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Dr Martin Suttle


Profile summary

Professional biography

2021 - present. Lecturer in Planetary Sciences Solar system formation and evolution. School of Physical Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.
2019-2021 Postdoctoral ResearcherThe Geological History of Water-rich Asteroids. The Planetary Materials Group, The Natural History Museum London, UK.
2018-2019 Postdoctoral Research AssociateThe Cosmochemical Study of Giant Antarctic Micrometeorites. Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Pisa, Italy.
2014-2018 PhD Planetary SciencesThe Parent Bodies of Fine-grained Micrometeorites: A Petrologic & Spectroscopic Perspective. Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, UK.
2010-2014 MSci degree in Geology. Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, UK.

Research interests

Aqueous alteration in primitive extraterrestrial materials: I study the geochemical and isotopic properties of hydrated carbonaceous chondrites (CO, CM, CY, CI and C-ungrouped meteorites) and fine-grained micrometeorites. They are samples of water-rich asteroids and their study allows us to explore the interaction between rock and water across a range of geochemical environments. By investigating primitive hydrated bodies we seek to understand fundamental early geological processes that operated on minor bodies during the age of accretion and planet-building, approximately 4.5 billion years ago. This topic lies at the forefront of modern research interests, directly informing current and upcoming space missions (including OSIRIS-REx, Hayabusa2, DAWN, ROSETTA, Comet interceptor and DESTINY+).

Developing fossilized micrometeorites as a new atmosphere and climate proxy: Alongside colleagues at the Natural History Museum and Imperial College London we are pioneering the use of fossil micrometeorites as a new proxy to infer changes in the composition of Earth’s atmosphere over geological time. Cosmic dust grains fall to Earth continuously. During their passage through the atmosphere they are flash heated, melted and oxidized. A small fraction survive to the surface and eventually become preserved in sedimentary rocks, forming “fossil micrometeorites”. Analysis of these ancient extraterrestrial materials provides insights into the compositional diversity of the asteroid belt whilst also providing a means of indirectly inferring the composition of Earth’s upper atmosphere in the past. In particular micrometeorites could be used as a tool to reconstruct former CO2 and O2 levels at key periods in Earth’s history.  

The geological diversity of comets: Comets are balls of rock and ice that formed in the outer regions of the early solar system. Their primitive compositions preserve insights into the reservoirs from which matter condensed, the accretion behaviour of solids at large heliocentric distances and the origin of water and volatiles. Today, comets originate from two source regions – an inner ring extending from the orbit of Neptune out to ~1000 astronomical units (AU), referred to as the Kuiper Belt and an outer spherical zone (>10,000 AU from the Sun), referred to as the Oort Cloud. Despite decades of research we still know little about the composition and internal structure of comets nor do we know how much variation exists among comet populations. Are there different compositional types of comets and if so, what can these types tell us about the structure of the protoplanetary disk? I aim to tackle this question by combining telescopic observations of distant comets with microanalysis of rare cometary dust grains.

My research output includes 48 publications in peer-reviewed journals (19 first-authored) and >65 conference contributions as well as a range of online and print science communication articles. A full list of my journal publications can be found on Google scholar.


PhD supervison:
PhD, primary supervisor: Liza Riches (2022-present)Carbonates in ungrouped carbonaceous chondrites: tools for exploring the geology of hydrated asteroids”.
PhD, primary supervisor: Bianka Babrian (2023-present) “Low temperature geochemistry on water-rich asteroids explored through hydrothermal alteration experiments”.
PhD, co-supervisor: Isabelle Mattia (2022-present). “The extraterrestrial dust flux through geological time”.


Workshops, consortia and conferences:
I will be leadng the Geolgoical Society of London Planetary Science workshop on CM chondrites on 12/07/2024 (and 24/01/2025).
I was a co-convener of the Royal Astronomical Society's 2022 specialist meeting on cosmic dust research (11/02/2022).
I was theme lead for the coarse-grained subteam within the international consortium effort analysing the Winchcombe meteorite (2022-2023). 


