I’m currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of St Andrews, working on the mineralogy and geochemistry of alkaline rocks and associated rare metal deposits.
I was born and raised in a small town called Rijpwetering in the Netherlands. I went to high school in Leiden and studied Earth Sciences at the VU University Amsterdam, where I completed both my BSc and MSc degrees in 2012. Immediately after graduating I started my PhD at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland and the University of Copenhagen, under the supervision of Prof. Tod Waight, Dr Troels Nielsen, and Dr Henrik Friis.
For the next 3 years I spent my days studying the magmatic and hydrothermal evolution of nepheline syenites in the rift-related Gardar province in South Greenland, focussing specifically on eudialyte-hosted REE-Zr-Nb mineralisation. I defended my thesis in June 2016, shortly after which I moved on to a 3-year postdoctoral position with Prof. Adrian Finch at the University of St Andrews in beautiful Scotland.
As a postdoc at St Andrews I continued to work on eudialyte-hosted REE deposits in South Greenland, and various other REE deposits, as part of the NERC funded SoS RARE consortium. The SoS RARE project is a UK-based consortium with partners at the University of Brighton, Leeds, Sheffield, Exeter (Camborne School of Mines) and the BGS. The aim of the project was to bring together mineralogists, geochemists and metallurgists to improve our understanding of REE mineralising systems, and to use this information to develop environmentally friendly and economically viable ways to process REE resources.
I am particularly interested in how late-magmatic fluids evolve and modify the primary mineralogy, and how this influences the processing steps required to extract the metals from the rock. I use radiogenic isotopes (U-Pb, Sm-Nd, Rb-Sr, Lu-Hf) to trace subsolidus mobility of elements and to fingerprint the source of critical metal enrichment. I also use various mineral chemical techniques, such as EMP, XRD, and synchrotron-based X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy, to characterize primary and secondary REE-minerals.
I’m currently also working on heavy rare earth enriched Ion Adsorption Clay Deposits from Madagascar and China with collaborators from the University of Brighton.
I also enjoy undertaking teaching activities, including an MSc level economic geology course, lab practicals in optical microscopy, fieldmapping courses, and supervision of MSc dissertation projects at the University of St Andrews and the VU University Amsterdam.