Naomi J. Saunders


I am a non-traditional stable isotope geochemist, specialising in nickel. I received my PhD on stable Ni isotopic fractionation in high temperature terrestrial and lunar rocks from Oxford University, UK in January 2019. Immediately following this I moved to New York to work with Alex Halliday setting up the NICER lab.

My research centers on using stable Ni isotopic compositions to investigate planetary scale processes. My research projects largely focus on targeting a range of terrestrial high temperature lithologies to investigate mantle heterogeneity and mantle recycling, but have also included using Ni isotopes to investigate the formation of the Moon.

I am originally from Cumbria in the North of England, and grew up around the magnificent rocks of the Lake District. The Borrowdale volcanics and abundant local hematite started my interest in Geology, and led to an A level in the subject. The A level convinced me that this subject was going to be my passion, and ~10 years on nothing has changed!

My interest in geochemistry specifically began with my Masters project at Oxford University, UK (2013-2014), some of which is published here ( This work was focused on using geochemistry to investigate a Precambrian meteorite impact deposit in NW Scotland. Specifically, we wanted to discover if the class of meteorite could be determined after >1 billion years since the impact, and see if the geochemistry could give us information about emplacement mechanisms and position crater locality