Bram De Winter

Bram De Winter


Current Research

I am a DPhil student that started in fall of 2022 that combines computational geosciences and experimental petrology. I am working with Andrew Walker and Elena Melekhova My main research interest is to understand the behaviour of stable isotopes in the crystallisation of early Earth magma ocean after the giant impact. There is still a lot of controversy and data gaps between the formation of the earth and early history of tectonics. With this study we aim to investigate the magma ocean of the earth, and couple results to OIB Si and Mg isotope ratios to see if there are traces left of the magma ocean. Additonally, we can use results of our theoretical studies to better understand the formation of magma oceans and early traces of crystallisation.

By using atomic scale simulation techniques we can understand the fractionation of stable isotopes between minerals and melt at high temperature and pressure. The results gained from these simulations are tested with experimental petrology techniques at low and high temperatures at Oxford and BGI Bayreuth. Here we use new techniques to study mineral-mineral isotope fractionation in samples.

Previous research

I obtained both a MSc and undergraduate (BSc) degree of Earth Sciences at VU Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

For my master’s thesis research,  I worked with prof. Wim van Westrenen and PhD candidate Jie-jun Jing on crystallisation models of the lunar magma ocean with an specific interest towards the crystallisation of garnet. To solve the paradox between estimated lunar crust thickness estimates between geochemical and geophysical observations, geochemical models need to find a way to eliminate Al-contents prior to fractional crystallisation and hence formation of a floatation crust. To study this, we used a multi-anvil experimental petrology technique where we produced samples up to pressures of 5 GPa. By using an relative Al-rich starting composition  we showcased the stability of garnet in the deep mantle of the Moon and constraining the amount of Al in bulk compositon that could explain observations.

Other research topics I worked on are olivine melt inclusions in Italian carbonatitic rocks together with Dr. Janne Koornneef. Here we used melt inclusions to identify different subduction zones based on measured major- and trace elements.

Other activities

Space Community

Since 2020 I worked on voluntary basis for Space Generation Advisory Council, an organisation that represents over 21.000 young professionals & students aiming to work or that work in de space sector. I currently hold the position of Co-lead for the Space Exploration Project Group (SEPG), an research group of 900 members that focus on all facets of space exploration with the main aim: “Give the next generation a voice in determining the future of space exploration”. In this group we publish around 8-9 conference papers annually.

During my undergraduate and MSc degree I attend multiple international conferences, organised my own space symposium, was part of different committees to represent students in space related topics, and