Prof Adrian Finch

Prof Adrian Finch
Professor; Examinations Officer


My research is underpinned by using the geochemistry of minerals to reconstruct past conditions, either in magmatic, metamorphic or environmental systems. I particularly use isotope geochemical methods and the physical properties of minerals to determine how they formed and to extract geologically relevant information (such as magma or hydrothermal fluid compositions). My research has involved technique development (particularly in mineral spectroscopy) and I have a reputation for working in Arctic environments.

I commonly consult for Exploration geology companies.



Understanding the origins and mobility of rare elements such as niobium, zirconium and rare earths associated with alkaline magmatism. I have studied a variety of alkaline and peralkaline igneous rocks including syenite, nepheline syenite, lujavrite and carbonatite. My work has sought to understand more fully the mechanisms by which rare metals, such as rare earth elements, become concentrated in magmas, and how late-stage post-crystallisation processes modify and mobilise elements. This work involves studies of the mobility of rare earths and high field-strength elements such as zirconium, hafnium, niobium and tantalum. I am part of two consortia, HiTech AlkCarb and SoS RARE.

I consult for a number of Exploration Geology companies interested in the petrology and petrogenesis of alkaline rocks and rare elements.

The physical properties of minerals as a tool for provenance and geological history, particularly in gem materials using luminescence techniques. I have links with several gem and gem-testing laboratories, supported by the Facility for the Luminescence of Minerals at St Andrews University.

The geochemistry of biominerals as archives for past climate in collaboration with Dr Nicola Allison. This research has been funded by several Research Council grants.

My research group (‘the A-team’) past and present is listed here. Current staff include Dr Will Hutchison, Dr Anouk Borst and my current PhD students are Nicky Horsburgh and Kris Sokol.


Current: Professor of Geology, specialising in Mineralogy and Petrology,

2000-2003 Personal Research Fellowship from Royal Society of Edinburgh

2011-2014 Head of Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences

2012-2014 Co-Head of School of Geography & Geosciences

2010-2011 ProDean of Postgraduate Affairs, Faculty of Sciences

2007 Vice President of Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

source: symbiosis


Research Overview:

Applied mineralogy in many forms including:

1. Mobility in high field strength elements and rare earth elements in alkaline igneous rocks

2. Genesis of mineral deposits in alkaline igneous rocks with special emphasis on the Gardar province of South Greenland

3. Luminescence emissions of minerals, especially feldspars

4. Geochemistry of coral and speleothem aragonite and climate reconstruction from biogenic carbonates.



50 (of 124 /dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/status/published available) for aaf1 (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details

