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Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Martin Whitehouse



Connections between Planetary Science and Earth's Evolution

Central Role at the Museum

Martin Whitehouse is a Professor and an isotope geochemist at the Department of Geosciences at the Natural History Museum (NRM). With in situ analysis through ion microprobes, his research is at the cutting edge.

– My role as the head of the NordSIMS ion microprobe facility involves overseeing method development, data reduction protocols, and quality assurance, explains Professor Whitehouse.

– The NordSIMS facility is a key component in the national research infrastructure NordSIMS-Vegacentre, and as a member of the steering committee, I play a significant role in the evaluation of external projects.

Research Efforts and Collaborative Projects

Martin Whitehouse's research spans several domains, from geology to planetary science.

– In my planetary research, I use the moon as a tool to delve into early Earth processes, understand how rocky planets differentiate over time, and the impact of meteorite strikes, he describes.

– On the geological front, my focus is on the chronology of continental crust formation, especially in ancient rocks from regions like West Greenland, northern Canada, Scotland, and Fennoscandia.

Additionally, his research aims to decipher the evolution of the supercontinent Gondwana through studies in the Arabian Peninsula and northeastern Africa.

Beyond his independent research projects, Whitehouse also spends considerable time collaborating with the radiation protection authority and the IAEA on nuclear safety analysis.

Beyond Research: Contributions to Geoscience

Aside from his role at the museum and his extensive research, Professor Whitehouse is an active contributor to the wider geoscience community.

– I serve as an editor for two leading international geoscience journals, he shares.

– Currently, I'm leading the Precryogenic Stratigraphic Subcommittee and am part of various committees under the Royal Academy of Sciences.

About Martin

  • Current Position: Professor, Department of Geosciences, NRM; Director, NordSIMS Research Interests: Isotope Geochemistry, Planetary Science, Early Earth Evolution Education: Undergraduate - University of Cambridge, UK; PhD - University of Oxford, UK Career Milestones: Postdoctoral positions at the US Geological Survey and the University of Oslo; Researcher at the University of Oxford; Joined NRM in 1996

Contact details

Martin Whitehouse




Martin Whitehouse is involved in the following projects:

Constraining the magmatic evolution of the Moon with Pb isotope measurements of lunar basalts

The formation and the evolution of the Moon is not yet fully understood by the scientific community. Therefore, analysis of lunar samples is crucial

Mars: lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere

Mars is the only inner solar system planet with an observed hydrological cycle and by inference, the potential for life. As such, the surface and

Early planetary evolution – a microanalytical perspective

Large-geometry CAMECA ims1280 ion microprobe at NRM used in this project. Photo: M. J. Whitehouse The terrestrial planets in our Solar System share a

One way that SIMS contributes to world peace: U particle analysis in nuclear forensics

Photo: Preparation space for uranium particles. The “clean tent” provides ISO 5 environment to avoid contamination. Martin Whitehouse Nuclear

Crustal growth in the Arabian-Nubian Shield

The Arabian-Nubian Shield, which stretches from north-eastern Africa across the Arabian peninsula, represents one of the most significant volumes of

Cracking the code: HR-SIMS techniques and data corrections for Sr isotopes in apatite

Some of the synthetic and natural apatite grains used for this project. Photo: Heejin Jeon. Early Earth – the first billion years after Earth was

Determining the ages of Earth's impact structures

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of two types of zircon crystals used in the dating of impact structures on Earth. Image: Gavin Kenny There

The Early History of the Biosphere

Life and Earth evolve in constant interaction. We investigate the evolution of the biosphere in cooperation with geochemists and sedimentologists who