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I am a rock scientist. I obtained a Diplom in geology from the University of Mainz (Germany) and a PhD from the University of St Andrews (Scotland).
My main interest lies in hard rock geology, in particular the petrology of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Apart from a general interest in rocks, I'm fascinated by the scale and time that geology deals with. Investigating features at (sub)microscopic level can help us to understand geological processes that act on a global scale, and rocks that we collect from the earth surface today might contain hints on how the earth worked over 3 billion years ago.
"I know, for most people the word Geology results in the same feelings as, let's say, carpet weaving. Boring. Dirt and rocks. But most people [...] would be astonished, how exciting it is to let your feelers grope downward, through the layers of the earth, toward the centre of the planet. It is like leafing through a book written by the earth itself. Full of mysteries! Full of surprises! Full of dark wonders!"
The Nurn Forest Oak in Rumo and his Miraculous Adventures by Walter Moers
I investigate rocks from a time in Earth history called the late Archaean (2.5 to 3 billions years ago). My focus lies a mineral called zircon. I look at the behaviour of key isotopic systems and trace elements in zircons from metamorphic rocks of the lower continental crust. I'm particularly interested in what happens to zircon in mafic (dark) rocks that were buried so deep that they partially melted. For this, I use two study areas: the Kapuskasing uplift in Northern Ontario, Canada, and the Lewisian Complex in Northwest Scotland.
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