Prof Teresa Jeffries

Teresa Jeffries
  • Head of Chemistry
  • Science Facilities department
  • Imaging and Analysis Centre
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road



1996  PhD, Analytical Chemistry, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

1992  BSc,  Geology, University of Wales, Aberystwyth


Head of Chemistry

Overall responsibility for the Museum's analytical chemistry laboratories and instrumentation.

The Natural History Museum houses a range of state of the art instrumentation and laboratories within its Imaging and Analysis Centre (IAC).  IAC facilities comprise Chemical Analysis Laboratories; Electron Microprobe Analysis; Scanning and Transmission Microscopy; CT Scanning & Microtomography; Sample Preparation Laboratories and an Electronics Workshop.  



These facilities are all housed in the IAC laboratory suite, and used by approximately 250 users per year, including Museum permanent staff, Post-Docs, PhD and MSci students and externally-funded short-term scientific visitors.

I am responsible for the management of the Analytical Chemistry Laboratories.

Analytical Chemistry

The Museum's analytical chemistry facilities are equipped with a range of laboratories for sample preparation and digestion, in addition to state of the art instrumentation.

The facilities are available to Museum staff, students and visiting scientists.  In addition a commercial analytical service is provided.  Staff are happy to provide advice on a range of techniques and instruments.  Please contact me for further details.



My main area of research interest is the development and application of laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.  I am particularly interested in the development of this technique for U-Pb age determination in zircon and other accessory minerals.

Three areas of this research are currently under investigation:

Age determinations in young zircons

Age determination in common Pb bearing accessory minerals

In situ age determination of accessory phases

Research Student Supervision

I have supervised a range of research students on projects involving laser ablation ICP-MS.  Projects have included fluid inclusion analysis, trace element determinations and U-Pb dating of accessory minerals.


Selected publications


JEFFRIES T E, Fernández Suárez J, Corfu F & Gutiérrez Alonso G 2003. Advances in U-Pb geochronology using frequency quintupled Nd:YAG based laser ablation system (lambda = 213nm) and quadrupole based ICP-MS. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 18: 847-855.

JEFFRIES T E,  Jackson S E, & Longerich H P, 1998.  Application of a frequency quintupled Nd:YAG source (λ = 213 nm) for laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometric analysis of minerals.  Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy, 13: 935-940

JEFFRIES T E,  Pearce N J G, Perkins W T, & Raith A 1996.  Chemical fractionation during infrared and ultraviolet laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry - implications for mineral microanalysis.  Analytical Communications, 33: 35-39.

JEFFRIES T E,  Perkins W T, & Pearce N J G 1995.  Comparisons of infrared and ultraviolet laser probe microanalysis inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in mineral analysis.  Analyst, 120: 1365-1371

Perkins W T, Pearce N J G, &  JEFFRIES T E  1993.  Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry:  A new technique for the determination of trace and ultra-trace elements in silicates.  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 57: 475-482


Publications (2008-2004)


HUMPHREY L T, Dean M C, JEFFRIES T E & PENN M 2008.  Unlocking evidence of early diet from tooth enamel.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 105: 6834-6839

Zaitsev A N, Keller J, SPRATT J, JEFFRIES T E & Sharygin V V 2008.  Chemical composition of nyerereite and gregoryite from natrocarbonatites of Oldoinyo Lengai volcano, Tanzania.  Zapiski (Proceedings) of the Russian Mineralogical Society 137:101-111

Humphrey L T, Dirks W, Dean M C & JEFFRIES T E 2008.  Tracking dietary transitions in weanling baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis) using strontium/calcium ratios in enamel. Folia Primatologica, 79: 197-212.

Humphrey L T, JEFFRIES T E & Dean M C 2008. Micro spatial distributions of lead and zinc in human deciduous tooth enamel, in Irish J D & Nelson G C, eds, Technique and application in dental anthropology  Cambridge University Press pp 87-110

Perez-Huerta A, Cusack M, JEFFRIES T E & WILLIAMS C T 2008.  High resolution distribution of magnesium and strontium and the evaluation of Mg/Ca thermometry in Recent brachiopod shells. Chemical Geology 247: 229-241.

