I apply concepts developed in the materials sciences to rocks. I try to understand their history by examining thin rock slices under the microscope. My main interest at present is the process of solidification of molten rock under volcanoes.
The children went to nursery from the age of four months, and until Edward was seven they went to a childminder after school, allowing me a relatively 'normal' working day. After that, Stephen and I took turns to collect them from school at 4:30, and on our picking-up days we had to make up time by working after they'd gone to bed. Having shorter hours in the office certainly concentrates the mind, and I find the total escape from work into domestic duties provides an immensely creative environment from which my research has benefited. While the children were little I did all my fieldwork in the UK, so they could come with me. As they got older and could be left at home I could expand my horizons and started projects involving work in Greenland and South Africa.