Natasha Barrett is a petrologist and geochemist researching the solid Earth processes that formed our planet and other rocky bodies in our solar system. Barrett's research focuses on Earth's mantle lithosphere and its related magmas, from ancient >3 Ga mafic-ultramafic magmas in SW Greenland to Phanerozoic mantle peridotites and lower crustal granulite xenoliths from the SW Pacific (Fiji and Papua New Guinea), Australia, Canada, and Alaska. This research has implications for understanding planetary-scale processes, such as continent evolution and early Earth geodynamics, and ore deposit research, such as how mantle-derived magmas transport metals from Earth's interior.
Ongoing projects and interests:
- Geochemical and petrological links between mantle processes and metal endowment within the Canadian Cordillera.
- Re–Os isotopes and platinum group elements (Os, Ir, Ru, Rh, Pt, Pd) coupled with petrology and geochemical modelling to further investigate TTG-hosted mafic-ultramafic cumulates from the Fiskefjord region (Akia Terrane) of SW Greenland.
- Thermodynamic modeling of melt productivity and the stability of melts at the lithosphere–asthenosphere boundary (LAB).
- Platinum group elements and Re–Os isotopes applied to oceanic mantle peridotites, specifically subduction-related ophiolites in Papua New Guinea.
- Isotopic studies on intraplate and back-arc mantle xenoliths from the Fiji Islands.
- Improving detection of ultra-trace elements in silicate minerals using laser ablation mass spectrometry.
- In-situ isotopic studies in zircon from lower crustal granulite xenoliths.
- Investigating potential geological sampling sites on the Moon for upcoming crew-based missions (e.g., NASA's Artemis III).
- BSc Geology/Chemistry (2010–2013), University of Western Australia
- MSc (2014), University of Western Australia / Centre for Exploration Targeting
- PhD (2016–2021), University of Alberta / Diamond Exploration and Research Training School
- Post-doc (2021–2022), University of Copenhagen
- Post-doc (2023–present), University of British Columbia / MDRU - Mineral Deposit Research Unit
Research internships / summer programs:
- (2023) Post-doc participant, Cooperative Institute for Dynamic Earth Research (CIDER) Summer Program, University of California, Berkeley
- (2019) NASA–SSERVI Graduate Intern, Lunar and Planetary Insitute / NASA Johnson Space Center
- (2015) Student Intern, CSIRO Australia - Australia's National Science Agency
- (2015) Arctic Geology Spring semester exchange MSc student, University Centre in Svalbard (Norway)
- (2011) University of Ottawa GEG4100 Antarctic University Expedition
Summer work / Industry experience:
- AngloGold Ashanti (summer student)
- ALS (ICP-MS laboratory analyst)
- Barrick Gold Corporation (summer student)
- SGS Mineral Services (TGA/XRF laboratory assistant)
- National Geographic Society - Early Career Grantee (2020)