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Mr Ben Rider-Stokes

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Professional biography

I am a geologist who specialises in the application of geochemical and microstructural techniques to planetary science. Our research group aims to understand the bulk volatile element composition (such as H, C and N) of planetary bodies such as the Moon, Mars, 4 Vesta and the APB. I am personally investigating nominally anhydrous minerals (NAMS) such as olivine and pyroxene in addition to hydrous phases such as Tsangpoite and Matyhite within primitive inner Solar System meteorites known as Angrites.

Research interests

  • Dating Solar System processes via combined imaging, EBSD and U-Th-Pb isotope analysis of achondritic meteorites.
  • Shock metamorphism and its effects on key chemical records of planetary evolution, especially the isotopic systematics of volatile and moderately volatile elements.
  • Constraining the timing of the water influx to the inner Solar System by evaluating the ‘water’ contents of primitive achondrites.
  • Evaluating the effects of thermal events such as shock metamorphism and fusion crusts on the internal structure of minerals such as phosphates.

Teaching interests

While I have not yet had the opportunity to pursue my interest in teaching due to the lack of undergraduates on-site at the Open University, I have been able to present my work to fellow peers, the general public and professors at both the University of Portsmouth and the Open University.

I am very much looking forward to teaching/supporting students conducting optical mineralogy and subsequent petrological interpretations, geochemical and geochronological techniques and applications, mineral resources and geodynamics encompassing the history in the Solar System.

Impact and engagement

Various talks and stands at public outreach events at the Open University such as 'Moon Night', 'Living on the Moon' and 'Fly me to the Moon'. 

External collaborations

The University of Portsmouth. 

Royal Ontario Museum - Toronto Canada. 


Impact mixing among rocky planetesimals in the early Solar System from angrite oxygen isotopes (2023)
Rider-Stokes, B. G.; Greenwood, R. C.; Anand, M.; White, L. F.; Franchi, I. A.; Debaille, V.; Goderis, S.; Pittarello, L.; Yamaguchi, A.; Mikouchi, T. and Claeys, P.
Nature Astronomy, 7 (pp. 836-842)