My researches is both theoretical and empirical. On the empirical side of things I am manager of the High-Pressure Petrology laboratory at St Andrews, and I collaborate with the STAiG laboratory and use the micro-analytical facilities available in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at St Andrews. Specific information about petrology and isotope geochemistry is provided below (with links). For a full list of our facilities follow this link.
We have a Rockland Piston Cylinder press capable of simulating pressures from 0.1-5 GPa and temperatures of 100-2000°C. This facility can be used to study solid-state, solid-fluid, or fluid-fluid reactions at high pressures and temperatures. Applications include elemental partitioning during differentiation of silicate melts, stable isotope fractionation during partitioning within planetary bodies, and the stability/degradation of organic carbon during metamorphism.
In the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences we host an Electron microprobe (equipped with light-element crystal for C-N determinations), two SEMs, XRD, XRF, Raman and NIR spectroscopy, and 2D-3D micro-imaging.
I collaborate with Dr Eva Stüeken in our Gas-Sources Mass Spectrometry Laboratory (Thermo MAT-253 attached to a bespoke gas-line) where we are establishing a protocol for the isotopic analysis of trace amounts of nitrogen in geological materials.