Teaching interests

I am module team chair for our level 2 practice science course: SXPS288: Remote experiments in physics and space
I am also deputy chair for our level 2 planetary science course: S283: Planetary science and the search for life
I am a module team member for S350: Evaluating contemporary science

I am currently studying as an OU student for a Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP).

Impact and engagement

My research has been featured in the New Scientist, Astronomy magazine, BBC radio Kent, ASU News, Zeiss and several other online articles. I have also written science communication articles for The Conversation, Evidently Scientifical (I, II & III), Diamond LightsourceImperial College London and Science Trends. Today I am involved in the use of micrometeorites, collected from urban environments (e.g. rooftops, gutters, road sweepings etc.) as an engagement resource. The ability to rapidly recover and confidently identify cosmic dust from easily accessible sites opens a new avenue of planetary science to the public. Urban micrometeorites have huge potential for citizen science and educational projects as demonstrated by the work of Jon Larsen (Project Stardust), Scott Peterson, Dr Thilo Hasse and Dr Sarah Roberts. In collaboration with micrometeorite hunters we aim to develop this topic as an inspiring access tool in STEM subjects.

External collaborations

Prof. Sara Russell – The Natural History Museum, London.
Dr Ashley King – The Natural History Museum, London.
Prof. Luigi Folco – Università di Pisa, Italy.
Dr Fabrizio Campanale – Università di Pisa, Italy.
Dr Matt Genge – Imperial College London.
Dr Jacopo Nava – Università di Padova.
Dr Jenny Feige – Technische Universität Berlin, Germany.
Prof. Maitrayee Bose – Arizona State University, USA.
Dr Matthias van Ginneken – University of Kent, UK.
Dr Craig Walton – University of Cambridge/ETH Zurich.
Dr Tobias Salge – The Natural History Museum, London.
Dr Helena Bates – The Natural History Museum, London. 
Dr Zélia Dionnet – CNES chez Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, France.
Dr Ansgar Greshake – Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany.
Dr Lutz Hecht – Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany.
Dr Thilo Hasse – Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany.
Dr Flore van Maldeghem – Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. 
Charlotte Bays – The Natural History Museum, London.
Scott Peterson – Minnesota, USA (
Jon Larsen – Project Stardust, Norway.

Externally funded projects

Using cosmic dust from ancient sediments to investigate the geology of asteroids and their role in supplying nutrients to Earth
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead21 Mar 202220 Mar 2023The Royal Society

Asteroids are small rocky objects formed early in the solar system’s history. They are remnants left over from the age of planet formation, more than four billion years ago. Today asteroids reside in a region of space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Collisions between asteroids are rare but when they happen, they release huge quantities of dust into space. Some of this dust is captured by Earth’s gravity and falls to the surface. This cosmic dust can become locked up in sedimentary rocks on the ocean floor. Scientists can search sedimentary rocks, reconstructing a record of asteroid collisions that occurred many millions of years ago as well as exploring how the composition of the asteroids and how dusty collisions events affected life on Earth. In this research project I will study 8-million-year-old Italian sediments looking for dust from a major asteroid group known as the Veritas family. Analysing these dust grains will tell us new information about the composition of asteroids and whether these objects could have acted as important sources of water for the early Earth. In addition to learning more about the asteroid belt, this project explores the hypothesis that collisions between asteroids can have a profound effect for life on Earth. This is because asteroid dust can bring important nutrients to Earth, helping life to thrive in the nutrient-poor regions of our vast oceans. This project uses rocks found on Earth to look beyond our planet and learn more about the early solar system.


