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MESci students' award success

24 Mai 2017

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MESci students Sophie Cox and Nicole Reily have won a Geologists’ Association UK Onshore Geophysical Library (UKOGL) Award.

The UKOGL Fund is designed to give financial assistance to one or more deserving students in the final year of an extended undergraduate course in Earth sciences at a UK university. The awarded sum of up to £600 aims to assist in the preparation of a thesis, preferably relevant to the geology of onshore areas of the United Kingdom.

The UKOGL Award is considered by a panel of the Geologists’ Association and a UKOGL representative, and awarded to the student they feel best demonstrates both a genuine commitment to the discipline and academic excellence.

Nicole is a MESci Earth and Environmental Science student and Sophie is studying the MESci Geology. Sophie aims to begin a PhD with the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Cardiff University in the autumn. The financial assistance from the award will prepare for her project.

Sophie’s thesis, for which she won her award was “Petrogenesis of the Water Island, Louisenhoj and Tutu Formations (St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands): A geochemical record of the tectonomagmatic history of the eastern Greater Antilles Arc”.

The project looked at how the islands' volcanism evolved with time during the Early to Late Cretaceous period and what this could tell me about the larger scale picture. How the Virgin Islands falls in to what we know about Caribbean history already and if it helped understand the current models. The geochemical signatures of the three volcanic formations were investigated and represented a temporal change in the tectonic setting from and early stage island-arc setting to a more evolved and stable island-arc setting by the time of the youngest formation (Tutu Formation). This agreed with other evidence observed along the rest of the Greater Antilles Arc including Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

Nicole's thesis considered the geochemical changes of clay minerals in the gastrointestinal environment and how these relate to toxicological changes. This is in the context of unregulated 'detox' clays sold specifically for ingestion and consideration of localities with clay based soils where ingestion as suspended particles could occur when the locals drink muddy or unfiltered surface water. Nicole said: "I'm very honoured to have won an award and look forward to receiving the Geologists Association Magazine in the future. With regards to my future career I'll be starting a PhD at Warwick University in October."

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