Dr Annemarie Pickersgill

Published: 7 November 2022

Geochronology and thermochronology of impact craters and numerical simulations of post-impact hydrothermal systems.



Dr Annemarie Pickersgill

Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC)


Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship - 1 May 2022-30 April 2025

Area of Research

Geochronology and thermochronology of impact craters and numerical simulations of post-impact hydrothermal systems.



Why did you choose to pursue a fellowship in your research career?

A fellowship allows me the independence to develop my independent research portfolio and to demonstrate the skills required to secure lectureships and other permanent academic positions.

Why work at the University of Glasgow?

I love the city and Scotland in general is a great place to live. UoG specifically has the facilities I need to complete my work, and an excellent cohort of collaborators to support my research. I value the warmth and collegiality of my research group, I’m surrounded by highly skilled and supportive technical staff, senior researchers, and other early career researchers who make research both fun and interesting.

How would you describe your research in 20 words or less?

How old are impact craters? How are they connected to big events, like the origins of life, or mass extinctions?

What is your research highlight?

Working as part of large international teams, such as during IODP-ICDP Expedition 364 to drill the Chicxulub impact structure and working on analogue space exploration missions.

What do you look for in a collaboration?

Enthusiasm for the project, the ability and patience to explain new techniques, and the ability to communicate effectively.

How do you see your research impacting society?

Any research related to space and space exploration is inherently exciting and inspiring. I’m contributing to research about the origins of life on Earth and potentially on other planets. This explores some fundamental questions about our origins and whether we’re likely to be alone in the universe. On a more down-to-Earth level the measurements I make require cutting-edge instrumentation and contribute to technique development in the field of isotope measurements. These developments can benefit a broad range of fields including archaeology, meteoritics, and palaeoclimate research.

What next?

In the immediate future, the next steps for my research are pursuing possibilities for determining the ages of very hard to date minerals that form in hydrothermal systems; and conducting numerical simulations of impact-generated hydrothermal systems to understand which factors have the greatest effect on hydrothermal activity.

Ultimately my goal is to build my career as an independent researcher and secure a permanent position (hopefully at UoG). Then create a research group in which everyone is comfortable and supported to do their best work without compromising their mental health. As a group, we'll be able to take on some of the bigger projects that are not possible for me to do as a single researcher and follow up on the most promising results that come from the work I am doing during the fellowship.


First published: 7 November 2022