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Professor of Petrology, Queensland University of Technology

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.


  • 2011–present
    Chair, Trinity College Dublin
  • 2005–2011
    Canada Research Chair, Laurentian University
  • 1998–2001
    Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Queensland
  • 1996–1998
    Postdoctoral research fellow, Oxford University
  • 1995–1996
    Postdoctoral research fellow, Cambridge University
  • 1995–1996
    Postdoctoral research fellow, Cambridge University


  • 1995 
    University of Bern, 2
  • 1992 
    University of Bern, 1


Member of the Royal Irish Academy