Adsorption of rare earth elements in regolith-hosted clay deposits Anouk Margaretha Borst, Martin P. Smith, Adrian Anthony Finch, Guillaume Estrade, Cristina Villanova-de-Benavent, Peter Nason, Eva Marquis, Nicky Horsburgh, Kathryn M. Goodenough, Cheng Xu, Jindrich Kynicky, Kalotina Geraki
Nature Communications 2020 vol. 11
The role of aspartic acid in reducing coral calcification under ocean acidification conditions Celeste Cecilia Indidi Kellock, Catherine Sarah Cole, Kirsty Penkman, David Barry John Evans, Roland Kroger, Chris Hintz, Ken Hintz, Adrian Anthony Finch, Nicola Allison
Scientific Reports 2020 vol. 10
The sulfur isotope evolution of magmatic-hydrothermal fluids William Hutchison, Adrian Anthony Finch, Adrian J. Boyce
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 2020 vol. 288 pp. 176-198
Dating agpaitic rocks Anouk Margaretha Borst, Tod Waight, Adrian Anthony Finch, Michael Storey, Petrus Le Roux
Lithos 2019 vol. 324-325 pp. 74-88
Fenitisation associated with alkaline-silicate complexes. Implications for HFSE mobility in late-stage fluids, Gardar Rift, SW Greenland Kris Sokol, Adrian Anthony Finch, William Hutchison, Jonathan Cloutier, Madeleine C. S. Humphreys
2019 pp. 1840-1841
From Mantle to Motzfeldt Adrian Anthony Finch, Callum D.J. Reekie, William Hutchison, Abdulmalik Ismaila, Ashlyn Armour-Brown, Tom Andersen, Siri L. Simonsen
Ore Geology Reviews 2019 vol. 107 pp. 402-416
How volcanoes recycle the Earth’s crust to uncover rare metals that are vital to green technology Adrian Anthony Finch, Anouk Margaretha Borst, William Hutchison
The Conversation 2019
Hydrothermal alteration of eudialyte-hosted critical metal deposits Mathijs A.J. van de Ven, Anouk Margaretha Borst, Gareth R. Davies, Adrian Anthony Finch
Minerals 2019 vol. 9
Luminescence sorting to reduce energy use during ore processing Nicky Horsburgh, Adrian Anthony Finch
2019 vol. 4 pp. 1498-1500
Optical determination of the width of the band-tail states, and the excited state and ground state energies of the principal dosimetric trap in feldspar Svenja Riedesel, Amit Kumar Prasad, Raju Kumar, Adrian Anthony Finch, Mayank Jain
Radiation Measurements 2019 vol. 125 pp. 40-51
Resolving the structural state of heavy rare earth elements in lateritic ion adsorption clays Anouk Margaretha Borst, Adrian Anthony Finch, Nicky Horsburgh, Eva Marquis, Peter Nason, Guillaume Estrade, Kalotina Geraki, Kathryn Goodenough, Jindrich Kynicky, Xu Cheng
2019 vol. 4 pp. 1748-1751
Sulphur isotopes of alkaline magmas unlock long-term records of crustal recycling on Earth William Hutchison, Ranier Babiel, Adrian Anthony Finch, Michael Marks, Gregor Markl, Adrian J. Boyce, Eva Elisabeth Stueeken, Henrik Friis, Anouk Margaretha Borst, Nicky Horsburgh
Nature Communications 2019 vol. 10
Effects of seawater pCO2 and temperature on calcification and productivity in the coral genus Porites spp. Catherine Sarah Cole, Adrian Anthony Finch, Christopher James Hintz, Kenneth Hintz, Nicola Allison
Coral Reefs 2018 vol. 37 pp. 471-481
Fenites associated with carbonatite complexes H. A. L. Elliott, F. Wall, A. R. Chakhmouradian, P. R. Siegfried, S. Dahlgren, S. Weatherley, Adrian Anthony Finch, M. A. W. Marks, E. Dowman, E. Deady
Ore Geology Reviews 2018 vol. 93 pp. 38-59
Temperature dependence of bulk luminescence from ZnO Meima Cui, Zili Zhang, Yafang Wang, Adrian Anthony Finch, P. D. Townsend
Luminescence 2018 vol. 33 pp. 654-659
The effect of ocean acidification on tropical coral calcification Nicola Allison, Catherine Sarah Cole, Christopher James Hintz, Kenneth Hintz, James William Buchanan Rae, Adrian Anthony Finch
Chemical Geology 2018 vol. 497 pp. 162-169
The evolution of magma during continental rifting William Hutchison, Tamsin A. Mather, David M. Pyle, Adrian J. Boyce, Matthew L.M. Gleeson, Gezahegn Yirgu, Jon D. Blundy, David J. Ferguson, Charlotte Vye-Brown, Ian L. Millar, Kenneth W.W. Sims, Adrian Anthony Finch
Earth and Planetary Science Letters 2018 vol. 489 pp. 203-218
Factors controlling the thermoluminescence spectra of rare earth doped calcium fluoride Y. Wang, Y. Zhao, D. White, Adrian Anthony Finch, P. D. Townsend
Journal of Luminescence 2017 vol. 184 pp. 55-63
Layering in peralkaline magmas, Ilímaussaq Complex, S Greenland Adrian Anthony Finch, Colin Henry Donaldson
Lithos 2017 vol. 268-271 pp. 1-15
Spectral changes and wavelength dependent thermoluminescence of rare earth ions after X-ray irradiation P. D. Townsend, Adrian Anthony Finch, M. Maghrabi, V. Ramachandran, G. V. Vázquez, Y. Wang, D. R. White
Journal of Luminescence 2017 vol. 192 pp. 574-581
Thermoluminescence of SrAl2O4:Eu2+, Dy3+ M. L. Chithambo, A. H. Wako, Adrian Anthony Finch
Radiation Measurements 2017 vol. 97 pp. 1-13
Competing roles of defects in SrAl2O4:Eu2+,Dy3+ phosphors detected by luminescence techniques Y. Wang, M. Cui, Y. Zhao, Z. G. Xia, Adrian Anthony Finch, P. D. Townsend
Journal of Materials Research 2016 vol. 31 pp. 1403-1412
Defects in sodalite-group minerals determined from X-ray-induced luminescence Adrian Anthony Finch, Mufeed Maghrabi
Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 2016 vol. 43 pp. 481-491
From mantle to critical zone M. P. Smith, K. Moore, D. Kavecsánszki , Adrian Anthony Finch, J. Kynicky, F. Wall
Geoscience Frontiers 2016 vol. 7 pp. 315-334
