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Dr Ana Cernok

Professional biography

  • Since 2016  Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at School of Planetary Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

Project: Reconstructing the History of Lunar Volatiles (RESOLVE) 

  • 2015  PhD in Experimental Geosciences at Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Bayreuth, Germany 

PhD thesis: Diversity of compressional mechanisms among SiO2 polymorphs: case of coesite and cristobalite https://epub.uni-bayreuth.de/2719/

  • 2011  Master Studies in Geology, University of Vienna, Austria
  • 2009  Bachelor Studies in Geochemistry, University of Vienna, Austria 
  • 2004  School leaving examinations, Pančevo, Serbia

Research interests

I am currently studying rocks from the Moon! My project RESOLVE (Reconstructing the History of Lunar Volatiles) was funded by the European Commission in the H2020-MSCA-IF-2015 call.

It aims at understanding how the abundance and the distribution of volatile components, as well as their isotopic composition are influenced by the crystal structure of the host mineral in lunar samples. The volatile containing minerals – primarily phosphates – respond to pressure increase caused by the impact events by accommodating i.e. compressing their crystal structures, causing redistribution of the volatile, but also of the stable (e.g., H, Cl) and radiogenic isotopes (e.g., Pb). Therefore they not only provide a unique opportunity for precise age-determination of an impact event, but also simultaneous determination of the isotopic signature of the volatiles, a fingerprint to the source of the volatiles. This is a powerful approach for discriminating between indigenous and externally-derived volatile sources (solar wind, cosmic radiation, etc.), which is one of the remaining puzzles in studying the origin of water in the inner Solar System.

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