The Department of Earth Sciences is delighted to welcome Professor Jon Blundy FRS who will be joining our Faculty in July as a Royal Society Research Professor (Royal Society News 2020/04). Royal Society Research Professorships are the Society’s premier research awards; these prestigious appointments provide long-term support for internationally recognised scientists of exceptional accomplishments from a range of diverse fields.
Professor Blundy’s research interests span Volcanism to Green Mining and incorporates Igneous Geochemistry, so there is much synergy with existing Faculty research interests, and the Department’s facilities. We were delighted to host Jon to deliver one of our recent flagship Departmental Seminars, and there is huge excitement amongst Faculty and researchers anticipating his arrival, and building on existing and forging future collaborations.
Professor Jonathan Blundy FRS, From Volcanism to Green Mining – Rethinking Igneous Geochemical Cycles, University of Oxford
Jonathan Blundy FRS is currently Professor of Petrology at the University of Bristol. His work combines methods drawn from field geology to thermodynamics to investigate how volcanoes work, including the mechanics of magmatic systems and the formation of ore deposits. He will take up his Research Professorship at University of Oxford from July 2020.
Understanding how magmatism influences the formation of the earth’s mineral-rich crust is vital for accessing the metal ores that drive the 21st century, from electronics to energy. But a long-held scientific paradigm, which argues that the chemical differentiation of magma occurs in large magma chambers in the shallow crust, is under scrutiny. Professor Blundy will use experimental petrology, geological observations and modelling to test an alternative framework, which does not rely on chambers; he proposes instead that differentiation occurs within a crystal-rich ‘mush’ straddling almost the entire Earth’s crust. Professor Blundy’s rethinking of magmatic systems could change how we explore for and extract economically important metals in the future.