I obtained an MEarthSci in Geology with Planetary Science (2007) and then a PhD in Isotope Cosmochemistry (2010) from the University of Manchester, UK. During my PhD I used time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) to investigate presolar grains that condensed around stars before our solar system formed.
I then spent a year as a post-doctoral research scholar at the University of Chicago, USA, continuing my presolar grain research and helping to build the next generation of resonant ionisation mass spectrometry (RIMS) instruments.
I briefly returned to the University of Manchester before starting as a post-doctoral research assistant at the Natural History Museum (NHM), UK in 2012. At the NHM my research developed a strong focus on using the mineralogy and petrography of meteorites as a way to unravel the geological history of asteroids.
In 2019 I became a Lecturer in Planetary Science at the Open University, where my research continues to use extraterrestrial materials to understand how the solar system evolved from a cloud of gas and dust into the Sun, planets, moons, asteroids and comets.
The solar system formed from the collapse of an interstellar cloud of gas and dust ~4.6 billion years ago. But how did that gas and dust coalesce into the Sun and planets that we see today? And what processes and events led to the formation of habitable planets like the Earth? Meteorites are rocky time capsules that can be used to probe the earliest stages of solar system formation and the evolution of planets.
I explore the formation of solar systems by studying the physical and chemical properties of meteorites and extraterrestrial materials returned to Earth by space missions. I have expertise in a wide range of analytical tools, including electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, and laboratory and synchrotron-based spectroscopy, that I use to investigate presolar and solar dust in the protoplanetary disk, the geological history of asteroids and comets, and the relationship between meteorites, asteroids and comets.
Louise Zenie - The evolution of material in the inner solar system: Elucidating the history of enstatite chondrites (Natural History Museum/Open University).
Helena Bates - The formation and evolution of asteroids (Natural History Museum/University of Oxford).
Enrica Bonato - The mineralogy of protoplanetary dust (Natural History Museum/University of Glasgow).
S111 - Questions in Science (module team member)
S350 - Evaluating Contemporary Science (module team member)
SXPS288 - Remote Experiments in Physics and Space (topic specialist/module team member)
Selected as one of the World Economic Forum's Young Scientists of 2019.
Convenor of 2017 RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting - Science of Primitive Asteroid Sample Return Missions.
Convenor of the NHM's Meteorites and Solar System Formation workshop in 2015.
Organising committe of the Impacts and Astromaterials Research Centre symposium in 2014.
I am leading efforts to develop camera networks in the UK that record meteors and can be used to track meteorite falls. As part of this I installed a meteor camera on the roof of the Natural History Museum, and helped to set-up a student-run camera on a secondary school in London.
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