Understanding cold bias Catherine Sarah Cole, Adrian Anthony Finch, Christopher Hintz, Kenneth Hintz, Nicola Allison
Scientific Reports 2016 vol. 6
Energy dependence of radioluminescence spectra from strontium titanate Y. Wang, Y. Zhao, Z. Zhang, C. Zhao, X. Wu, Adrian Anthony Finch, P.D. Townsend
Journal of Luminescence 2015 vol. 166 pp. 17-21
Ion size effects on thermoluminescence of terbium and europium doped magnesium orthosilicate Y. Zhao, Y. Zhou, Y. Jiang, W. Zhou, Adrian Anthony Finch, P.D. Townsend, Y. Wang
Journal of Materials Research 2015 vol. FirstView
Substrate lattice relaxations, spectral distortions, and nanoparticle inclusions of ion implanted zinc oxide Y. Wang, B. Ma, W. Zhang, D. Li, Y. Zhao, Adrian Anthony Finch, P. D. Townsend
Journal of Applied Physics 2015 vol. 118
Time-resolved optically stimulated luminescence and spectral emission features of α-Al2O3:C M.L. Chithambo, A.N. Nyirenda, Adrian Anthony Finch, N.S. Rawat
Physica B : Condensed Matter 2015
Controls on the valence species of arsenic in tobacco smoke Ed Stephens, Adrian Anthony Finch, Kalotina Geraki
Environmental Science and Technology 2014 vol. 48 pp. 3449-3456
Corals concentrate dissolved inorganic carbon to facilitate calcification Nicola Allison, I. Cohen, Adrian Anthony Finch, J. Erez, A.W. Tudhope,
Nature Communications 2014 vol. 5 pp. 1-6
Towards successful OSL sampling strategies in glacial environments Georgina E. King, Ruth Alison Joyce Robinson, Adrian Anthony Finch
Quaternary Science Reviews 2014 vol. 89 pp. 94-107
Understanding processes of sediment bleaching in glacial settings using a portable OSL reader David C. W. Sanderson, Ruth Alison Joyce Robinson, Adrian Anthony Finch
Boreas 2014 vol. 43 pp. 955-972
Apparent OSL ages of modern deposits from Fåbergstølsdalen, Norway Georgina King, Ruth Alison Joyce Robinson, Adrian Anthony Finch
Journal of Quaternary Science 2013 vol. 28 pp. 673-682
Radio- and thermoluminescence of single-doped and codoped lithium-sodium sulfate Mufeed Maghrabi, Omar Zayed, Adrian Anthony Finch
Radiation Effects and Defects in Solids 2013 vol. 168 pp. 1030-1037
SIMS sputtering rates in biogenic aragonite Nicola Allison, David Chambers, Adrian Anthony Finch,
Surface and Interface Analysis 2013 vol. 45 pp. 1389-1394
A high resolution delta C-13 record in a modern Porites lobata coral: Insights into controls on skeletal delta C-13 Nicola Allison, Adrian Anthony Finch,
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 2012 vol. 84 pp. 534-542
Independent ages of magmatic and hydrothermal activity in alkaline igneous rocks Adrian Anthony Finch, S. L. Simonsen, Colin Henry Donaldson, A. Armour-Brown
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 2012 vol. 163 pp. 967-982
Applications of fluorescence in gemology Adrian Anthony Finch, Colin Henry Donaldson, Fred J. Mosselmans
Gems and Gemology 2011 vol. 47 pp. 125-125
Controls on Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca in scleractinian corals Nicola Allison, Itay Cohen, Adrian Anthony Finch, Jonathan Erez,
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 2011 vol. 75 pp. 6350-6360
Multiple luminescent spectroscopic methods applied to the two related minerals, leucophanite and meliphanite Adrian Anthony Finch, C. T. Williams
Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 2011 vol. 38 pp. 45-57
The problem of dating quartz 1 Adrian Anthony Finch, Ruth Alison Joyce Robinson, D E Hole
Radiation Measurements 2011 vol. 46 pp. 1-9
The problem of dating quartz 2: Synchrotron generated X-ray excited optical luminescence (XEOL) from quartz Adrian Anthony Finch, Ruth Alison Joyce Robinson, J. F. W. Mosselmans
Radiation Measurements 2011 vol. 46 pp. 1082-1089
Ba XAFS in Ba-rich standard minerals and the potential for determining Ba structural state in calcium carbonate Adrian Anthony Finch, Nicola Allison, Hannah Steaggles, J. Fred W. Mosselmans
Chemical Geology 2010 vol. 270 pp. 179-185
Ba XAFS of Ba-rich standard minerals and the potential for determining Ba structural state in calcium carbonate Adrian Anthony Finch, Nicola Allison, H Steaggles, CV Wood, JFW Mosselmans
Chemical Geology 2010 vol. 270 pp. 179-185
Combined single-crystal X-ray and neutron powder diffraction structure analysis exemplified through full structure determinations of framework and layer beryllate minerals Jennifer A. Armstrong, Alexandra Lieb, Adrian Anthony Finch, Mark T. Weller
American Mineralogist 2010 vol. 95 pp. 519-526
ESEEM and multi-frequency EPR study on Mn2+ luminescence centres in leucophanite Hassane El Mkami, Adrian Anthony Finch, Graham Murray Smith
Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 2010 vol. 37 pp. 519-528
Magnesium in palaeoenvironmental carbonates Adrian Anthony Finch, Nicola Allison, Lindsay J Wilson, Ed Hathorne
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 2010 vol. 74 pp. A293-A293

Contact Details:

Prof Adrian Finch
Irvine Building
University of St Andrews
North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

tel: +44 01334 462384
fax: +44 01334 463949
room: 421


Scottish Oceans Institute
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

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The Secretary
Scottish Oceans Institute
Institiud Chuantan na h-Alba
Gatty Marine Laboratory
East Sands St Andrews
KY16 8LB

tel: +44 (0) 1334 463472
fax: +44 (0) 1334 463443