Dr Tiffany Barry

Associate Professor in Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry; Director of Research

School/Department: Geography Geology and the Environment, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 3628



I first came to the University of Leicester in 1995, as a PhD student, to work on a project about the origins of basaltic volcanism in Mongolia. Following 10 years of continuously funded research in other UK institutes, I then returned to Leicester as a NERC funded Independent Research Fellow, before moving to a permanent position here in 2015. My research focusses on the application of analytical geochemistry to address challenging, new questions of magmatism. Since my PhD, I have maintained an ongoing interest in the enigmatic volcanism of East Asia, but due to my fondness of figuring out new ways to analyse, or improve analyses, of magmatic rocks, I have been fortunate to work across many disciplines, with far reaching collaborations (e.g. on super-eruptions, impact events, the Anthropocene, critical metals, and now to helping map the surface of Mercury). I teach on a range of modules involving geochemistry, and my first love, fieldwork.


Overall, my research has involved the application of geochemistry to address fundamental questions of magmatic processes with particular interest in:

Mantle dynamics: how the mantle mixes and stirs. Using geochemistry (Hf-Nd-Pb isotopes) and 3D spherical numerical modelling to examine fundamental questions of long-lived geochemical features. 

Intraplate volcanism: the why and the how? From the big to the small, using volcanology and geochemistry (wholerock (LA-ICP-MS), radiogenic isotopes and 40Ar/39Ar dating), to understand how the mantle and crust interact. 

And more recently, in the chemistry and genesis of rocks on the surface of Mercury. Using novel satellite instrumentation and advanced synthetic technologies to measure and replicate rocks from the smallest, but least understood of our terrestrial planet.

Currently funded research projects are:

  • A fresh look at catastrophic impact-cratering: how do melt-bearing impact-deposits form? (NERC with Mike Branney; RA Ben Clarke)
  • Geochemistry and petrogenesis of the San Luis Potosi Volcanic Field (SLPVF) (Royal Society, Newton Advanced with Dr Sanjeet Kumar)

And current PhD projects are:

  • Relating changes in melt genesis to dynamic conditions of the demise of a continental arc: Antarctic Peninsula arc (NERC DTP CENTA with Katie Baumber)
  • Mercury’s surface composition – from global to local scales (UoL Future 100 with Adam Fox)
  • Unpicking global mantle convection influences from the local: investigating asthenospheric versus lithospheric constraints on the evolution of landscapes (NERC DTP CENTA with Alex Rutson)
  • Catastrophic emplacement and depositional processes during large asteroid impacts: lithofacies analysis and applied volcanology, Manicouagan (Canada) and Chicxulub (Mexico) (NERC DTP CENTA with Dan Bowden-Haynes)
  • Eruption source vents and subsidence patterns in exhumed caldera volcanoes, English Lake District (NERC DTP CENTA with Ed McGowan)




Kasbohm, J., Schoene, B., Mark, D.F., Murray, J., Reidel, S., Szymanowski, D., Barfod, D., Barry, T., 2023. Eruption history of the Columbia River Basalt Group constrained by high-precision U-Pb and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 118269

Barry, T.L. & Condon, D.J., 2022. Geochronology: radio-isotope dating applied to the stratigraphical record. From: Coe, A.L. (ed). Deciphering Earth’s history: the practice of stratigraphy. Geological Society of London, Geoscience in Practice, 245-260

Spiers, J.G., Cortina Chen, H-J., Barry, T.L., Bourgognon, J.-M., Steinert, J.R., 2022. Redox stress and metal dys-homeostasis appear as hallmarks of early prion disease pathogenesis in mice. Free radical biology and medicine

Ruiz-Mendoza, V., Verma, S.K., Torres-Sánchez, D., Barry, T.L., Moreno, J.A., Torres-Hernández, J.R., 2021. Geochemistry and geochronology of intermediate volcanic rocks from the Compostela area, Nayarit, Mexico: implications for petrogenesis and tectonic setting. Geological Journal, 56, 4401-4428

Börner, F., Keith, M., Smith, D.J., Barry, T.L., Neumann, T., Klemd, R., 2021. Fingerprinting fluid evolution by As and Te in epithermal pyrite, Vatukoula Au-Te deposit, Fiji. Ore Geology Reviews, 137, 104314

Fitton, J.G, Williams, R., Barry, T.L., Saunders, A.D., 2021. The role of lithospheric thickness in the formation of ocean islands and seamounts:  contrasts between the Louisville and Emperor-Hawaiian hotspot trails. J. Petrology, doi: 10.1093/petrology/egaa111

