The Planetary Materials Group comprises researchers from the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Center, which is located in East Kilbride.
We are also members of the Space Glasgow research cluster, and have close links with partners in the University of Glasgow Schools of Engineering, and Physics & Astronomy, and elsewhere in the UK, continental Europe and further afield.
Our research addresses a spectrum of questions including the early history of the solar system, the assembly and evolution of asteroids, exploration of Mars using meteorites and planetary rovers, and terrestrial impact cratering.
Dr Philippa Ascough
Isolating and identifying the origin of carbon in meteorites
Hydropyrolysis, Metabolomics, Accelerator Mass Spectrometry
Dr Ben Cohen
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Thermal histories of meteorites from asteroids and from Mars
Carbon in Martian meteorites
Prof Martin Lee
Mineralogical and isotopic analysis of meteorites from asteroids and Mars, and terrestrial impact rocks
Dr Darren Mark
Senior Research Fellow & Head of NERC Argon Isotope Facility
High precision geochronology
Planetary science (geochronology, astrobiology, petrology, rover technology design)
Dr Tim Tomkinson
Water-mediated alteration of martian meteorites
Our PhD Students
Mineralogy of the nakhlite meteorites
Crust-atmosphere coupling and carbon sequestration of early Mars
Hydrothermal alteration of the Rochechouart impact crater
Terrestrial Mars analogues
Radiometric dating of terrestrial impact structures
Terrestrial Mars analogues
Our planetary materials research is underpinned by a suite of state of the art instruments for the analysis of terrestrial and extraterrestrial rocks, and facilities for development of space hardware.
The center houses two field-emission SEMs equipped with both energy- and wavelength-dispersive X-ray detectors, electron backscatter diffraction systems (both Oxford Instruments and EDAX-TSL), cathodoluminescence and scanning transmission detectors. It also has a Raman microscope and a complete suite of facilities for sample preparation and coating.
Find out more about Imaging Spectroscopy and Analysis Centre (ISAAC)
Based in the school of Physics and Astronomy, the KNC houses several TEMs, including a JEOL aberration corrected instrument, along with a focused ion beam instrument for the manufacture of thin foils.
Find out more about Kelvin Nanocharacterisation Centre (KNC)
Biomarkers for Environmental and Climate Science is a research group led by Dr Jaime Toney, and applies biomarkers to understand environmental change in a wide rage of terrestrial environments including high altitude Mars analogue sites.
Find out more about Biomarkers for environmental and climate science
The Argon Isotope Facility hosts a comprehensive suite of analytical equipment dedicated to Ar isotope determinations in both rocks and minerals. The Facility has the most extensive range of gas extraction techniques and analytical tools in the UK, which allow age determinations of rocks/minerals, and high spatial resolution in situ dating. The 40K-40Ar clock is one of the most widely used radiometric dating methods, and is capable of determining the age of rocks that are less than two thousand years old and the age of meteorites that are older than the Earth (> 4.5 Ga).
Find out more about SUERC argon isotope facility