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Dr Oliver Lord

Dr Oliver Lord

Dr Oliver Lord
MSc, PhD

Royal Society University Research Fellow and Proleptic Lecturer

Area of research

Experimental Petrology of the Deep Earth and other planets

Office IC 2.15
Wills Memorial Building,
Queens Road, Clifton BS8 1RJ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 4762


Oliver studies the behaviour of matter at extreme conditions of pressure and temperature using a wide range of experimental techniques including micro-fabrication and laser-heated diamond anvil cell and large volume press experiments often in combination with various forms of X-ray analysis at Synchrotron user facilities (where he spends a lot of time), Raman spectroscopy, neutron diffraction and ab-initio computations. Oliver uses these techniques (and develops new ones) to try to better understand the interior structure and dynamics of the Earth and planets. He also enjoys collaborating with others to apply these capabilities to a range of problems that cut across geology, physics and engineering, including the phase diagrams and physical properties of transition metals, the mechanical and optical behaviour of current technological materials and the synthesis of novel superconducting compounds.

Oliver is currently working on a number of projects, funded by the Royal Society and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), listed below. My research has also led to the development of various software tools, which I am in the process of making available on GitHub.


Oliver is a Royal Society funded University Research Fellow and the head of the Petrology Group in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol. He has been located in Bristol almost continuously since completing his PhD in Experimental Petrology in 2009, under Professor Mike Walter, first as a post-doctoral research assistant and then a NERC fellow, excepting a brief post-doctoral stint at the Department of Earth Sciences, UCL. Before then he studied Geology at what is now the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment at the University of Leicester (and which was then just the Geology Department). As well as research, Oliver teaches metamorphic petrology to 1st and 2nd year undergraduates, and co-leads an annual field trip to Kinlochleven in Scotland to teach the art and science of geological mapping.


EASC1001 Geology 1: Dynamic Interior II

EASC20035: Mineralogy and Petrology

EASC30022: Independent Mapping Project (training component, Kinlochleven, Scotland)


  • experimental petrology
  • planetary materials
  • iron-rich alloys
  • phase relations
  • engineering materials

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Dr Lord currently teaches 3 courses:

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