Transport of dust across the Solar System: Constraints on the spatial origin of individual micrometeorites from cosmic-ray exposure (2024-06)
Feige, J.; Airo, A.; Berger, D.; Brückner, D.; Gärtner, A.; Genge, M.; Leya, I.; Habibi Marekani, F.; Hecht, L.; Klingner, N.; Lachner, J.; Li, X.; Merchel, S.; Nissen, J.; Patzer, A. B. C.; Peterson, S.; Schropp, A.; Sager, C.; Suttle, M. D.; Trappitsch, R. and Weinhold, J.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 382, Article 20230197(2273)

Brecciation at the grain scale within the lithologies of the Winchcombe Mighei‐like carbonaceous chondrite (2024-04)
Daly, Luke; Suttle, Martin D.; Lee, Martin R.; Bridges, John; Hicks, Leon; Martin, Pierre‐Etienne M. C.; Floyd, Cameron J.; Jenkins, Laura E.; Salge, Tobias; King, Ashley J.; Almeida, Natasha V.; Johnson, Diane; Trimby, Patrick W.; Mansour, Haithem; Wadsworth, Fabian B.; Rollinson, Gavyn; Genge, Matthew J.; Darling, James; Bagot, Paul A. J.; White, Lee F.; Stephen, Natasha R.; Mitchell, Jennifer T.; Griffin, Sammy; Willcocks, Francesca M.; Jones, Rhian; Piazolo, Sandra; Einsle, Joshua F.; Macente, Alice; Hallis, Lydia J.; O'Brien, Aine; Schofield, Paul F.; Russell, Sara S.; Bates, Helena; Smith, Caroline; Franchi, Ian; Forman, Lucy V.; Bland, Phil A.; Westmoreland, David; Anderson, Iain; Taylor, Richard; Montgomery, Mark; Parsons, Mark; Vasseur, Jérémie; van Ginneken, Matthias; Wozniakiewicz, Penelope J.; Burchell, Mark J.; Hallatt, Daniel; Alesbrook, Luke S.; Spathis, Vassilia; Worden, Richard; Behnsen, Julie and Black, Kate
Meteoritics & Planetary Science ((early access))

Cosmic dust fertilization of glacial prebiotic chemistry on early Earth (2024)
Walton, Craig R.; Rigley, Jessica K.; Lipp, Alexander; Law, Robert; Suttle, Martin D.; Schönbächler, Maria; Wyatt, Mark and Shorttle, Oliver
Nature Astronomy ((early access))

Micrometeorite collections: a review and their current status (2024)
van Ginneken, Matthias; Wozniakiewicz, Penelope J.; Brownlee, Donald E.; Debaille, Vinciane; Della Corte, Vincenzo; Delauche, Lucie; Duprat, Jean; Engrand, Cecile; Folco, Luigi; Fries, Marc; Gattacceca, Jérôme; Genge, Matthew J.; Goderis, Steven; Gounelle, Matthieu; Harvey, Ralph P.; Jonker, Guido; Krämer Ruggiu, Lisa; Larsen, Jon; Lever, James H.; Noguchi, Takaaki; Peterson, Scott; Rochette, Pierre; Rojas, Julien; Rotundi, Alessandra; Rudraswami, N. G.; Suttle, Martin; Taylor, Susan; Van Maldeghem, Flore and Zolensky, Michael
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 382, Article 20230195(2273)

The mineralogy and alteration history of the Yamato-type (CY) carbonaceous chondrites (2023-11-15)
Suttle, M. D.; King, A. J.; Harrison, C. S.; Chan, Q. H. S.; Greshake, A.; Bartoschewitz, R.; Tomkins, A. G.; Salge, T.; Schofield, P. F. and Russell, S. S.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 361 (pp. 245-264)

Al‐Cu‐Fe alloys in the solar system: Going inside a Khatyrka‐like micrometeorite (KT01) from the Nubian desert, Sudan (2023-11)
Ma, Chi; Hu, Jinping; Suttle, Martin D.; Guan, Yunbin; Sharp, Thomas G.; Asimow, Paul D.; Steinhardt, Paul J. and Bindi, Luca
Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 58(11) (pp. 1642-1653)

