Anna Bidgood

Postdoc Researcher, Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG)

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the iCRAG raw materials spoke. I graduated with a PhD in environmental science from the University of Oxford in 2020, before joining iCRAG under the supervision of Prof. Murray Hitzman.

My research focusses on metamorphism and mineral growth in the Central African Copperbelt, a large sedimentary basin which contains economic concentrations of critical elements required in the transition from hydrocarbon to renewable energy-based technology. My research aims to describe the relationship between mineralisation, fluid chemistry and mineral growth by analysing the textures and chemistry of rocks and combining these observations with thermodynamic modelling to understand how and when these minerals grew. This research adds to scientific understanding of mineral growth and metal mobility in salty systems such as in the Central African Copperbelt and will assist industry with exploration strategies.

My research aims to understand how we form mineral deposits containing technology and critical metals in the Earth’s crust. The focus of my research is these technology and critical metals which are crucial for the production of low-carbon technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars. The Central African Copperbelt, the world’s primary source of cobalt, produces about 70% of the metal which is critical for the production of batteries needed to help decarbonise our societies. In my next career chapter I hope to apply the geological knowledge from well-known regions such as Central Africa to the Arctic, where resource potential is high, whilst at the same time balancing the environmental and societal risks of resource extraction with our need for critical metals.

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