Humphrey L T, Dean M C & JEFFRIES T E 2007. An evaluation of changes in strontium/calcium ratios across the neonatal line in human deciduous teeth in Bailey S E & Hublin J-J, eds, Dental perspectives on human evolution, Springer, pp 303-319

Nance R D, Fernandez Suarez J, Keppie J D, Storey C & JEFFRIES T E 2007.  Provenance of the Granjeno Schist, Ciudad Victoria, Mexico:  Detrital zircon U-Pb age constraints and implications for the Paleozoic paleogeography of the Rheic Ocean, in Linnemann U, Nance R D, Kraft P and Zulauf G, eds, The evolution of the Rheic Ocean:  From Avalonia-Cadomian active margin to Aleghenian-Variscan collision:  Geological Society of America Special Paper 423:  453-464.

Slaby E S, SELTMANN R, Kober B, Mueller A, Galbarczyk-Gasiorowska L & JEFFRIES T 2007. LREE distribution patterns in zoned alkali feldspar megacrysts from the Karkonosze pluton, Bohemian Massif - implications for parental magma composition. Mineralogical Magazine 71(2): 193–217.

STOREY C D, SMITH M P & JEFFRIES T E 2007. In situ LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating of metavolcanics of Norrbotten, Sweden: Records of extended geological histories in complex titanite grains. Chemical Geology 240: 163-181.

Lehmann B, STOREY C, Mainkar D & JEFFRIES T 2007. In-situ dating of titanite in the Tokapal-Bhejripadar kimberlite system, central India. Journal of the Geological Society of India 69: 553-556.

Anczkiewicz R, Szczepański J, Mazur S, STOREY C, Crowley Q, Villa I M, Thirlwall M F & JEFFRIES T E 2007. Lu-Hf geochronology and trace element distribution in garnet: Implications for uplift and exhumation of ultra-high pressure granulites in the Sudetes, SW Poland. Lithos 95: 363-380.

Martinez Catalan J R, Arenas R, Abati J, Sanchez Martinez S, Diaz Garcia F, Fernandez Suarez J, Gonzalez Cuadra P, Castineiras P, Gomez Barreiro J, Diez Montes A, Gonzalez Clavijo E, Rubio Pascual F J, Andonaegui P, JEFFRIES T E, Alcock J E, Diez Fernández R D & Lopez Carmona A 2007. The rootless Variscan suture of NW Iberia (Galicia, Spain) Conference abstracts and field guide, Instituto Geologico y Minero de Espana, Madrid, pp 188.  ISBN 978-84-7840-697-5

PURVIS O W, CHIMONIDES P D J, JEFFRIES T E, JONES G C, Rusu A-M & Read H 2007.  Multi-element composition of historical lichen collections and bark samples, indicators of changing atmospheric conditions. Atmospheric Environment 41: 72-80.

PURVIS O W, Longden J, Shaw G, CHIMONIDES P D J, JEFFRIES T E, JONES G C, Mikhailova I N & WILLIAMSON B J 2006. Biogeochemical signatures in the lichen Hypogymnia physodes in the mid Urals Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 90: 151-162.

Sánchez Martínez S, JEFFRIES T, Arenas R, Fernández Suárez J & GARCÍA SÁNCHEZ R 2006.  A pre-Rodinian ophiolite involved in the Variscan suture of Galicia (Cabo Ortegal Complex, NW Spain). Journal of the Geological Society (London)163: 737-740.

Murphy J B, Keppie J D, Nance R D, Miller B V, Dostal J, Middleton M, Fernandez Suarez J, JEFFRIES T E & Storey C D 2006. Geochemistry and U-Pb protolith ages of eclogitic rocks of the Asis Lithodeme, Piaxtla Suite, Acatlan Complex, southern Mexico: tectonothermal activity along the southern margin of the Rheic Ocean.  Journal of the Geological Society of London 163: 683-695.

Kylander M E, WEISS D J, JEFFRIES T E, Kober B, DOLGOPOLOVA A, GARCIA SANCHEZ R & COLES B J 2006. A rapid and reliable method for Pb isotopic analysis of peat and lichens by laser ablation quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for biomonitoring and sample screening.  Analytica Chimica Acta 583: 116-124.

