Dr Nicholas Gardiner

Dr Nicholas Gardiner


Researcher profile

+44 (0)1334 46 3911



2019: Senior Lecturer, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of St Andrews

2018-19: Research Fellow, School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University, Melbourne

2015-18: Research Fellow, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Curtin University, Perth

2013-15: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford

2011-13: Vice President, JP Morgan Commodities, London

2010-11: Vice President, Deutsche Bank Commodities, London

2005-09: Vice President, Merrill Lynch Commodities, London


DPhil Isotope Geochemistry & Metamorphic Petrology, University of Oxford

MSc Geochemistry, University of Leeds

BA (Hons) Geology, MA, University of Oxford


Director, MSc in Strategic Earth Resources 

Director of Postgraduate Teaching (DoPGT)

Research areas

I am a petrologist whose research focuses on the magmatic and metamorphic processes that have shaped the evolution of Earth’s lithosphere, and the development of its metal resources, from the Archaean to the present day. My current research focus broadly divides into two areas: 

  • Archaean geodynamics and magmatism. With colleagues, I apply geochemical and isotopic techniques to mafic and evolved rocks to understand (a) settings of crust production on the early Earth; and (b) the nature and timescales of craton assembly and stabilization. I have worked in Western Australia, West Greenland and South Africa. I have also investigated linking isotopic and trace element modelling to phase equilibria modelling, to understand the nature of isotopic evolution during partial melting processes.
  • Processes leading to the development of magmatic-hydrothermal mineralization, with an emphasis on lithophile deposits. I am particularly interested in the use of accessory mineral chemistry to understand the evolution of magmatic systems before and during vapour saturation, and to trace the mobility of metals of interest.

Google Scholar

I an a PI of the St Andrews Geochronology laboratory (StAGE), principally focusing on laser ablation MC-ICP-MS and QQQ-ICP-MS (U-Pb, Hf in zircon; trace elements in accessory minerals) for broad crustal evolution research, with 10+ years experience in stable and radiogenic laser ablation mass spectrometry.

Member of St Andrews Planetary Geodynamics Research Group

I worked for nearly a decade in the global commodities markets, and retain an interest in how developing nations can sustainably exploit their natural mineral resources, with recent work in Myanmar and Rwanda.

I am the Theme Leader for the Geological Society's "Energy Transition" theme.

PhD supervision

  • Madeleine Murphy
  • Matthew Goodey
  • Joseph Benson
  • Jose Nava de la Peña
  • Joseph Metcalfe

Selected publications


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