Imperial College London

Dr. Rebekah E. T. Moore

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Research Fellow



r.moore13 Website




4.40/20Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus




Research Interests

The processes governing the absorption, storage and distribution of essential and toxic metals in biology.

Specifically, the potential of high precision mass spectrometry techniques,  alongside more traditional biomedical and biochemical methods, to understand human diseases (such as cancers and nutrient deficiencies) and the origin, uptake, storage and translocation of heavy metals in food crops.

Current projects

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(i) Cadmium in Theobroma cacao

  • Using stable isotope analysis (MC-ICP-MS) to investigate the processes responsible for cadmium accumulation in cacao plants
  • Samples collected from mature cacao trees in Ecuadorian cacao farms in collaboration with colleages at GET, IRD and the cacao cooperative Ethiquable, and seedlings grown hydroponically by collaborators at the International Cacao Quarantine Centre, University of Reading

(ii) Essential trace metals in breast cancer

  • Using stable isotope analysis (MC-ICP-MS) and in situ concentration analysis (LA-ICP-MS) to understand essential element (e.g. zinc, copper, iron and magnesium) in breast cancer. In collaboration with Imperial College London clinical researchers, the London Metallomics Facility, Kings College London and researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research.

I currently co-supervise two PhD students in the MAGIC research group, who's research are also closely associated with these projects.

(iii) Cadmium and zinc phytoextraction

  • I am a collaborator in a project run by scientists at the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, China. Using MC-ICP-MS to understand the uptake of zinc and cadmium in hyperaccumulator plants (specifically Sedum plumbizincicola), which are used to extract these metals from contaminated agricultural soil.

(iv) Pollution monitoring using leaves

  • Pollution filtration properties of leaves using contrasting imaging and element mapping techniques, in collaboration with Dr Gloria Young and Prof. Alexandra Porter at the Dept of Materials.


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  • Research Fellow - Imperial College London. Nov 2021 - present 
  • Post Doctorate Research Associate - Imperial College London. Jan 2020 - Nov 2021 
  • ICP-MS analyst - London Metallomics Facility, King's College London. April 2021 - July 2021
  • Honorary Research Associate - Imperial College London. September 2019 - August 2020
  • Post Doctorate Research Associate in the MAGIC group at ESE - Imperial College London - July 2017-August 2019
  • Analytical Chemist/Geochemist (interim) at Imaging and Analysis Centre, Natural History Museum - July 2018 - October 2018
  • PhD student in the MAGIC group at ESE - Imperial College London. October 2013- October 2017 (Janet Watson Scholarship)
  • Visiting researcher at Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford University. 2013-2014 and October 2019
  • MSci. Geoscience - Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University. 2009-2013 


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  • Module coordinator: Environmental Seminars (2021-present)
  • PhD co-supervisor (x1 current, x1 completed)
  • MSc projects supervisor (x2 current, x2 completed)
  • Assistant supervisor (4x current, 3x completed)
  • Fieldwork staff: 2nd-year mapping preparation fieldtrip in Scotland. 2022-present.
  • Undergraduate academic tutorials: Understanding isotope signatures and mixing lines (year 2) - 2020


  • Teaching Assistant for ESE undergraduate modules (Solid Earth Geochemistry and Climate). 2013-2017
  • Workshops for Global Summer School, Imperial College London. 2015-2017
  • UNIQ summer school - laboratory practical and tutorial. 2014

Science Communication

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  • Grand Opening of the London Metallomics Facility (LMF), KCL. Invited talk title: Zn distribution in breast cancer versus benign disease using machine learning. 2024
  • 'Converging on Cancer’ seminar series, CRUK Convergence Science Centre. Invited talk title: Understanding the role of zinc in disease progression via analyses of concentrations and stable isotope compositions. 2023
  • London Geochemistry and Isotope Centre (LoGIC) seminar series, UCL. Invited talk title: How and why do cacao plants take up so much Cd? At stable isotope story. 2023
  • Goldschmidt, Lyon. Speaker and workshop participant. Talk title: Stable isotope and in situ concentration measurements of Zn in breast cancer. 2023
  • ESE Internal Research Seminar. Talk title: Geochemistry meets histopathology: investigating breast cancer with isotope metallomics, laser ablation ICP-MS and machine learning. 2023
  • RSC Atomic Spectroscopy Group Webinar: H is for Health. Invited talk title:In situ concentrations and stable isotope analysis of Zn in breast cancer. 2022
  • Goldschmidt, Virtual conference. Session convener and speaker. Talk title: Insights into the mechanisms of cadmium accumulation by Theobroma cacao using stable isotope analysis. 2021
  • Goldschmidt, Virtual conference. Talk title: Understanding Cd dynamics in cacao plants using isotope analysis. 2020
  • GET, Université Toulouse internal seminar series - Invited talk title: Understanding Cd uptake by cacao plants using isotope analysis. 2020
  • 35th International SEGH conference - Manchester Metropolitan University. Talk title: Understanding Cd uptake by cacao plants using isotope analysis. 2019
  • 14th Zinc Network Meeting - Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Poster prize for: The potential of coupled Zn concentration and stable isotope analyses of blood serum and urine for assessing Zn status. 2019.
  • The 19th Biennial National Atomic Spectroscopy Symposium -  St. Mary's University, London. 2018
  • European Conference on Nanofilms - Cranfield University - special session invited talk title: Zinc isotopes as a possible biomarker for breast cancer. 2018
  • Launch of Cancer Research Center of Excellence - Imperial College London. 2017
  • 32nd International SEGH conference - Brussels. Poster title: High precision zinc stable isotope analysis of biological reference materials. 2016
  • 11th Annual Zinc Meeting - Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. 2015
  • Geochemistry Group Research in Progress Meeting -NOC, Southampton. Talk title: Understand human diseases using trace metal stable isotope analysis. 2015
  • Parkinson's UK Research Conference - York. 2014
  • Imperial Graduate School Technical Presentation Fishbowl course 2014. Talk title: Metal isotopes and human diseases.
  • Oxford Geology Group Colloquium, Young Geoscientist Competition 2014. Talk title: The role of metal isotopes in human diseases.
  • Geochemistry Group Annual Research in Progress Meeting - Milton Keynes. Poster title: Understand human diseases using trace metal stable isotope analysis. 2014