Imperial College London

Alex Brett

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Casual - Student demonstrator - lower rate



a.brett13 Website




2.58FRoyal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Igneous geochemist. Open-source developer. Personal pronouns: they/them/their or other gender-neutral.


  • 2013- Imperial College London (Research Postgraduate; see below)
  • 2008-2013 University of Cambridge (BA MSci; MSci supervisor: Marie Edmonds)
  • 2011 California Institute of Technology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (supervisor: Ed Stolper)

Research interests: the origin of enriched 'em-type' mantle

Supervisors: Julie Prytulak, Mark Rehkämper

Ocean island basalts (OIB) are low-degree mantle melts formed without any obvious link to plate boundaries, and their locations are sometimes termed 'hotspots' due to the inferred role of mantle plumes. OIBs can display extreme and variable long-lived radiogenic isotope compositions, leading to the concept of mantle end-members and the 'mantle zoo'.

During this project EM-type basalts will be analysed in 'non-traditional' stable isotope systems, including thallium, molybdenum and zinc. Results will permit distinction between source materials indistinguishable using radiogenic isotopes, e.g. seamounts versus sediments: further, both thallium and molybdenum fractionate during sedimentary material formation.

We will generate datasets for previously unstudied isotopes, complementary to existing characterisations of OIBs. It is hoped that the new information will enable some unravelling of the processes resulting in the mantle zoo.


M.E. Newcombe, A. Brett, J.R. Beckett, M.B. Baker, S. Newman, Y. Guan, J.M. Eiler, E.M. Stolper. (2017) Solubility of water in lunar basalt at low pH2OGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta200:330-352.

J. Prytulak, A. Brett, M. Webb, T. Plank, M. Rehkämper, P.S. Savage, J.D. Woodhead (2017) Thallium elemental behavior and stable isotope fractionation during magmatic processes. Chemical Geology, 448:71-83.

M. Edmonds, A. Brett, R.A. Herd, M.C.S. Humphreys, and A. Woods (2014) Magnetite-bubble aggregates at mixing interfaces in andesite magma bodies. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 410:SP410-7.

M. Kersten, T. Xiao, K. Kressig, A. Brett, B.J. Coles, and M Rehkämper (2014) Tracing anthropogenic thallium in soil using stable isotope compositions. Environmental Science & Technology, 48:9030-9036.



Brett EKA, Prytulak J, Rehkämper M, et al., 2021, Thallium elemental and isotopic systematics in ocean island lavas, Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol:301, ISSN:0016-7037, Pages:187-210

Brett A, Prytulak J, Hammond SJ, et al., 2018, Thallium mass fraction and stable isotope ratios of sixteen geological reference materials, Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, Vol:42, ISSN:1639-4488, Pages:339-360

Newcombe ME, Brett A, Beckett JR, et al., 2017, Solubility of water in lunar basalt at low pH(2)O, Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol:200, ISSN:0016-7037, Pages:330-352

Prytulak J, Brett A, Webb M, et al., 2016, Thallium elemental behavior and stable isotope fractionation during magmatic processes, Chemical Geology, Vol:448, ISSN:1872-6836, Pages:71-83

Edmonds M, Brett A, Herd RA, et al., 2015, Magnetite-bubble aggregates at mixing interfaces in andesite magma bodies, Role of Volatiles in the Genesis, Evolution and Eruption of Arc Magmas, Vol:410, ISSN:0305-8719, Pages:95-121

More Publications