-Senior Lecturer in Geology and Economic Geology
University of Leoben
-Visiting Scientist in Atom Probe Tomography
University of Oxford
My research is focused on the big influence that nanofeatures have on the evolution of our planet. I combine fieldwork, petrology, and nano-geochemisty to investigate a range of questions ranging from ore geology, to cosmochemistry, to metamorphic petrology.
My main research these days lies in 'invisible metals,' both in the form of primary metal deposits (i.e. Carlin type gold) as well as in historic mine waste. In these Carlin deposits gold can't be seen, even with high powered microscope, but is instead trapped in pyrite (aka fools gold). We are also realizing that these sulfide minerals are also important sources of technology critical metals. My group and I use a variety of nanoanalytical techniques (specializing in atom probe tomography; APT) to figure out how and why these important minerals are able to contain such an amount and variety of important deposits form.
The incorporation of gold and other precious metals into pyrite and other sulfide minerals is highly interesting, and has exciting possibilities as an unconventional source for the critical metals (i.e. Ta, W, Te, Ge, Co) that are desperately needed in Green Technologies.
I currently am involved in projects looking at 'invisible metals' in North America (Nevada and Yukon Territory), China, Africa, and Europe.
Additionally, I am interested in ultra-high pressure and temperature metamorphism, specifically how microstructural clues can tell us the story of how these rocks returned to the surface.
My favorite mineral is quartz and my favorite rock is eclogite.
Don't hesitate to get in contact if you have any general question about APT, invisible gold, or UHP-T rocks.