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Joshua Snape

Dr., Post-doctoral researcher


Phone: +46-8-5195 4170
E-mail: joshua.snape@nrm.se

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  • M.Sc., University College London, United Kingdom, 2008
  • Ph.D., University College London, United Kingdom, 2012


My primary role is that of a researcher, and involves the analysis of samples, publication of results and dissemination of our group’s work at scientific meetings and conferences. I am also involved in Ph.D and M.Sc. research projects at the Museum and Stockholm University.

Research interests

My research interests are mostly focused on extraterrestrial samples and what they can tell us about the early evolution of planets and our solar system. In particular, I am interested in analysing samples from the Moon, as the ancient lunar surface provides a unique opportunity to investigate a period of our Solar System’s history which is not accessible on the Earth. This work is currently divided into two main topics: (1) the magmatic evolution of the Moon and (2) the history of impact cratering on the Moon. Both projects rely heavily on Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) measurements (made at the NordSIMS facility) of the U-Th-Pb isotope systematics of lunar samples.

For the first of these projects, I have been involved in the development of a new approach for obtaining precise determinations of the ages and Pb isotope compositions of lunar basalts. We are using these data to construct a model to help us understand the sources of lunar volcanic activity, the early lunar magmatic evolution and, ultimately, when the Moon itself was formed.

The second project involves determining the age of lunar breccias – i.e. rocks formed during impact processes on the Moon. With an increasing number of such samples being dated with higher levels of precision than ever before, we are able to investigate the timing and frequency of impact cratering on the lunar surface, particularly during the first billion years of the Moon’s history.

Research projects