Before joining the synchrotron she completed both an undergraduate masters (MSci), in Planetary Science and a PhD in Geology in the Earth Sciences department of University College London before taking up a Postdoc position at CSIRO Process Science and Engineering, jointly co-funded by the Bragg Institute, ANSTO to study Jarosite formation using in situ techniques.
Her personal research interests focus on determining the thermoelastic properties and crystal chemistry of a range of minerals which are of interest in a variety of environmental, planetary geology and industrial settings.
She is currently working in two main areas:
- Firstly, investigating the formation mechanisms, thermoelastic properties and stabilities of Jarosite minerals. On Earth jarosites are an important mineral to a range of industries. However, jarosites are also an important key to unlocking role of water in the geological history of Mars.
- Secondly, Helen investigates the thermoelastic properties of salt hydrates (mainly in the sodium sulphate – water system), with a view to geological processes occurring on Earth, Mars and the icy satellites.