How and with whom do educators learn in an online professional development microcredential (2023-07-14)
Rienties, Bart; Calò, Francesca; Corcoran, Suz; Chandler, Kathy; FitzGerald, Elizabeth; Haslam, Daniel; Harris, Claire A.; Perryman, Leigh-Anne; Sargent, Julia; Suttle, Martin and Wahga, Aqueel
Social Sciences and Humanities Open, 8, Article 100626(1)

Fossil micrometeorites from Monte dei Corvi: Searching for dust from the Veritas asteroid family and the utility of micrometeorites as a palaeoclimate proxy (2023-07-05)
Suttle, M.D.; Campanale, F.; Folco, L.; Tavazzani, L.; Meier, M.M.M.; Miller, C.G.; Hughes, G.; Genge, M.J.; Salge, T.; Spratt, J. and Anand, M.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 355 (pp. 75-88)

The Winchcombe meteorite—A regolith breccia from a rubble pile CM chondrite asteroid (2023-05)
Suttle, M. D.; Daly, L.; Jones, R. H.; Jenkins, L.; Van Ginneken, M.; Mitchell, J. T.; Bridges, J. C.; Hicks, L. J.; Johnson, D.; Rollinson, G.; Taylor, R.; Genge, M. J.; Schröder, C.; Trimby, P.; Mansour, H.; Piazolo, S.; Bonsall, E.; Salge, T.; Heard, R.; Findlay, R.; King, A. J.; Bates, H. C.; Lee, M. R.; Stephen, N. R.; Willcocks, F. M.; Greenwood, R C.; Franchi, I. A.; Russell, S. S.; Harrison, C. S.; Schofield, P. F.; Almeida, N. V.; Floyd, C.; Martin, P.‐E.; Joy, K. H.; Wozniakiewicz, P. J.; Hallatt, D.; Burchell, M. J.; Alesbrook, L. S.; Spathis, V.; Cornwell, L. T. and Dignam, A.
Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 59(5) (pp. 1043-1067)

Water-rich C-type asteroids as early solar system carbonate factories (2023)
Froh, Victoria; Bose, Maitrayee; Suttle, Martin D.; Nava, Jacopo; Folco, Luigi; Williams, Lynda B. and Castillo-Rogez, Julie
Icarus, 391, Article 115300

The fusion crust of the Winchcombe meteorite: A preserved record of atmospheric entry processes (2023)
Genge, Matthew J.; Alesbrook, Luke; Almeida, Natasha V.; Bates, Helena C.; Bland, Phil A.; Boyd, Mark R.; Burchell, Mark J.; Collins, Gareth S.; Cornwell, Luke T.; Daly, Luke; Devillepoix, Hadrien A. R.; van Ginneken, Matthias; Greshake, Ansgar; Hallatt, Daniel; Hamann, Christopher; Hecht, Lutz; Jenkins, Laura E.; Johnson, Diane; Jones, Rosie; King, Ashley J.; Mansour, Haithem; McMullan, Sarah; Mitchell, Jennifer T.; Rollinson, Gavyn; Russell, Sara S.; Schröder, Christian; Stephen, Natasha R.; Suttle, Martin D.; Tandy, Jon D.; Trimby, Patrick; Sansom, Eleanor K.; Spathis, Vassilia; Willcocks, Francesca M. and Wozniakiewicz, Penelope J.
Meteoritics & Planetary Science ((Early access))

Recovery and curation of the Winchcombe (CM2) meteorite (2023)
Russell, Sara S.; King, Ashley J.; Bates, Helena C.; Almeida, Natasha V.; Greenwood, Richard C.; Daly, Luke; Joy, Katherine H.; Rowe, Jim; Salge, Tobias; Smith, Caroline L.; Grindrod, P.; Boazman, S.; Bond, L.; Bond, V.; Casey, C.; Dickeson, Z.; Ensor, G.; Farrelly, S.; Godfrey, P.; Hallis, L. J.; Ihász, M. B.; Kirk, D.; Jackson, L.; Lee, M. R.; Mayne, B.; McMullan, S.; Mounsey, A.; Mounsey, S. E.; Mounsey, S.; Motaghian, S.; Naqvi, S.; O'Brien, Á.; Pickersgill, A.; Skilton, D.; Spencer, I.; Stephen, N. R.; Suttle, F.; Suttle, M. D.; Tartese, R.; Weir, C.; Wilcock, Cathryn; Wilcock, Hannah and Wilcock, Rob
Meteoritics & Planetary Science ((Early Access))

