Emma Passmore


+44 (0)20 7323 8795

Emma joined the Museum as a Mellon Research Fellow in 2010. Her research focuses on the non-destructive analysis of museum objects made from geological materials, including stone, gemstones and mineral pigments. Emma uses a range of analytical techniques including Raman spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, X-ray diffraction and petrological microscopy to investigate the compositions of these materials. She is particularly interested in using geochemical data to explore the geographical provenance of minerals, particularly gem-quality garnet.

After graduating with an MSci in Geology from University College London in 2004, Emma completed a PhD in Geochemistry at the University of Edinburgh in 2009, where she specialised in the compositional microanalysis of igneous rocks and minerals. Her PhD research explored the composition of lava produced by the 1783 A.D. fissure eruption at Laki, southeast Iceland, the largest lava flow to have occurred in human history.

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS)

Recent publications

Adams N. Lüle Ç and Passmore E. (2011)Lithois Indikois: Preliminary Characterisation of some Garnet Seal Stones from Central and South Asia. British Museum Press, London, in press.

Passmore E., Maclennan J., Fitton J.G. and Thordarson T. (2011) Mass disaggregation in basaltic magma chambers: evidence from the AD 1783 Laki eruption. Journal of Petrology, in review.

Passmore E., Ambers J., Verri G. and Simpson St.J., The use of pigments on ivory plaques from Begram, Afghanistan. Raman Applications in Art and Archaeology, Parma, Italy, 2011.

Das S., Dunn J. and Passmore, E. (2011) Disposal? How to run a democratic exhibition. In: Davies P. (ed), Museums and the Disposals Debate, Museums etc., London, p450.

Reed C., Dunn J., Passmore E. and Das S. (2010) Reviewing significance: a framework for assessing museum collections’ significance, management and use. MLA, Renaissance East Midlands.

Passmore E. (2009) Feeding large eruptions: crystallization, mixing and degassing in Icelandic magma chambers. University of Edinburgh, PhD thesis, p367.