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Professor in Earth Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Emeritus Professor of Mineral Physics, University of Cambridge

I study the properties of materials in Earth, from biominerals in seas shells to the nature of Earth's inner core. I use computational analysis, neutron and synchrotron light sources to study these properties at the atomic scale, and link the results to phenomena at the global scale.

As a British Science Association Media Fellow I began reporting for BBC Science and elsewhere: follow my experiences at

My PhD was carried out at Cambridge University Department of Earth Sciences. After finishing I took up at Lectureship joint in the Departments of Geology and Chemistry at the University of Manchester. In 1994 I returned to Cambridge where I became Professor, as well as a Fellow of Jesus College.

In 2019 I took up the post of Presidential Chair in Earth Sciences and Dean of the College of Science at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

I have published more than 250 academic research papers in the peer reviewed literature, and guided almost 30 students to their PhDs.


  • –present
    Professor of Mineral Physics, University of Cambridge


  • 1989 
    University of Cambridge, PhD