I'm a Post Doctoral Research Associate in Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University (funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)). I work on analysing small cometary and meteoritic samples with a NanoSIMS, which is a type of mass spectrometer that measures different elements and isotopes. I am studying extraterrestrial samples in order to understand the distribution of silicate and organic reservoirs in the early Solar System. Isotopes can trace the processes acting on these reservoirs over large and small scales in the early Solar System, helping to piece together the history of how the planets and other Solar System bodies formed. Comets also contain organic material which can help us to understand how the initial seeds for life may have been delivered to Earth.
I began my science career with a Geology degree at Durham University followed by a Geochemistry PhD at Edinburgh University. I currently supervise two PhD students and, in addition to my own research, I am Deputy Head of the NanoSIMS laboratory. This aspect of my job involves analysing a range of geological samples such as martian meteorites, Lunar Apollo samples and terrestrial samples, measuring a whole suite of different elements and isotopes.
I am a STEMNET ambassador which involves speaking to school children about my science in order to enthuse them into a science career.