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Professor of Planetary Science, University of Leicester

At the Space Research Centre we use a range of techniques (scanning electron microscopes, transmission electron microscopes, focused ion beam, Diamond synchrotron) to study early Solar System processes related to the origin of asteroids and comets, and the evolution of Mars. In particular, we study cometary samples returned by the Stardust mission, asteroid samples returned from S-class asteroid Itokawa by the Hayabusa mission, and martian meteorites including the nakhlites with their unique hydrothermal assemblage that we have characterised, and the NWA 7034 regolith breccia.

We also use remote images and spectral data to study the surface of planetary bodies, particularly the evolution of the Mars surface and climate. For instance, the CASSIS stereo, colour camera, which is part of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter for 2016 is one of the new ways we will study the Mars surface. As a member of the European Landing Site Selection Working Group I look at the places where we may land the ExoMars 2020 (launch) rover, in particular using HiRISE imagery.

Bridges is also a participating scientist PI and ChemCam team member on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission, one of the most ambitious planetary missions ever achieved. You can follow the progress of Mars Science Laboratory by reading my blog and see more about our Mars surface and meteorite research.

Follow our activities via twitter @LeicsPlanets

Recent Mission and Advisory Committee Roles

2020 Sept - Chair, UKSA Space Exploration Advisory Committee

2020 Member of STFC Solar System Advisory Panel and UKSA Science Programme Advisory Committee

2018- UK Robotic Exploration Oversight Committee REXOC member

2013- HiRISE Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter camera team member

2013- ExoMars/Roscosmos 2020 Rover Landing Site Selection Steering Group

2013- Hayabusa Sample Allocation Committee

2012-14 Member of the UK Space Agency Space Exploration Advisory Committee

2011- Mars Science Laboratory Participating Scientist team leader and MSL ChemCam team member

2010- CaSSIS Stereo, colour imager, Co-I for the 2016 ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

2008 Member of Mars Sample Return planning team (iMARS 2008).

2007- Co-I MIXS X-ray telescope for Mercury

2007- ExoMars PanCam Co-I

2006- Stardust Mineralogy team member

2003 Beagle2


  • –present
    Chair professor, University of Leicester


  • 1992 
    Open University, PhD MIneralogy


NASA Group Achievement Award: MSL, ChemCam, Stardust; ESA group achievement award Mars Express