Rebecca Robertson

As a PhD student at Durham University, my work covers active tectonics, structural geology, geomechanics, and geochemistry. My project aims to refine understanding of reactions occurring on faults during earthquakes, with a focus on fluid-rock exchanges. Research questions include: how do coseismic reaction products effect fault strength and, are there isotopic signatures to mechanical processes?  My work combines synthetic samples with natural fault gouge from the Alpine Fault, New Zealand.


Understanding minerology of active faults is important to how they will produce earthquakes in the future. Here is a brief video from GNS Science describing drilling into the Alpine Fault core and why it’s important.

And here is another video from GNS Science about why the Alpine fault makes for an interesting case study

As an active member on the Tectonic Studies Group committee and Durham’s departmental structural geology research group “FaultTea” committee, I find being involved in the research community a priority.

Throughout the first year of study, I demonstrated on two undergraduate courses and I sit on the Undergraduate Education Committee Panel. Thoroughly enjoying teaching, I look to get involved in more education and outreach work.

I completed University of Aberdeen’s 5 year MGeol course in 2019, with projects covering topics in: remote aerial photogrammetry of seismic hazards; Raman spectroscopy on UHP-HT eclogites and blueschists from Syros, Greece; mapping complex structures of the Ord Window, Skye which marks the tail end of the Moine Thrust. I then worked with the Virtual Outcrop Group in Aberdeen over the course of 2020, developing their outcrop database and producing learning resources.


Twitter: @RebVMRob



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