Dr Catherine Mottram
I am a geologist interested in geochronology, tectonics, metamorphic petrology, geochemistry and putting all these tools together to unravel the complex deformational process that have shaped our planet over geological time.
I am a geologist who combines tools such as geochronology, geochemistry, field, structural, and economic geology to understand the interplay between large-scale tectonics, faulting, fluid flow and mineralisation events. My research focuses on developing techniques for directly-dating deformation events to unravel complex processes that have shaped our planet through earth history. I focus on the dynamic settings in the Earth's crust where stress built up during continental collisional events is released by movement along faults. My research actively involves developing and using laser ablation (LA) techniques to directly-date past movement on these structures. I am particularly interested in this developing innovative new methods to date non-traditional mineral geochronometers such as calcite, with applications in the Himalaya, Greece, Arctic Canada and beyond.
Current research projects:
- In-situ carbonate U-Pb dating as a tool for directly dating deformation
- Investigating timing of gold mineralisation along strategic faults in the Yukon, Arctic Cordillera (in collaboration with Dawn Kellett, Geological Survey of Canada; Maurice Colpron, Yukon Geological Survey; Tony Barresi, Triumph Gold Corp. NERC-funded project).
- ‘Timing of brittle deformation of the Alps revealed by direct U-Pb dating of calcite’ Leonie Weiss PhD student
- Directly dating seismically active faults in modern mountain belts (using the Himalaya and North Anatolian Faults as examples)
- Tectonic evolution of the Himalayan orogen
- Quantifying crystallographic deformation mechanisms in minerals used as geochronometers
- Development of Petrochronological tools using (Split stream) Laser Ablation ICP-MS, Electron BackScatter Diffraction, and Electron Probe techniques
I am interested in supervising PhD students for motivated students interested in using micron-scale tools to understand large-scale tectonic processes.
2018- now: Senior Lecturer, Structural Geology and Tectonics, University of Portsmouth, UK
2017-2018: Lecturer, University of Portsmouth, UK
2016: Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dalhousie University, Canada
2014-2015: Fulbright Postdoctoral Research Scholar, University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A
2010-2014: PhD, Open University, UK. Thesis "An integrated metamorphic and isotopic study of crustal extrusion along the Main Central Thrust, Sikkim Himalaya"
2006-2010: BSc (first class Hons), Geosciences, University of St Andrews, UK
I teach Structural Geology, tectonics, mapping and field techniques.
I particulary enjoy teaching in the field and teach in Scotland, Brittany, Cyprus, Cornwall and southern England.