Eleanor Rose Mare

PhD candidate
OHB G.03





I am a PhD student at RSES under the supervision of Prof. Hugh O'Neill and Dr Andrew Berry.

I have a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) with Honours from Monash University, completed in 2012. I obtained a double major in Earth Science with a minor in Mathematics. For my honours year, I did some research in the field of meteoritics, and participated in several meteorite-hunting trips to the Nullarbor Plain. I also taught myself how to develop mathematical models using MATLAB and R, and found that I got a lot of satisfaction out of programming. My honours work has led to two publications so far.

My PhD is in experimental petrology and I have learned a wide variety of skills associated with this research. These include the use of the laboratory equipment (gas-mixing furnaces, piston cylinder, multi-anvil press) and analytical techniques such as SEM, EPMA, and LA-ICPMS. I have also had some experience with powder X-ray diffraction, infra-red spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. In addition, I was awarded three days beamtime at the Australian Synchrotron in 2013 and another three days in 2016, where I used X-ray absoprtion spectroscpy (XAS) to determine the local atomic environment around trace elements in synthetic glasses. In 2014 I was awarded the Australian Bicentennial Scholarship, which enabled me to travel to the University of St Andrews and work with Prof. Sharon Ashbrook. There, I used Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to further investigate the structure of the same synthetic glasses.

Further details of my research can be found under the 'Research' tab.


Research interests

PhD research: Cation coordination changes in silicate melts with pressure

Supervisors: Prof Hugh O'Neill and Dr Andrew Berry (Australian National University)

For my PhD I am studying the local environment of trace elements in natural silicate magmas, and how this is affected by pressure. It has already been shown that some trace elements, such as Ni and Co, transition from tetrahedral to octahedral coordination as pressure increases. I am trying to show that this also occurs for Ge and Ga. This is important because the local environment of trace elements determines their stability in the melt, and thus affects how they move between melt and other phases - their 'partitioning behaviour'. This partitioning behaviour is used in many geochemical models, such as those that try to determine the process of formation of the Earth's core.

Honours research: Thermal modelling of ordinary chondrite parent bodies

Supervisor: Dr Andy Tomkins (Monash University)

For my Honours project (2012) I developed a thermal model of an asteroid to show that the melting of certain mineral grains causes thermal buffering, affecting the thermal history of the entire asteroid. This work was published in Meteoritics & Planetary Science. I also conducted modelling to try to explain the formation of the Type 7 ordinary chondrites, which are meteorites that exhibit partial silicate melting. The models indicate that this melting is best explained through a combination of both radiogenic heating and impact-related heating. This work is currently in review in Meteoritics & Planetary Science.



Demonstrating experience and training

From 2013-2016, I demonstrated 5 weeks of a first-year Earth Science course. I demonstrated in the practical classes and a week-long field trip. My role was to help teach students to identify rocks and minerals, take structural measurements, and to create geological maps, cross sections, and stratigraphic logs. I was also involved in marking the students' work.

I also completed the "Principles of Tutoring and Demonstrating" ten-week course in 2013, run by the Centre for Higher Education, Learning & Teaching, ANU.

Outreach and science communication

  • I contribute to ‘Oncirculation’ – the Research School of Earth Science Student Blog; you can find my profile and a link to all my posts here: http://oncirculation.com/about/eleanor/
  • I have helped at the Geoscience Australia open day (2013 and 2014)
  • I have led tours of the Petrology labs for new students (2014 and 2015)
  • I visited a primary school class to answer their questions about volcanoes (2014)
  • I attended a “Speed Date a Scientist” event for high school students as part of the National Youth Science Forum (2016)

  • I participated in the 3 Minute Thesis competition (2016)

  • Along with two fellow PhD students, I designed and delivered a two-hour workshop for masters students, entitled ‘Developing skills for the 3 Minute Thesis (and beyond)’ (2016)





Peer reviewed journal papers

Mare, E.R. and Tomkins, A.G., In Review. On the causes of silicate partial melting in planetesimals: The combined influence of impact and radiogenic heating. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Mare, E.R., Tomkins, A.G., Godel, B.M., 2014. Restriction of parent body heating by metal-troilite melting: Thermal models for the ordinary chondrites. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 49, 636–651.

Tomkins, A.G., Mare, E.R., Raveggi, M., 2013. Fe-carbide and Fe-sulfide liquid immiscibility in IAB meteorite, Campo del Cielo: Implications for iron meteorite chemistry and planetesimal core compositions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 117, 80–98.

Conference presentations

Mare, E.R., O’Neill, H.St.C, and Berry, A. 2016. Changes in the coordination and valence state of Ge in silicate melts at conditions relevant to core formation. Goldschmidt Conference, Yokohama (oral presentation).

Mare, E.R., O’Neill, H.St.C, and Berry, A. 2015. Coordination changes of trace elements in silicate melts with pressure. Goldschmidt Conference, Prague (oral presentation).

Mare, E.R., O’Neill, H.St.C. and Berry, A. 2014. Pressure-induced coordination change of Ge4+ and Ga3+ in silicate melts. Australian Synchrotron User Meeting (invited oral presentation).

Mare, E.R., Tomkins, A.G. and Godel, B.M., 2013. Restriction of parent body heating by metal-troilite melting: Thermal models for the ordinary chondrites. Rocks, Reef and Rainforest: Biennial conference of the Specialist Group for Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology, Geological Society of Australia (poster presentation).


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