EXPLORE CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
Julian Pearce moved to Cardiff from the University of Durham at the start of 2000 to take up one of the University's Professorial Research Fellowships. His research interests focus on the use of geochemistry to interpret rocks and study global geodynamic processes.
Julian graduated from Cambridge University (Selwyn College) in 1970 where he specialised in Mineralogy and Petrology. He then moved to the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia as one of their first geology post-graduate students. Under the supervision of Joe Cann, he developed some of his well-known methods for the geochemical fingerprinting of ancient volcanic rocks, using their immobile element contents to determine their original tectonic settings of eruption.
After a year's Royal Society post-doctoral fellowship in Norway, Julian took up his first lecturing post at the Open University, carrying with it with the opportunity to work on ophiolites with Ian Gass. After ten years he moved to Newcastle and conventional teaching. Significant periods of time were spent in the field, notably in Cyprus, Oman, the Andes and Tonga, and in geotraverses across Tibet and the Himalayas. These helped him establish further links between magma genesis and tectonic setting and develop new methods for the geochemical interpretation of granitic rocks.
Moving to Durham, Julian became more involved in marine geoscience, taking part in several cruises to the Western Pacific, including ODP Leg 125, on which he was co-chief scientist. These, together with new ICP laboratories and computing facilities, provided him with much of the data needed to understand subduction systems and the origin of ophiolite complexes. It also led to a number of administrative posts within the Ocean Drilling Programme, including the UK representative on the ODP Science Committee. His first link with Cardiff came when, following Rob Kidd's untimely death, he commuted to Cardiff from Durham for several months to manage the JOIDES office.
In Cardiff, Julian obtained JIF funding for the Facility for Geochemical Fingerprinting of Earth Materials and has projects in the Scotia Sea, the Western Pacific, China and Australia. His current research projects include the geochemical tracing of mantle flow, element cycling and mantle melting above subduction zones, geochemical evidence for Early Earth geodynamics, and the development of newer and better methods for the geochemical fingerprinting of rocks. He was involved, with Chris MacLeod, in bringing the IODP-ESSAC office to Cardiff in 2006-7 and is a member of an international consortium planning to investigate the roots of arcs and crustal growth through deep-ocean drilling in the Western Pacific.