YPLC Scotland finalist - Abigail Georgia Robinson
Abigail is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of St Andrews on the MGeol in Earth and Environmental Sciences degree programme. During her time as an undergraduate she has taken on several geoscience projects. In July 2018, she carried out work for the Paneth Meteorite Trust under the supervision of Dr Marissa Tremblay at SUERC. This work involved statistically matching lunar meteorites to their likely source regions on the moon using remote sensing geochemistry data which was recently presented along Dr Tremblay's wider body of work at the 2019 Lunar and Planetary Science conference.
As one of the 15 science Laidlaw Fellows at St Andrews, Abigail was awarded research funds to study the interplay between climate change, hydrology and Medieval irrigation systems in Armenia. This project included two weeks of fieldwork in Armenia and will be followed up during a return trip in August 2019. In summer 2019, she will undertake a 5-week expedition to the Lofdal carbonite complex in Namibia - a heavy rare earth element enriched deposit. This work is in collaboration with Namibia Critical Metals and Gecko Corp. and has been generously supported by the MIS Trust.
Abigail will graduate in June 2020 and plans to continue her passion for research by embarking on a PhD. In addition to her academic love of rocks, Abigail enjoys rock climbing, listening to rock music and baking rock buns.
Mysterious moon rocks: Locating the source site of lunar meteorites
Lunar meteorites were first identified on Earth in the early 1980s. Prior to this, the only known samples of lunar rock on earth were those retrieved during the NASA-Apollo and Soviet-Luna missions. Problematically, these mission-retrieved samples were collected from a small source region and represent only ~4% of the moon's surface. On the other hand, lunar meteorites could originate from any cratered site on the moon's surface and so provide a much more comprehensive view into lunar mineralogy, chemistry and geological processes.
Despite this, a major drawback in lunar meteorite research is that we don't know where on the moon each lunar meteorite is sourced from. This presentation describes the research to match lunar samples on Earth to their likely source region on the moon and discuss how linking this information helps further constrain early solar system processes and could potentially assist future moon mining.