1979 …2021

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Personal profile

Research interests

My major area of research expertise is in experimental petrology, broadly defined. I have throughout my career maintained a laboratory for high-temperature, high-pressure experimentation, consisting of apparatus that I have sometimes built but often inherited, thus continuing Australia's long-standing prominence in this field. My own experimental expertise has most recently focussed on one-atmosphere gas-mixing furnaces, and new-generation piston-cylinder apparatus, which is fully automated for greater precision of pressure control, and reaches higher pressure than other piston-cinder apparatus. I also have expertise in applying many of the standard techniques of analytical geochemistry to experimentally produced samples, especially the electron microprobe, laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction and infra-red spectroscopy. I have a long-standing interest in synchrotron-mediated X-ray absorption spectroscopy and was instrumental in developing XANES into a high-precision quantitative analytical method. My application of the experimental approach has concentrated on the petrology of the Earth's mantle, geothermometry and geobarometry, igneous petrology, order-disorder in minerals, the properties of silicate melts, diffusion, and acquiring precise thermodynamic data for geomaterials.  I also have expertise in the related areas of chemical thermodynamics, volcanology, and metamorphic petrology.

Education/Academic qualification

Geology, PhD, University of Manchester

Award Date: 1 May 1980

Geology, BA, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jul 1975

Research area keywords

  • Experimental petrology
  • Thermodynamics of geomaterials
  • Igneous petrology
  • Planetary geochemistry
  • Experimental mineralogy


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