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Helen M Williams

Reader in Geochemistry, University of Cambridge

Helen’s research interests center around the application of non-traditional stable isotope systems to understanding the formation and evolution of planetary interiors. Her work includes topics such as accretion, core formation and the evolution of mantle redox state, isotopic tracing of depleted and enriched mantle components, element cycling and the oxidation state of subduction zones and the secular evolution of the Earth’s mantle.

Her research has involved using stable iron isotope analyses and high-pressure experiments to understand interactions between the Earth's mantle and the evolution of the Earth’s earliest mantle and, most recently, iron and zinc stable isotopes in subducted serpentinite rocks to understand the nature of slab fluids and subduction zone processes.

Helen is a recipient of a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant (“HabitablePlanet”) Project and is one of the PIs involved in the NERC "Deep Volatiles" Consortia. She is also a Co-I on NERC grants involving the cycling and concentration of chalcophile elements at convergent margins and studying the Earth's earliest magnetic field. Helen also collaborates on a number projects using non-traditional stable isotopes to explore weathering processes and biogeochemical cycling.


  • –present
    Reader in Geochemistry, University of Cambridge