The Winchcombe fireball—That lucky survivor (2023)
McMullan, Sarah; Vida, Denis; Devillepoix, Hadrien A. R.; Rowe, Jim; Daly, Luke; King, Ashley J.; Cupák, Martin; Howie, Robert M.; Sansom, Eleanor K.; Shober, Patrick; Towner, Martin C.; Anderson, Seamus; McFadden, Luke; Horák, Jana; Smedley, Andrew R. D.; Joy, Katherine H.; Shuttleworth, Alan; Colas, Francois; Zanda, Brigitte; O'Brien, Áine C.; McMullan, Ian; Shaw, Clive; Suttle, Adam; Suttle, Martin D.; Young, John S.; Campbell‐Burns, Peter; Kacerek, Richard; Bassom, Richard; Bosley, Steve; Fleet, Richard; Jones, Dave; McIntyre, Mark; James, Nick; Robson, Derek; Dickinson, Paul; Bland, Philip A. and Collins, Gareth S.
Meteoritics & Planetary Science ((Early Access))

The formation and aqueous alteration of CM2 chondrites and their relationship to CO3 chondrites: A fresh isotopic (O, Cd, Cr, Si, Te, Ti, and Zn) perspective from the Winchcombe CM2 fall (2023)
Greenwood, R. C.; Findlay, R.; Martins, R.; Steele, R. C. J.; Shaw, K. M. M.; Morton, E.; Savage, P. S.; Murphy, M. E.; Rehkämper, M.; Franchi, I. A.; Elliott, T.; Suttle, M. D.; King, A. J.; Anand, M.; Malley, J.; Howard, K. T.; Zhao, X.; Johnson, D.; Liu, M.‐C.; McCain, K. A. and Stephen, N. R.
Meteoritics & Planetary Science ((early access))

Isotopically Heavy Micrometeorites—Fragments of CY Chondrite or a New Hydrous Parent Body? (2022-08)
Suttle, M.D.; Folco, L.; Dionnet, Z.; Van Ginneken, M.; Di Rocco, T.; Pack, A.; Scheel, M. and Rotundi, A.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 127, Article e2021JE007154(8)

The Winchcombe CM2 Meteorite Fall: Curation and Preliminary Analysis (2022-08)
Russell, Sara S; Salge, Tobias; King, Ashley; Daly, Luke; Joy, Katherine; Bates, Helena; Almeida, Natasha V; Suttle, Martin and Schofield, Paul
Microscopy and Microanalysis, 28(S1) (pp. 2732-2733)

In-situ O-isotope analysis of relict spinel and forsterite in small (<200 μm) Antarctic micrometeorites – Samples of chondrules & CAIs from carbonaceous chondrites (2022-05-15)
Rudraswami, N. G.; Suttle, M.; Marrocchi, Y.; Taylor, S. and Villeneuve, J.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 325 (pp. 1-24)

Multiscale correlated analysis of the Aguas Zarcas CM chondrite (2022-05-04)
Dionnet, Zélia; Aléon‐Toppani, Alice and ,
Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 57(5) (pp. 965-988)

Alteration conditions on the CM and CV parent bodies – Insights from hydrothermal experiments with the CO chondrite Kainsaz (2022-02-01)
Suttle, M.D.; King, A.J.; Ramkissoon, N.K.; Bonato, E.; Franchi, I.A.; Malley, J.; Schofield, P.F.; Najorka, J.; Salge, T. and Russell, S.S.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 318 (pp. 83-111)

