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Dr James Ian Mortimer

Profile summary

  • Academic Related Staff
  • Project Officer (Phobos)
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Physical Sciences
  • james.mortimer

Professional biography


2007-2011: BSc (Hons) Geoscience at The University of St Andrews

2012-2016: PhD in Lunar Volatile (C, N, He, Ne, Ar) Geochemistry at The Open University


April 2016 - September 2016: Charge d'Etudes at Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France (short contract to conduct a study into the sublimation and subsequent isotopic fractionation behaviour of water ice under vacuum, in support of ESA's PROSPECT lunar exploration package)

October 2016 - March 2017: Project Officer at The Open University (short term contract to prepare and characterise two carbonaceous chondrite meteorite standards for future verification of the ESA PROSPECT package 'ProSPA' instrument)

March 2017 - May 2018: Project Officer at The Open University (fixed term contract to study the interaction of spacecraft thruster exhaust gases with the surface of Phobos and to quantify likely contamination levels of H, C, and N)  

Research interests

  • Volatiles in the Solar System, particularly light element volatiles (including H, C, N, O, noble gases etc.), and their source(s) and delivery and contributions to the volatile budgets of airless bodies and telluric atmospheres

External collaborations

  • Part of the extended ESA PROSPECT User Group (PUG) of scientists from various European countries.


D/H fractionation during sublimation of water ice at low temperatures into a vacuum (2018-09-01)
Mortimer, James; Lécuyer, Christophe; Fourel, Franҫois and Carpenter, James
Planetary And Space Science, 158 (pp. 25-33)
Predominantly Non-Solar Origin of Nitrogen in Lunar Soils (2016-11)
Mortimer, J.; Verchovsky, S. and Anand, M.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 193 (pp. 36-53)
Simultaneous analysis of abundance and isotopic composition of nitrogen, carbon, and noble gases in lunar basalts: insights into interior and surface processes on the Moon (2015-07-15)
Mortimer, J.; Verchovsky, A. B.; Anand, M.; Gilmour, I. and Pillinger, C. T.
Icarus, 255 (pp. 3-17)
Magmatic volatiles (H, C, N, F, S, Cl) in the lunar mantle, crust, and regolith: abundances, distributions, processes, and reservoirs (2015)
McCubbin, Francis M.; Vander Kaaden, Kathleen E.; Tartèse, Romain; Klima, Rachel L.; Liu, Yang; Mortimer, James; Barnes, Jessica J.; Shearer, Charles K.; Treiman, Allan H.; Lawrence, David J.; Elardo, Stephen M.; Hurley, Dana M.; Boyce, Jeremy W. and Anand, Mahesh
American Mineralogist, 100(8-9) (pp. 1668-1707)
Preparing and Characterizing Carbonaceous Chondrite Standards for Verification of ESA’S ‘Prospect’ Package (2017-03-20)
Mortimer, James; Anand, Mahesh; Verchovsky, Sasha; Nicoara, Simona; Greenwood, Richard C.; Gibson, Jenny; Franchi, Ian A.; Ahmed, Farah; Strekopytov, Stanislav and Carpenter, James
In : 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (20-24 Mar 2017, The Woodlands, Houston, Texas)
Trapping of Atmospheric Gases During Crushing of Lunar Samples (2017-03-20)
Verchovsky, A. B.; Mortimer, J.; Buikin, A. I. and Anand, M.
In : 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (20-24 Mar 2017, The Woodlands, Houston, Texas)
ProSPA: the Science Laboratory for the Processing and Analysis of Lunar Polar Volatiles within PROSPECT (2017-03-20)
Barber, S. J.; Smith, P. H.; Wright, I. P.; Abernethy, F.; Anand, M.; Dewar, K. R.; Hodges, M.; Landsberg, P.; Leese, M. R.; Morgan, G. H.; Morse, A. D.; Mortimer, J.; Sargeant, H. M.; Sheard, I.; Sheridan, S.; Verchovsky, A.; Goesmann, S.; Howe, C.; Morse, T.; Lillywhite, N.; Quinn, A.; Missaglia, N.; Pedrali, M.; Reiss, P.; Rizzi, F.; Rusconi, A.; Savoia, M.; Zamboni, A.; Merrifield, J. A.; Gibson Jr., E. K.; Carpenter, J.; Fisackerly, R. and Houdou, B.
In : 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (20-24 Mar 2017, The Woodlands, Houston, Texas)
Investigating the distribution and source(s) of volatiles on the lunar surface (2013-05-22)
Mortimer, J. I.; Anand, M.; Gilmour, I.; Pillinger, C. T. and Verchovsky, S.
In : NLSI Workshop Without Walls: Lunar Volatiles 1 (21-23 May 2013, Online)
Using stable isotope geochemistry to investigate the source(s) of volatiles in the lunar regolith (2013-03-14)
Mortimer, James; Anand, Mahesh; Gilmour, Iain; Pillinger, Colin; Sheridan, Simon and Morse, Andrew
In : Geochemistry Group RiP meeting 2013 (14 Mar 2013, Milton Keynes, UK)
Investigating the Distribution and Source(s) of Lunar Volatiles (2016-02-20)
Mortimer, James
PhD thesis The Open University