Dr Robert Knight

Role summary

Rob is responsible for the Museum’s collection of rocks and minerals, including meteorites, gemstones and decorative stones. His role includes:
  • managing the cataloguing, storage and care of these collections
  • facilitating and engaging in collections-based research
  • managing loans
  • treating and storing specimens susceptible to pyrite decay in anoxic and/or low humidity conditions in order to preserve them
  • contributing to the development of new exhibitions and displays
  • answering enquiries from researchers and the wider public including the identification of unknown specimens.

His curatorial interests include specimen identification; cataloguing the collections; acquisition of new material; and developing the collections for research, education and public engagement. His research interests include the genesis, discovery and extraction of ore deposits; magmatic and hydrothermal processes applied to economic geology; planetary geology; and mineral chemistry.


Rob graduated from the University of Leicester in 2010 with a Master’s degree in geology. He subsequently studied for a PhD in geology at Cardiff University, working on the primary magmatic and secondary remobilisation of platinum-group elements in Ni-Cu sulphide ores. In 2014 he took up a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Southampton, studying the potential geochemical impacts of mining seafloor massive sulphide deposits as part of an EU-funded project, Managing Impacts of Deep-seA reSource exploitation (MIDAS). Rob moved to Oxford in 2017 to start his role as the Collections Manager for mineralogy and petrology. 


  • Placer platinum-group minerals in the Shetland ophiolite complex derived from anomalously enriched podiform chromitites

  • Investigating monomineralic and polymineralic reactions during the oxidation of sulphide minerals in seawater: Implications for mining seafloor massive sulphide deposits

  • The influence of spreading rate, basement composition, fluid chemistry and chimney morphology on the formation of gold-rich SMS deposits at slow and ultraslow mid-ocean ridges

  • Evidence for as contamination and the partitioning of Pd into pentlandite and Co + platinum group elements into pyrite in the fazenda mirabela intrusion, Brazil

  • The Distribution of PGE and the Role of Arsenic as a Collector of PGE in the Spotted Quoll Nickel Ore Deposit in the Forrestania Greenstone Belt, Western Australia

  • More
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