Fernandez Suarez J, Arenas R, JEFFRIES T E, Whitehouse M J & Villaseca C 2006. A U-Pb study of zircons from a lower crustal granulite xenolith of the Spanish Central System:  A record of Iberian lithospheric evolution from the Neoproterozoic to the Triassic.  Journal of Geology 114: 471-483.

Mueller A, SELTMANN R, HALLS C, Siebel W, Dulski P, JEFFRIES J, SPRATT J, Kronz A 2006. The magmatic evolution of the Land's End pluton, Cornwall, and associated pre-enrichment of metals. OreGeology Reviews 28: 329-367.

Muñoz M, Sagredo J, de Ignatio C, Fernández-Suárez J & JEFFRIES T E 2005. New data (U–Pb, K–Ar) on the geochronology of the alkaline-carbonatitic association of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain.  Lithos 85: 140-153.

Keppie J D, Nance R D, Fernandez Suarez J, STOREY C D, JEFFRIES T E & Murphy J B 2006. Detrital zircon data from the Eastern Mixteca Terrane, Southern Mexico: Evidence for an Ordovician-Mississippian continental rise and a Permo-Triassic clastic wedge adjacent to Oaxaquia. International Geology Review 48: 97-111.

Stoppa F, Rosatelli G, WALL F & JEFFRIES T 2005. Geochemistry of carbonatite-silicate pairs in nature: A case history from Central Italy. Lithos 85: 26-47.  

PURVIS O W, CHIMONIDES J, JEFFRIES T E, JONES G C, Read H & SPIRO B 2005. Investigating biogeochemical signatures in the lichen Parmelia sulcata at Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire, England. The Lichenologist 37(4): 329-344.

Holland G, BRIDGES J C, Busfield A, JEFFRIES T, Turner G & Gilmour J D 2005. Iodine-Xenon analysis of Chainpur (LL3.4) chondrules. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 69: 189-200.

Zaitsev A N, Sitnikova M A,  Subbotin V V, Fernandez-Suarez J & JEFFRIES T E 2004. Sallanlatvi complex - a rare example of magnesite and siderite carbonatites. Pp 201-245 in The Mineralogical Society Series, #10 edited by WALL F & Zaitsev A N

Stoffell B, Wilkinson J J & JEFFRIES T E 2004. Metal transport and deposition in hydrothermal veins revealed by 213 nm UV laser ablation microanalysis of single fluid inclusions. American Journal of Science, 304: 533-557.

Murphy J B, Fernandez Suarez J & JEFFRIES T E 2004. Lithogeochemical and Sm-Nd and U-Pb isotope data from the Silurian-Lower Devonian Arisaig Group clastic rocks, Avalon terrane, Nova Scotia: A record of terrane accretion in the Appalachian-Caledonide orogen. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 116: 1183-1201.

Murphy J B, Fernandez Suarez J, Keppie J D & JEFFRIES T E 2004. Contiguous rather than discrete Paleozoic histories for the Avalon and Meguma terranes based on detrital zircon data. Geology 32: 585-588.

KYLANDER M E, WEISS D J, JEFFRIES T E & COLES B J 2004. Sample preparation procedures for accurate and precise isotope analysis of Pb in peat by multiple collector (MC)-ICP-MS. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 19: 1275-1277.

JEFFRIES T E 2004. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. In: Barceló D (series Ed), Janssens K & Van Grieken R (Vol. Eds.) Wilson and Wilson's Comprehensive Analytical Chemistry, Volume XLII, Non-destructive Microanalysis of Cultural Heritage Materials Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 313-358.

Gutiérrez Alonso G, Fernández Suárez J & JEFFRIES T E 2004. Age and setting of the Upper Neoproterozoic Narcea Antiform volcanic rocks (NW Iberia). Geogaceta 35: 79-82.

Smith M P, HENDERSON P, JEFFRIES T E, Long J & WILLIAMS C T 2004. The rare-earth elements and uranium in garnets from the Beinn an Dubhaich aureole, Skye: Constraints on processes in a dynamic hydrothermal system. Journal of Petrology  45: 457-484.

Murphy J B, Fernandez Suarez J, JEFFRIES T E & Strachan R A 2004. U-Pb (LA-ICP-MS) dating of detrital zircons from Cambrian clastic rocks in Avalonia: erosion of a Neoproterozoic arc along the northern Gondwanan margin. Journal of the Geological Society of London 161: 243-254.