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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Martin Smith is Professor of Geochemistry, a geologist, geochemist and mineralogist, and is the subject area lead for Geology. He has 25 years experience in geochemistry applied to problems in mineral deposit geology, hydrogeology and environmental mineralogy, and has been a Chartered Geologist with the Geological Society of London since 2012.

Research interests

My research interests can broadly be classified under the heading of water-rock interaction. This covers the chemical and physical interaction of fluids with earth materials from high temperature igneous systems to environment mineralogy and fluid chemistry. Current research interests include the genesis of rare earth element and iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) deposits, the influence of unsaturated zone flow on groundwater chemistry, particularly with respect to diffuse urban pollution, and the redox mineralogy of marine steel corrosion. The latter is an interdisciplinary project with civil engineering and microbiology colleagues.

In the past I have worked on the genesis of iron oxide-copper-gold mineral deposit systems in Sweden and Kazakhstan, including their geochronology, mineralogy and fluid chemistry, all with the aim of producing new and better constrained genetic models. I have also worked on a range of other mineralising systems including shear zone-hosted gold, karst-hosted bauxite and granite related Sn-W mineralisation.

Approach to teaching

The foundation of all geology and earth sciences is field and laboratory observation, and I try to ensure all my teaching is firmly grounded in these strongly practical skills. I lead the level five (year two) field course to Almeria, Spain with BSc Geology and BSc Physical Geography and Geology students, where students are guided through field observation and data collection in a range of environments before spending two days independently constructing a field map and interpreting the geological evolution of an area.

I am also passionate about geological research and communicating this to students – I teach areas such as planetary geology and global earth processes where I introduce students to some of the latest ideas in geology and encourage them to carry out their own research using the scientific literature. With all my teaching the best result for the students are when they get fully involved and engage with activities, such as locating a historic landfill site using geophysical techniques on a cold November morning!

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Leeds

Bachelor, University of Liverpool

External positions

Associate Scientist, The Natural History Museum, London

2001 → …


  • QE Geology
  • Geochemistry
  • Mineralogy
  • Ore Genesis
  • Hydrogeology
  • QD Chemistry
  • Corrosion

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2015 2019

Research Output 2001 2018

  • 36 Article
  • 3 Chapter
  • 2 Conference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

Genesis of the world’s largest rare earth element deposit, Bayan Obo, China: Protracted mineralization evolution over ~1 b.y.

Wenlei, S., Cheng, X., Smith, M., Chakhmouradian, A. R., Brenna, M., Kynicky, J., Chen, W., Yang, Y., Deng, M. & Tang, H. 9 Feb 2018 46, 4, p. 323-326

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

rare earth element

The origin of secondary heavy rare earth element enrichment in carbonatites: Constraints from the evolution of the Huanglongpu district, China

Smith, M., Kynicky, J., Cheng, X., Song, W., Spratt, J., Jeffries, T., Brtnicky, M., Kopriva, A. & Cangelosi, D. 4 Mar 2018 308-309, p. 65-82 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
rare earth element

The role of carbonate-fluoride melt immiscibility in shallow REE deposit evolution

Kynicky, J., Smith, M., Song, W., Chakhmouradian, A. R., Cheng, X., Kopriva, A., Galiova, M. & Brtnicky, M. 10 Mar 2018

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
rare earth element

Application of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in mineral deposit studies

Smith, M., Ray, S., Broom-Fendley, S., Burgess, H. & Caplin, J. 5 Apr 2017 126, 2, p. 93-94 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Evidence of multiple halogen sources in scapolites from iron oxidecopper- gold (IOCG) deposits and regional Na-Cl metasomatic alteration, Norrbotten County, Sweden

Bernal, N., Gleeson, S., Smith, M., Barnes, J. & Pan, Y. 13 Jan 2017 451, p. 90-103 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access