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Professor Monica Grady

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor in Planetary Sciences
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Physical Sciences
  • monica.grady

Professional biography

Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences since April 2005 Director, Cosmochemistry Research Group Prior to that, I was in the Department of Mineralogy at the Natural History Museum in London, where I headed the Meteorite team; I remain a Scientific Associate of the Museum. Publications:

Teaching interests

S104 Exploring Science

S288 Practical Science

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)CentreFaculty of Science
Cosmochemistry Research GroupGroupFaculty of Science


Externally funded projects

Meteorite or Meteor-wrong?

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Feb/201731/Jan/2018STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
To build a meteorite garden of sand and gravel, about 1m x 1m, in which several large (fist-sized) dark rocks are scattered. Three of the rocks will be meteorites, the rest terrestrial rocks. Remote manipulation of a rock will bring it to a camera, and the observer uses defined criteria to identify the rock as a meteorite (or not). The garden will be a project accessible through the openscience laboratory

European CurAtion of Returned Extra-terrestrial Samples

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Jan/201531/Dec/2017EC (European Commission): FP(inc.Horizon2020, H2020, ERC)
The overall objective of EURO-CARES is to create a roadmap for the implementation of a European Extra-terrestrial Sample Curation Facility (ESCF). . During the course of this 36 month project we will: [1] Review the current state of the art in extraterrestrial sample curation, by examining work done in Europe and internationally and to write a technical report on this topic; [2] Devise a plan for terrestrial planetary protection that is realistic, effective and legally compliant, while minimising risk to current and future scientific study; [3] Review current knowledge and essential requirements for facilities, including building infrastructure and design, procedures and protocols, security, environmental conditions, documentation and databasing; [4] Review most the suitable instrumentation for sample analysis, establish the optimum methods and instrumentation and identify those areas in which innovation and development will be required to enhance curation and analysis capabilities.. [5] Make recommendations regarding the use of analogue samples as proxies for returned extraterrestrial materials. We will deliver guidelines and lists and recommendations ready to be used in the event of a sample return mission. The analogue proxies are necessary in a curatorial facility for testing sample handling, storage and preparation techniques. This includes the testing of planetary protection measures as well as for validating new analytical methods. [6] Review suitable portable receiving facilities and outline the needs for innovation in order to be able to handle samples most effectively.

Iron from the sky; a materials science and cultural study of ancient Egyptian iron

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Oct/201430/Sep/2015AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council)
An science and humanities investigation of Egyptian iron, its symbolism, practical application and influence. Incorporating surveys and analysis of iron artefacts and related materials from museum collections, early text references to iron. This study will involve a partnership with Cardiff University Archaeology Department.

Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at the Open University

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Apr/201431/Mar/2017STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
The aim of our programme in Astronomy & Planetary Science at the Open University (APSOU) is to carryout detailed investigations of the origin and evolution of galaxies, stars and planets with a special emphasis on our own Solar System through a combination of observation, simulation, laboratory analysis and theoretical modelling. Our research is divided into two broad areas, reflecting the historical research strengths. This research programme is well-matched to both nationally- and internationally-agreed research imperatives. In its final report, A Science Vision for European Astronomy2, Astronet’s Science Working Group identified four broad areas of strategic importance; our research covers major topics within each of these areas. APSOU projects also map onto two of the four Science Challenges that form STFC’s Road Map3 for science (‘How did the universe begin and how is it evolving?’ and ‘How do stars and planetary systems develop and is life unique to our planet?’). The present APSOU programme comprises 20 projects (labelled A to T), of which 6 are for consideration by the Astronomy Observation (AO) panel, 1 for Astronomy Theory (AT), and 13 for the Planetary Studies (PL) panel. The AO projects cover the breadth of the 7 themes recognised as UK strengths in the report of STFC’s Astronomy Advisory Panel (AAP), whilst the 13 PL projects are directed towards answering questions raised in two of the three themes identified as UK strengths in the roadmap of STFC’s Solar System Advisory Panel (SSAP)4.