I’m a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University. My work involves analysing small cometary and asteroid samples with a NanoSIMS, a type of mass spectrometer that measures different elements and isotopes. I study these samples to understand more about the conditions in the early Solar System, helping to piece together the history and formation of the planets and other Solar System bodies. Comets also contain organic material which can help us to understand how the initial seeds for life may have been delivered to Earth. Have a click on My Current Research page for more information.
I supervise two PhD students based at the Open University and Natural History Museum, London. These students are working on different aspects of the early Solar System. I am Laboratory Manager and Principal Operator of the NanoSIMS at the Open University. This aspect of my job involves analysing a range of geological samples including Martian meteorites, Lunar Apollo samples and terrestrial rocks for a whole suite of different elements and isotopes.
I began my science career with a Geology degree at Durham University followed by a Geochemistry PhD at Edinburgh University. See my CV page for more information.
I am a BBC Women’s Expert and a 2013 British Science Association Media Fellow. I am a STEMNET ambassador which involves telling school children about my science work in the hope that they will also consider a career in science. I also speak to local interest groups such as Cafe Scientifique and the Women’s Institute about science.
Tweet me Follow @StarkeyStardust
Contact me here
I regularly update my blog which you can see here.