Science Snap (#35): Twinning

Twinning is a phenomenon in mineralogy whereby a single crystal of a mineral has two or more parts in which the crystal lattice is differently orientated. The shared surface between two twins is called the composition or twin plane, and the orientation to either other is determined by symmetry through rotation or reflection; this relationship […]

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Building Stones of Clifton – A Walking Trail

In my opinion, there aren’t many finer ways to spend an autumnal afternoon than ambling round the historical suburb of Clifton in Bristol. Bounded to the west by the dramatic limestone cliffs of the Avon Gorge and the bucolic open downs of Clifton and Durdham, Clifton Village is a Bristol rarity, in only having been […]


Coral, wanted dead and alive; a brief excursion into the world of coral science

Today we have a guest post from Dr. Peter Tomiak who delves into the life and death of corals… I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology and Geology at the University of Bristol in 2008. Subsequently I undertook a sponsored internship with Save The Elephants, in Samburu National Park Kenya, before starting a short term position alongside Prof. Adrian Lister at […]

Review of the BGS myVolcano iPhone app

Originally posted on the EGU blog network A few months ago, Elspeth posted a review of her top geology-themed mobile phone apps. Since then, the resourceful folk at the British Geological Survey (BGS) have come up with a new contender; here we take a look at myVolcano.

Science Snap (#17): Ailsa Craig

Ailsa Craig is an uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. Formed from the plug of a Paleogene volcano, the landmass reaches over 330 m height and ~ 3 km length, and can easily be seen from the Scottish mainland. The island comprises three types of granite: Ailsa Craig Common Green, Ailsa Craig Red […]

Science Snap (#15): Big freezes

Originally posted on the EGU blog network Satellite images are not just wonderful for science, they also capture public interest during periods of intense and news grabbing weather. Earlier this month North America was gripped by a prolonged Arctic Chill, plunging the continent into freezing temperatures and smashing temperature records in the process. Consecutive satellite […]

Seems like everyone is a climate modeller these days!

Originally posted on the EGU blog network In December last year there was a lot of buzz around J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy land Middle Earth, and I am not just talking the second instalment of The Hobbit franchise. Taking a break from racing his rabbits about Anduin, Radagast the Brown (otherwise known as Dr Dan Lunt, University […]

“I’m a scientist, get me out of here…!”

Having had just over a week to recover I can finally begin to look back on what were two incredible weeks of “I’m a scientist, get me out here” excitement! To the uninitiated, think academia meets X-Factor in a science communication and outreach fiesta. The premise is simple – school students ask science questions, scientists […]

Science snap (#12): Purple bacteria

Originally posted on the EGU blog network The world of microbiology is weird, wonderful and also quite multi-colourful.  Purple bacteria, a particular hue of microbe which holds a special place in my heart, have just taken the spotlight when it comes to the search for life on other planets.  These bacteria were known to dominate […]

Using garnet geochemistry to investigate the lithospheric mantle beneath northern Tanzania

Originally posted on the EGU blog network As part of my undergraduate MSci course at the University of Cambridge, I carried out a project investigating a collection of thin sections from peridotite xenoliths from northern Tanzania. The main aim of this research was to constrain the petrogenetic evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath the East […]