Find out about the researchers, curators, students and associated staff in the Mineral and Planetary Sciences Division.

Head of Division

Sara Russell's photo
Prof Sara Russell

Head of Mineral and Planetary Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.


Dr Chiara Maria Petrone
Dr Chiara Maria Petrone

Igneous petrologist and volcanologist working on arc magmatism (Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, Aegean Arc, Aeolian Arc) and active volcanoes (Popocatépetl, Stromboli, Vesuvius, Santorini).

welch photo
Dr Mark Welch

Researcher in the Mineral and Planetary Sciences Division at the Natural History Museum.

Dr Joe Michalski
Dr Joe Michalski

Researcher and Aurora Fellow in the Mineral and Planetary Sciences Division.

Dr Paul Schofield

Researcher in mineral sciences and systematics in the Earth Sciences Department.


Alan Hart
Mr Alan Hart

Head of the Earth Sciences Department collections.

Mike Rumsey
Mr Mike Rumsey

Collections manager in the Earth Sciences Department with a research interest in classifying new and rare minerals in the UK.

Dr Caroline Smith
Dr Caroline Smith

Meteorites curator, managing the collection and researching the analyses of meteorites through innovative, non-destructive techniques.

David Smith, Curator.
Mr David Smith

Petrology curator in the Earth Sciences department.

Post-doctoral researchers

Dr Jennifer Claydon
Dr Jennifer Claydon

Postdoctoral research assistant studying the timing of formation processes in the solar system.

Dr Ashley King
Dr Ashley King

Postdoctoral research assistant studying meteorites and extra-terrestrial materials returned to Earth by space missions.

  • Penny Wozniakiewicz

PhD students

  • Natasha Almeida
  • Jessica Barnes
  • Jean-David Bodenan
  • Marlene Giscard
  • Helen Halse
  • Natasha Stephen
  • Epifanio Vaccaro

Associated facilities staff 

  • Farah Ahmed
  • Teresa Jeffries
  • Anton Kearsley
  • Jens Najorka
  • John Spratt
  • Stas Strekopytov
  • Dan Sykes
  • Tony Wighton
  • Emma Williams

Research associates

  • Mahesh Anand
  • Gordon Cressey
  • Hilary Downes
  • Matthew Genge
  • Monica Grady
  • Paul Henderson
  • Domink Hezel
  • Kevin Knight
  • Mark Rehkamper
  • Bob Symes
  • Claudio Vita Finzi
  • Ken Williams
  • Alan Woolley
Museum Lives
Museum Lives: Sara Russell

Go behind the scenes with the people who work at the Museum. Our curators, researchers and exhibition designers reveal their stories.