Microscopy and microanalysis in Geological and Archaeological Sciences

12 – 13 October 2021

Online

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Overview

This virtual event will showcase research that uses microscopy and/or microanalysis of common geological and archaeological materials, including minerals, glasses, metals, ceramics and bones, to help answer research questions in these fields.

Microscopic imaging and microanalysis are widely used in Geological (including Planetary) and Archaeological Sciences to investigate and answer important and varied research questions. Characterisation of materials by 2-D and 3-D optical and electron microscopy, and subsequent image analysis, naturally leads on to further investigation by a wide range of in-situ microanalytical techniques. These may include X-ray energy dispersive and wavelength dispersive spectrometry, X-ray fluorescence, electron backscatter diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy, laser ablation induced coupled mass spectrometry amongst other techniques.

Archaeological and Geological sciences typically involve the characterisation of materials via methods ranging from imaging and elemental and isotopic analyses to dating and biomolecular approaches. The purpose of this event is to discuss the various methodological approaches used in research in these subject areas, particularly focused on microscopy and microanalysis. Archaeological applications include understanding past environments, diet and health of people in the past, forensic analysis, site activity and features, and conservation of materials. Geological applications include understanding terrestrial and extra-terrestrial igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary processes, climate change and geo-environmental studies, as well as mining and ore petrology.

This virtual event will showcase research that uses microscopy and/or microanalysis of common geological and archaeological materials, including minerals, glasses, metals, ceramics and bones, to help answer research questions in these fields. The event will allow interdisciplinary methods and working practices to be shared from a wide spectrum of research areas. Particular attention will be paid to investigations that use microscopic or microanalytical data quantitatively and forensically to answer novel research questions.


Scientific Organisers

  • Dr Duncan Muir

    Cardiff University
    Duncan is the Senior Electron Microbeam Technician in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Cardiff University. His work focuses primarily on scanning electron microscope imaging and microanalysis of geological samples. Duncan studied Geology and gained a PhD at the University of Bristol researching subduction zone volcanism and magma processes. Prior to his postdoctoral studies he worked in the applied fields of Mineral Exploration and Offshore Geotechnics gaining a broad experience of Geosciences.

  • Ms Nyree Manoukian

    Engineering and Physical Sciences Early Career Representative

    University of Oxford
    Nyree studied archaeology for her undergraduate degree at University of Toronto, and subsequently moved to the UK for her MSc degree in technology and analysis of archaeological materials. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Oxford in archaeological science. Her research interests include the analysis of ceramics using scanning electron microscopy and polarised light microscopy, in order to reverse-engineer the production and use of such materials in the past.  Her fieldwork activities focus on the Caucasus region. Research areas include raw materials acquisition, manufacturing techniques, firing regimen, and the use/function of archaeological pottery. Nyree is the EPS Early Career Representative and is keen on organising archaeological science workshops, which integrate various scientific fields explored within RMS.

  • Professor Roland Kröger

    Engineering & Physical Sciences Section Chair

    University of York
    Roland is a Professor at the Department of Physics at the University of York concentrating on Nano- and Biomaterials using electron microscopy as well as various spectroscopy tools including Raman microscopy and X-ray techniques. He obtained his PhD from the University of Hamburg/Germany and the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Science and Technology in Braunschweig/Germany. Roland has since built a large expertise in Materials Physics and Materials Science covering diamond thin films, metal/semiconductor nanostructures, nitride based light-emitting devices, metal nanoparticles for biomedical applications and biominerals using focused ion beam as a key method for sample preparation and analysis. Besides his interest in multi-lengthscale material characterization in 3D he is particularly focussing on in situ techniques to study mineralisation processes in liquid environments. 

 

 



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