Professor Penelope (Penny) King

Ph.D. Arizona State University, USA
Professor, Research School of Earth Sciences & Associate Dean (Research) College of Science
College of Science
T: 61-2-6125-0667

Areas of expertise

  • Geology 0403
  • Geochemistry 0402
  • Surface Processes 040607
  • Volcanology 040314
  • Extraterrestrial Geology 040302

Research interests

Our research group works in three main areas:

1. Examining the interaction of planetary materials with gases and the role of these processes in the evolution of planetary environments and surfaces.  These studies are relevant to Greenhous Gas sequestration, reactions at and beneath volcanoes and in ore deposits, and reactions on the surface of Mars, in the early solar system, and on exoplanets.

2. Studying the effects of volatile elements, pH and oxidation/reduction on materials at high and low temperature.  These studies are relevant to understanding how materials behave in the environment in the past and future.

3. Developing methods to improve the analysis of materials - especially novel techniques for analyzing light elements, multivalent elements and trace elements - to better constrain past environmental processes.

Biography

Employment 

Assoc Dean (Research) – College of Science – ANU 2021-

Prof/Snr Fellow/Fellow – Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES) – ANU 2012-

Snr Res Sci III/Res Prof – Inst. Meteoritics / Earth Planet Sci – Uni New Mexico 2007-2011

Assoc (Tenured)/Asst Prof – Dept. Earth Sciences – Uni Western Ontario (UWO) 1999-07

Honours 

Fellow, American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2019

Fellow, Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) 2019

AGU Joanne Simpson Medal for Mid-Career Scientists in Earth & Space Sciences 2019

Australian Research Council Future Fellow 2014-18

Clare Burton Award for Equity & Diversity (ANU VC's Staff Excellence & Service Award) 2017

Snr Fellow, Advance HE 2017

NASA Gp Award to MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) team 2013, 2015

Adjunct Prof/Spec Grad Faculty – Guelph-Waterloo Physics Inst/Schl Environ Sci Uni. Guelph – Canada 2011-15

Science Co-Investigator for the APXS team on the MSL mission 2007

MSA Distinguished Lecturer 2005

Advisory Panels

Aust Acad Science, Space Sci Rev, Planet Sci 2020

NASA-ESA Mars Sample Return End-to-End Internat Sci Anal Gp 2010-11

USA Nat Res Coun, Space Studies Board, Decadal Survey – Mars Science 2009-10

USA NASA & NSF Panels & Canadian Space Agency Advisory Comms

Editor

Principle Editor – Rev Mineralogy & Geochemistry v84 2018

Contrib Editor – A Life in Science – Elements 2012-17

Assoc Editor – Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 2012-14

Principle Editor – Mineralogical Assoc Canada Short Course v33 2004

Activities

International & national conferences – instigator/lead for >dozen conferences in research & teaching

Lead - Australasian Uni Geosci Educators’ Network 2015

Councilor - MSA & Mineral Assoc Canada

Fellows comm – AGU (member), Geochem Soc–Eur Assoc Geochem (chair)

Awards comm – AGU, Geochem Soc, MSA, Mineral Assoc Canada

Panel & graduation speaker

Available student projects

Our research group is accepting applications from Honours and PhD students for projects on gas-solid reactions.

  • Adsorption of methane on materials simulating volcanic, impact and volcaniclastic basalts on Mars (with Dr. John Moores)
  • Reactions between SO2 and minerals
  • Volatile cycles on planets

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

  • Oxygen isotopes of sapphires (with Aurelia Duncan, Colin Price & Janaina Avila)
  • Volatiles in volcanic tephra from the Izu-Bonin-Marianas arc (Janaina Avila)
  • Development of non-destructive, field-based reflectance infrared techniques to recognise mineral coatings on rock art, with application to finding datable coatings (with Dr. Tristen Jones)

Laboratory Projects

  • Carbon capture in cements and rocks (Emily Robson & Anna Herring)

Planetary Geology Projects

  • Origin of unusual iron meteorites with silicate inclusions (Rachel Kirby)
  • Element fractionation in impact events recorded in meteorites (Rachel Kirby)
  • Volatiles on the terrestrial planets (Riley Baile)
  • Evolution of exoplanet atmospheres (Sarah McIntyre & Frank Brink)

Past student projects

ANU Analytical & Field-based Projects

  • Minerals in 2018 Kilauea Volcanic ash (Emily Oborski)
  • Hornblendes in I-type granites from the Bega Batholith (Katie Robb)
  • How swelling clays interact with land use (Prue Merriman)
  • Do carbonate tufas provide climate proxy data? (Aly Weirman)
  • Petrology and unusual chemical features of altered rocks from the Grasberg Deposit, Indonesia (Melanie Sieber, Dick Henley)

ANU Laboratory Projects

  • 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)
  • Development of a glass thermometer using the effect of temperature on the mid-infrared spectra of glasses (Leo Pure, Andrew Palm)

ANU Planetary Geology Projects

  • Formation of calcium sulfate minerals on Mars (Tim Hunt)
  • Distribution of metals on the Moon's surface (Christian Renggli)
  • Mid-infrared studies of organic materials in meteorites (Shannon McConachie)

Publications

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Updated:  24 January 2022 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers