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The Australian National University

Dr Penelope (Penny) King

Ph.D. Arizona State University, USA
ARC Future Fellow
ANU College of Science
T: 61-2-6125-0667

Areas of expertise

  • Geology 0403
  • Geochemistry 0402
  • Surface Processes 040607
  • Mineralogy And Crystallography 040306

Research interests

Interaction of planetary materials with gases and the role of these processes in understanding the evolution of planetary environments and surfaces.  These studies are relevant to gas sequestration, reactions at and beneath volcanoes and in ore deposits, and reactions on the surface of Mars and in the early solar system.

Effect of volatile elements, pH and oxidation/reduction on materials at high and low temperature.

Analysis of materials - especially novel techniques for analyzing light elements, multivalent elements and trace elements - to better constrain past environmental processes.

Biography

Education

Ph.D. – Department of Geology – Arizona State University (ASU) – USA 1999

B.Sc. Hons. IA – Dept. Geology – Australian National University (ANU) – Australia 1993

Employment

Senior Fellow – Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES) – ANU 2015-

ARC Future Fellowship – RSES – ANU 2014-2018

Fellow – RSES – ANU 2012-2014

Senior Research Scientist III  Inst. Meteoritics – Univ. New Mexico (UNM) 2007-2011

Associate Professor (Tenured) – Dept. Earth Sciences – Univ. Western Ontario (UWO) 2006-07

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) – Dept. Earth Sciences – UWO 1999-2006

Available student projects

Our research group is accepting applications from PhD students for projects on gas-solid reactions.  Contact penny.king@anu.edu.au if you are interested.  Applicants with a background in Geology, Chemistry or Chemical Engineering are encouraged to apply.

Current student projects

Analytical & Field-based projects

  • Weathering of basalts from North Queensland (Leah Moore, Liane Loiselle, Ulli Troitzsch)
  • How swelling clays interact with land use (Prue Merriman)
  • Development of non-destructive, field-based reflectance infrared techniques to recognise mineral coatings on rock art, with application to finding datable coatings (Tristen Jones)
  • Micron-scale X-ray diffraction of new minerals in coralline algae from the Great Barrier Reef (Ulli Troitzsch)
  • Do carbonate tufas that grew on trees that were submerged in the past provide climate proxy data? (Aly Weirman)
  • Petrology of buchites from Mt Stromboli, Italy (Dick Henley)
  • Petrology and unusual chemical features of altered rocks from the Grasberg Deposit, Indonesia (Dick Henley)

  • Laboratory projects

  • Evaluating calcination and carbonation using synchrotron X-ray diffraction (Lindsey Yue, Ulli Troitzsch, Terry Mernagh, Andrew Palm, Helen Bland)
  • Uptake of greenhouse gases on basaltic materials monitored with X-ray computed tomography (Rachel Kirby)
  • Reaction of volcanic gases with glasses and mobilisation of trace elements (Andrew Palmi)
  • Reaction of SO2 with basaltic glasses prepared at different oxygen fugacities (Christian Renggli)
  • Reaction of SO2 with glasses in the Anorthite-Albite-Diopside system (Christian Renggli)
  • Effect of temperature on the infrared spectra of organic compounds: application to searching for the origins of life on asteroids (Shannon McConachie)
  • Reaction of SO2 with Carrera marble (Dick Henley, Duncan Stewart)
  • Development of a glass thermometer using the effect of temperature on the mid-infrared spectra of glasses (Leo Pure, Andrew Palm)

  • Planetary geology projects

  • Distribution of metals on the Moon's surface (Christian Renggli)
  • Origin of unusual iron meteorites with silicate inclusions (Rachel Kirby)
  • Role of shock and volcanic degassing on S distribution on Mars (Shannon McConachie)
  • Publications

    Projects and Grants

    Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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    Updated:  20 November 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers