Dr Nicholas Tosca

Dr Nicholas Tosca

Dr Nicholas Tosca


Nick Tosca



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  • Geochemical and mineralogical analysis of sedimentary rocks
  • Construction of theoretical and experimental systems
  • Chemical weathering and sedimentation
  • Silicate diagenesis in marine and lacustrine settings


Further Info

I am interested in the evolution of life, Earth’s early climate, and the relationship between the two. My approach to these problems is to reconstruct ancient chemical systems through a quantitative understanding of mineral stability at the Earth’s surface. This involves geochemical and mineralogical analysis of modern and ancient sedimentary rocks, and the construction of theoretical and experimental systems to answer important questions that often arise from the rock record. This same approach can be applied to existing chemical and mineralogical data returned from the surface of Mars in an attempt to understand how ancient climate evolved and how it may have impacted the chances for life very early in the planet’s history (~3.5 Ga and earlier).


My interests also lie in silicate diagenesis in marine and lacustrine settings and its affects on reservoir properties. A main goal is to provide an overarching framework for facies changes that are often highly variable in these settings (for example lacustrine carbonates), by utilising experimental and theoretical constraints on mineral stability. This is highly relevant to non-marine source and reservoir rocks recently discovered to host significant quantities of hydrocarbons (e.g., pre-salt Cretaceous strata of offshore Brazil).