Alexander Halliday

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Alexander Norman Halliday FRS is a British geochemist, and professor at the University of Oxford,[1] and Fellow of Wadham College.[2]

Early life[edit]

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, in 1977.


Professor Alex Halliday has been Head of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division at the University of Oxford since October 2007.[3] Before coming to Oxford, he spent twelve years as a professor at the University of Michigan followed by six years in Switzerland, where he was Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at the ETH in Zurich. In 2004 he took up the Chair of Geochemistry at Oxford where his research involves the use of isotopic methods to study Earth and planetary processes.

Professor Halliday is a former President of the Geochemical Society[4] and of the European Association for Geochemistry. He has experience with a range of top science boards and advisory panels including those of the National Environment Research Council, the Natural History Museum London, the Max Planck Society, the Royal Society and the American Geophysical Union.


Professor Halliday specialises in the determination of isotope abundances in terrestrial and planetary materials including samples from the Moon, Mars and asteroids.[5] An enthusiast for technological innovation, most of his research is in developing and using new mass spectrometry techniques to shed light on the origin and early development of the solar system[6] and recent Earth processes, such as continental erosion and climate. He has also been engaged in other studies, such as the mechanisms of volcanic eruptions, and the formation of mineral and hydrocarbon deposits.


Professor Halliday's scientific accomplishments have been recognised with awards including the Murchison Medal of the Geological Society,[7] the Bowen Award of the American Geophysical Society[8] and the Urey Medal of the European Association of Geochemistry.[9] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2000.


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