Going Crazy in Paris!

Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris – nicer to look at that a dark lecture theater full of scientists!

The 2017 Goldschmidt conference in Paris started yesterday morning, but yesterday I was on a Eurostar train on my way back to the UK from Paris.

Several pre-conference workshops took place at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) over the weekend, one of which was DINGUE5 – the 5th Developments in Noble Gas Understanding and Expertise workshop. The literal translation of dingue from French to English is crackpot or crazy – seems rather apt for the 100 or so attendees who spend their working lives studying noble gases in various types of geological samples and spent their weekend talking about them with each other! The topics of the various talks ranged from micrometeorites found in dust on the windowsill in Zurich to dating groundwater, and also included updates on instrument developments from several of the companies that manufacture noble gas mass spectrometers.

The Pete Burnard award was presented to Julien Amalberti, who worked with Pete at CRPG while studying for his PhD, and is now a Post Doc at the University of Michigan.

Abstracts submitted to this workshop by members of the research group are as follows, and further details can be found on the meeting website:

Crowther, S.A., Gilmour, J.D. & Ruzicka, A.M. (2017) First I-Xe Age of a New Suite of Large Igneous Inclusions in Ordinary Chondrites.

Li, Y., Zhou, Z., Markusson, S., Zwalhen, C. & Holland, G. (2010) Noble Gas and Stable Isotope Characteristics of Hydrothermal Fluide System, Krafla, Iceland.


A game of eye spy on the train home… something beginning with L? Any guesses?! (Its a bit blury because the train was going fast!)

It was nice to catch up with a few SEES alumni at the workshop, and hear about what they have been doing since they graduated from Manchester University.

Michael Broadley, who did his PhD in the Isotope Group, is now a Post Doc at the Centre de Recherches Petrographiques et Geochimique (CRPG) in Nancy, France. Since finishing his PhD in 2015 he has also spent time working in Oxford and Japan.

Stuart Gilfillan also did his PhD in the group, finishing in 2006. He is now a Chancellor’s Fellow at Edinburgh University, and is working on carbon dioxide storage

Chris Varden was an undergraduate on the Geology and Environmental Science course and graduated in 2010. He is now working as an engineer for IsotopX,  a company that develops and builds noble gas mass spectrometers.

James Crosby was also a SEES undergraduate student, and is now studing for a PhD at in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews (same school name, different university!).


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About Sarah Crowther

I'm a Post Doc in the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry group. I study xenon isotope ratios using the RELAX mass spectrometer, to try to learn more about the origins and evolution of our solar system. I look at a wide range of samples from solar wind returned by NASA's Genesis mission to zircons (some of the oldest known terrestrial rocks), from meteorites to presolar grains.
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