Dr Becca Wilson

2004 – 2009 Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute, The Open University
Ph.D. Organic Cosmochemistry
Thesis: Organic Material in Micrometeorites: Processes Affecting its Delivery to Planetary Environments.
Ph.D. Supervisors: Dr Victoria Pearson, Dr Ian Franchi, Prof. Ian Wright and Dr Iain Gilmour
Ph.D. Examiners: Dr Matthew Genge, Imperial College London and Prof. Charles Cockell, The Open University

The aim of my Ph.D. was to investigate the effect of atmospheric entry heating on the organic and volatile composition of micrometeorites and the contribution of these components to early atmospheric development and influence on prebiotic chemistry. This was achieved by developing experimental simulation procedures of the entry heating process on analogous extraterrestrial materials. The thermal alteration of organic (with emphasis on biomolecules and their precursors) and volatile material was monitored with respect to varying simulation parameters. In addition, I analysed the organic composition of Antarctic micrometeorites using 2 dimensional (GCxGC) gas chromatography, providing the first comprehensive volatile organic analysis of these extraterrestrial materials. Through my Ph.D. I have gained experience of handling and analysing the organic and/or volatile composition of terrestrial material and that of extraterrestrial materials of scarce availability and enhanced value (micrometeorites, meteorites and Martian material).

2000 – 2004 Royal School of Mines, Imperial College London
2:1 M.Sci. Geological Science (Hons)
M.Sci. research thesis: The Thermal History of Chondrules in NWA 801.
M.Sci. thesis supervisors: Prof. Sara Russel, Natural History Museum and Dr Dominik Weiss, Imperial College London.

This project involved unravelling the thermal history of chondrules within a CR2 meteorite (NWA-801) using mineralogical and textural information from the electron microprobe, and geochemical information (Cu, Pb and Zn stable isotopes) acquired from ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry). This project was carried out in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, London.

1993 – 2000 Nonsuch High School for Girls, Cheam, Surrey
A Levels
Biology (B), Chemistry (B), Physics (B), General Studies (B)

Dual Science (A A), Maths (A), Geography (A), English Language (A), English Literature (A), French (A), Latin (A), Textiles – Interior Design (B), History (B)