Position: PhD Student, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University
Area of study: Experimental Petrology
Project: Trace element partitioning between plagioclase and clinopyroxene
What does that mean??
This is a mostly experimental project where I am growing very small crystals of plagioclase and clinopyroxene in various temperatures (1100-1400 degrees celcius) and various pressures (atmospheric pressure to 10 kbar) to see how the trace elements change. As plagioclase and clinopyroxene are some of the most common minerals on earth, this research should be applicable to many rock types.
I am also relating my experiments to real rocks (cumulates) from various locations to show that what I have learnt from my experiments can be applicable to real samples.
How did I get here?
I studied my undergraduate and honours degree at James Cook Universtiy in Townsville, QLD. Here I focussed on a rare earth element deposit and its genesis. During my honours I also did a short experimental project in Japan where I attempted to grow hydrous ringwoodite (high pressure olivine). This is when I decided that experimental geology was really interesting and I thought I would give it a go for my PhD.
Where will I go?
That is a hard question to answer. Right now I am concentrating on my research, and that will take another 2 years. Possibly a post-doctoral research project here in Australia or maybe a teaching position? I am not sure, but I have two years to work it out.