Microscopic impactor debris at Kamil Crater (Egypt): the origin of the Fe-Ni oxide spherules (2022)
Folco, L.; Carone, L.; D'Orazio, M.; Cordier, C.; Suttle, M. D.; van Ginneken, M. and Masotta, M.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta ((Early Access))

The Winchcombe meteorite, a unique and pristine witness from the outer solar system (2022)
King, Ashley J.; Daly, Luke; Rowe, James; Joy, Katherine H.; Greenwood, Richard C.; Devillepoix, Hadrien A. R.; Suttle, Martin D.; Chan, Queenie H. S.; Russell, Sara S.; Bates, Helena C.; Bryson, James F. J.; Clay, Patricia L.; Vida, Denis; Lee, Martin R.; O’Brien, Áine; Hallis, Lydia J.; Stephen, Natasha R.; Tartèse, Romain; Sansom, Eleanor K.; Towner, Martin C.; Cupak, Martin; Shober, Patrick M.; Bland, Phil A.; Findlay, Ross; Franchi, Ian A.; Verchovsky, Alexander B.; Abernethy, Feargus A. J.; Grady, Monica M.; Floyd, Cameron J.; Van Ginneken, Matthias; Bridges, John; Hicks, Leon J.; Jones, Rhian H.; Mitchell, Jennifer T.; Genge, Matthew J.; Jenkins, Laura; Martin, Pierre-Etienne; Sephton, Mark A.; Watson, Jonathan S.; Salge, Tobias; Shirley, Katherine A.; Curtis, Rowan J.; Warren, Tristram J.; Bowles, Neil E.; Stuart, Finlay M.; Di Nicola, Luigia; Györe, Domokos; Boyce, Adrian J.; Shaw, Kathryn M. M.; Elliott, Tim; Steele, Robert C. J.; Povinec, Pavel; Laubenstein, Matthias; Sanderson, David; Cresswell, Alan; Jull, Anthony J. T.; Sýkora, Ivan; Sridhar, Sanjana; Harrison, Richard J.; Willcocks, Francesca M.; Harrison, Catherine S.; Hallatt, Daniel; Wozniakiewicz, Penny J.; Burchell, Mark J.; Alesbrook, Luke S.; Dignam, Aishling; Almeida, Natasha V.; Smith, Caroline L.; Clark, Brett; Humphreys-Williams, Emma R.; Schofield, Paul F.; Cornwell, Luke T.; Spathis, Vassilia; Morgan, Geraint H.; Perkins, Mark J.; Kacerek, Richard; Campbell-Burns, Peter; Colas, Francois; Zanda, Brigitte; Vernazza, Pierre; Bouley, Sylvain; Jeanne, Simon; Hankey, Mike; Collins, Gareth S.; Young, John S.; Shaw, Clive; Horak, Jana; Jones, Dave; James, Nick; Bosley, Steve; Shuttleworth, Alan; Dickinson, Paul; McMullan, Ian; Robson, Derek; Smedley, Andrew R. D.; Stanley, Ben; Bassom, Richard; McIntyre, Mark; Suttle, Adam A.; Fleet, Richard; Bastiaens, Luc; Ihász, Míra B.; McMullan, Sarah; Boazman, Sarah J.; Dickeson, Zach I.; Grindrod, Peter M.; Pickersgill, Annemarie E.; Weir, Colin J.; Suttle, Fiona M.; Farrelly, Sarah; Spencer, Ieun; Naqvi, Sheeraz; Mayne, Ben; Skilton, Dan; Kirk, Dan; Mounsey, Ann; Mounsey, Sally E.; Mounsey, Sarah; Godfrey, Pamela; Bond, Lachlan; Bond, Victoria; Wilcock, Cathryn; Wilcock, Hannah and Wilcock, Rob
Science Advances, 8, Article eabq392(46)