Viktoria Trautner

Viktoria Trautner


My main interests are the formation, evolution and present-day structure of planetary interiors.

I’m a DPhil student, studying mineral properties in Earth’s lower mantle under the supervision of Hauke Marquardt and Tarje Nissen-Meyer.

For my research, I use high-pressure/high-temperature experimental techniques to study iron spin crossovers in Earth’s deep interior. The extremely high pressures in the lower mantle cause a change in the electronic configuration of iron ions in lower mantle minerals. At the temperature conditions of the lower mantle, this so-called spin crossover extends over depths of hundreds of kilometers and has profound effects on mineral properties.
The primary aim of my project is to resolve the effects of iron spin crossovers on mantle physical properties and geophysical observables, such as seismic wave velocities. I then seek to incorporate the experimental results in seismic velocity models and use them to interpret geophysical observations. This will help to get a more accurate and quantitative understanding of the physical and chemical properties of the deep Earth.

I use diamond-anvil cells to conduct experiments at pressures of the lower mantle, coupled with novel time-resolved x-ray diffraction measurements at large-scale synchrotron facilities and Brillouin spectroscopy measurements in the laboratory.

My work is funded by the ERC, as part of the DEEP-MAPS project led by Hauke Marquardt.

Before coming to Oxford in January 2021, I did my BSc and MSc in Earth Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. For my Master’s, I modelled partial melting of mixed Lunar Magma Ocean cumulates using high-pressure experiments, to place constraints on the formation of lunar high-Ti magmas. During my BSc research project, also in the field of experimental petrology, I studied trace element partitioning in reducing planetary bodies like Mercury.

Please feel free to get in touch, if there’s anything you would like to ask me!