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Department of Earth Sciences


My research centres on the geodynamic and magmatic controls on the mineralisation of raw materials critical for renewable energy infrastructure. Application of a systems approach, and the integration of field, experimental, and theoretical studies aims to streamline exploration efforts.


2022–present: Research Associate, University of Cambridge; with Owen Weller. UKRI Future Leader's Fellowship project "A process-based understanding of rare-earth element deposits".

2021–2022: Research Officer, University of Brighton; with Martin P. Smith. UKRI WREED project, a four-month pilot project investigating REE deposits associated with supergene weathering.

2020–2021: Economic Geologist & Postdoctoral Scientist, Sisprobe SAS & Université Grenoble Alpes, France; with Nicholas Arndt. Developed passive seismic techniques for application in mineral exploration. Fifteen commercial projects on four continents on a variety of deposit types.

2018–2020: Postdoctoral Research Scientist, British Geological Survey, Edinburgh; with Kathryn Goodenough, EU Horizon2020 HiTech AlkCarb Project. Developed mineral systems exploration workflows for REE and HFSE in alkaline-silicate and carbonatite magmatic systems, applicable at continental to deposit scale.

2013–2018: PhD at McGill University, Montreal, Canada with Vincent van Hinsberg and John Stix. Thesis titled Mineral-melt Trace Element Partitioning in Alkaline Magmatic Systems including experimental work at GFZ Potsdam and fieldwork in the Canary Islands.

2011–2012: Masters project at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; with Dominique Weis, James Scoates, and Jean Bédard. Part of Geological Survey of Canada Geomapping for Energy and Minerals programme, including field mapping and radiogenic isotope analyses on the Franklin Large Igneous Province, Arctic Canada.

2008–2012: MSci Geology, University of Bristol, UK.

Research Associate, Department of Earth Sciences
College Research Associate, Clare College

Contact Details

Email address: 
Downing Site, M07