Associate Professor, School of Environmental and Life Sciences , University of Newcastle


Silvia has specialised in carbonate mineralogy and geochemistry while doing her Master of Science research at Berkeley (USA). She used Transmission Electron Microscopy and stable isotope analyses to recognise multi-step dolomitisation in carbonate platforms. Subsequently, she pioneered the study of terrestrial carbonate micro-structural and micro-morphological analyses as tool to reconstruct changes in their environments of formation, and relate these changes to climate and environmental parameters. These studies became the baseline for speleothem-based palaeoclimate Subsequently, Silvia pioneered the application of synchrotron radiation micro X-Ray fluorescence spectroscopy to speleothem studies. A major breakthrough of synchrotron work was the detection of sulphate layers in stalagmites which recorded past volcanic eruptions. The impact of Silvia's work is obviously circumscribed within the Earth Sciences community, and more specifically within carbonate and speleothem researchers. The overall impact in the specified communities is large, but small if compared to the impact of medical, ecological, economic research.

Research Expertise

Carbonates: sedimentology, mineralogy and geochemistry. Fabrics, trace element composition and C isotope composition of calcite and aragonite cements formed in continental (cave deposits) and marine (pore-filling) settings. Diagenesis in carbonate platforms, with particular focus on dolomitization. Diagenesis in continental carbonates with implications for re-setting of chemical signals. Synchrotron radiation bases micr XRF spectroscopy applied to low temperature carbonate geochemistry.


  • –present
    Associate Professor, School of Environmental and Life Sciences , University of Newcastle