I am a senior lecturer in igneous petrology, mineralogy and geochemistry. I teach at all levels on the pure and applied geoscience undergraduate and some post-graduate courses. My role in the School is heavily based on the teaching and the administration side of academia, but I am involved in the following research projects: pre- and post-Caledonian magmatism in NW Scotland and the Shetland Isles respectively, and the possibility of remote sensing the toxic mineral erionite. Overall research interests are many and varied and include plate tectonics in general; the geodynamics of subduction zones in particular, the link between magmatism and plate tectonics; meteorites and the formation of the early Earth. My PhD research was based on the petrology of Proterozoic mafic sills in southern Africa in the context of a large igneous province. To me the natural world is fascinating and it is a privilege to be able to observe sections of it closely, and be paid to do so. Discovering what it is made of and how it occasionally falls apart, and quite spectacularly sometimes, does not in any way remove any of the magic.
I am currently working with colleagues in the Crustal Evolution Group investigating the geochemistry and petrogenesis of some pre-Caledonian mafic but mostly granitoid magmatism associated with the rifting of Pannotia and the opening of the Iapetus Ocean, and post-Caledonian magmatism in the Shetland Isles, this time within the context of pull-apart basin development or slab break-off. I am also involved in a pilot study using the Antrim Plateau Basalts in Northern Ireland as the field area to see if it is possible to detect the toxic zeolite mineral erionite by remote sensing. This is with Derek Rust, Andy Gibson and Mike Fowler (in SEES), Umran Dogan (Dept of Geological Engineering, Ankara University, Turkey), Meral Dogan (Dept of Engineering Geology, Hacettepe University, Turkey) and Alessandro Tibaldi (Universita degli Studi di Milano-Biocca, Italy).