Iain Gilmour
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Biography <p>Iain Gilmour obtained his BSc in Geology at the University of Saint Andrews in 1981 and his PhD in Geochemistry at Darwin College, Cambridge in 1985. After a research associate position at the Enrico Fermi Institute of the University of Chicago, he held a Royal Society University research fellowship at The Open University where he was appointed to a lectureship in 1996 and is currently Professor of Isotope Geochemistry. He was Associate Dean for Research for the Faculty of Science between 2004 and 2009, Head of Department of the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute between 2009 and 2011, and&nbsp;is presently Associate Dean for Commercial and External Relations in the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.&nbsp;He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, a member of the American Geophysical Union, a member of the&nbsp;European Association of Geochemistry&nbsp;and a member of The Meteoritical Society.</p>
Description <p>Iain Gilmour obtained his BSc in Geology at the University of Saint Andrews in 1981 and his PhD in Geochemistry at Darwin College, Cambridge in 1985. After a research associate position at the Enrico Fermi Institute of the University of Chicago, he held a Royal Society University research fellowship at The Open University where he was appointed to a lectureship in 1996 and is currently Professor of Isotope Geochemistry. He was Associate Dean for Research for the Faculty of Science between 2004 and 2009, Head of Department of the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute between 2009 and 2011, and&nbsp;is presently Associate Dean for Commercial and External Relations in the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.&nbsp;He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, a member of the American Geophysical Union, a member of the&nbsp;European Association of Geochemistry&nbsp;and a member of The Meteoritical Society.</p>
Job title Emeritus Professor
Research overview <p>Iain&#39;s research contributions have been to three fields related to the study of meteorites and meteorite impacts for which he&nbsp;has developed and applied innovative stable isotope geochemical approaches to tackling fundamental research questions.</p><p><strong>Geochemistry of past climate change</strong><br />One of the most important areas of research involvolving meteorite impact craters over the past decade involves the unique paleoclimate records well-preserved impact craters can provide as they fill with sediments. Working with colleagues at the University of Aberdeen Iain&#39;s NERC-funded work on the Boltysh impact crater in the Ukraine has focussed on two areas. The first established the&nbsp;&nbsp;age of the crater relative to the larger Chicxulub impact responsible for the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, advancing our understanding of potential celestial connections between the two. The second was the discovery of a unique record of a period of rapid global warming on a timescale commensurate with present human-induced climate change. The team&#39;s work has established the global nature of the event, the magnitude of the carbon cycle disruption and a high-resolution astronomically-paced chronology for the warming event.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Cosmochemistry</strong><br />Iain&#39;s cosmochemistry research has concerned the origin of carbon compounds in extraterrestrial materials, funded through successive rolling grants from the STFC. This research addresses fundamental questions on the origin of organic compounds and the early evolution of the Solar System. His research has meticulously developed and refined analytical approaches to the study of extraterrestrial carbonaceous materials. This has resulted in a number of significant advances beginning with a 1994 paper&nbsp;in which Iain proposed that a kinetic isotope effect during the condensation of larger ring clusters from lower homologs was responsible for the molecular level isotopic compositions measured for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from the Murchison meteorite. This was followed by a series of increasingly sophisticated studies aimed at elucidating the origin of the complex macromolecular organic material found in meteorites that&nbsp;proposed that the carbon skeletons of these species were formed in the icy mantles of interstellar grains.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Geochemistry of carbon in impact events&nbsp;</strong><br />Since the 1980s, the role of extraterrestrial impacts as a geological process has challenged paradigms of the Earth Sciences, particularly their role in the mass extinction 66 million years ago that saw the demise of the dinosaurs. During the 1990s and early 2000s an essential step was to ensure rigorous signatures of extraterrestrial impact could be unambiguously identified. Iain&#39;s research centred on identifying shock-produced diamond as a key signature of asteroid impact.</p>
Has membership faculty-of-science,-technology,-engineering&mathematics
Type Person
Label Professor Iain Gilmour
Family name Gilmour
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  • Ian
  • Iain
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  • I.
Name
  • Iain Gilmour
  • I. Gilmour
  • I Gilmour
  • Ian Gilmour
  • Professor Iain Gilmour
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