finishing I took up at Lectureship joint in the Departments of Geology and Chemistry at the University of Manchester. In 1994 I returned to Cambridge where I am now Professor, as well as a Fellow of Jesus College. I have published more than 200 academic research papers in the peer reviewed literature, and guided more than 20 students to their PhDs.

I blog general Earth Sciences for a wide audience at


  • –present
    Professor of Mineral Physics, University of Cambridge


  • 1989 
    University of Cambridge, PhD