Cogliati, S., Sherlock, S., Halton, A., Ebinghaus, A., Kelley, S., Jolley, D., Barry, T.L., 2021. Expanding the toolbox for dating basaltic lava sequences: 40Ar–39Ar dating of silicic volcanic glass from interbeds. Journal of the Geological Society, 178,

Torres-Sánchez, D., Verma, S.K., Barry, T.L., Vermad, S.P., Torres-Hernández, J.R., 2020.  40Ar/39Ar geochronology and petrogenesis of the Sierra de San Miguelito Volcanic Complex, Mesa Central, Mexico. Lithos, 370,

Gan, C., Wang Y., Barry, T.L., Zhang Y., Qian, X., 2020. Spatial and temporal influence of Pacific subduction on South China: geochemical migration of Cretaceous mafic–intermediate rocks. Journal of the Geological Society, 177, 1013–1024.

Sheldrick, T.C., Barry, T.L., Dash, B., Gan, C., Millar, I.L., Barfod, D.N., Halton, A.M., 2020. Simultaneous and extensive removal of the East Asian lithospheric root. Scientific Reports (Nature), 10, 1-6,

Keith, M., Smith, D.J., Doyle, K., Holwell, D.A., Jenkin, G.R.T., Barry, T.L., Becker, J., Rampe, J., 2020. Tellurium mineralisation in a post-subduction alkaline epithermal Au deposit, Cripple Creek, Colorado. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 274, 172-191

Sheldrick, T.C., Barry, T.L., Millar, I.L., Barfod, D.N., Halton, A.M., Smith, D.J., 2019. Evidence for southward subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk oceanic plate: implications from Mesozoic adakitic lavas from Mongolia. Gondwana Research, 79, 140-156

Gan, C., Wang, Y., Barry, T.L., Zhang, Y., Qian, X., 2019. Late Jurassic high-Mg andesites in the Youjiang Basin and their significance for the southward continuation of the Jiangnan Orogen, South China. Gondwana Research, 77, 260-273

Gan, C., Zhang, Y., Barry, T.L., He, J., Wang, Y. 2018. Jurassic metasomatised lithospheric mantle beneath South China and its implications: geochemical and Sr-Nd isotope evidence from the Late Jurassic shoshonitic rocks. Lithos, 320-321, 236-249

Vye-Brown, C., Barry, T.L., & Self, S., 2018. Revealing emplacement dynamics of a simple flood basalt eruption unit using systematic compositional heterogeneities. GSA Spec., (02)

Rollinson, H., Mameri, L., Barry, T.L. 2018. Polymineralic inclusions in mantle chromitites from the Oman ophiolite indicate a highly magnesian parental melt. Lithos, 310-311, 381-391

Ward, L.A., Holwell, D.A., Barry, T.L., Blanks, D.E., Graham, S.D., 2018. The use of magnetite as a geochemical indicator in the exploration for magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide deposits: a case study from Munali, Zambia. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 188, 172-184

Sheldrick, T.C., Barry, T.L., van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Kempton, P.D. 2018. Constraining lithospheric removal and asthenospheric input to melts in Central Asia: a geochemical study of Triassic to Cretaceous magmatic rocks in the Gobi Altai (Mongolia). Lithos, 296-299, 297-315

Barry, T.L., Davies, J.H., Wolstencroft, M., Millar, I.L., Zhao, Z., Jian, P., Safonova, I., Price, M., 2017. Whole-mantle convection with tectonic plates preserves long-term global patterns of upper mantle geochemistry. Scientific Reports, 7: 1870, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-01816-y

King, C. 2016. A revised correlation of Tertiary rocks in the British Isles and adjacent areas of NW Europe. Edited by Gale, A.S.  & Barry, T.L. Geological Society, London, Special Report 27, pp 719

Clay, P.L., Busemann, H., Sherlock, S.C., Barry, T.L., Kelley, S.P., McGarvie, D.W., 2015. 40Ar/39Ar ages and residual volatile contents in degassed subaerial and subglacial glassy volcanic rocks from Iceland. Chemical Geology, 403, 99-110

Pearce, J.A., Hastie, A.R., Leat, P.T., Dalziel, I.W., Lawver, L.A., Barker, P.F., Millar, I.L., Barry, T.L., Bevins, R.E., 2014. Composition and life cycle of the ancestral South Sandwich Arc: implications for the flow of deep ocean water and mantle through the Drake Passage Gateway. Global and Planetary Change, 123, 298-322

Neill, I., Kerr, A.C., Chamberlain, K.R., Schmitt, A.K., Urbani, F., Hastie, A.R., Pindell, J.L., Barry, T.L., Millar, I.L., 2014. Vestiges of the lost proto-Caribbean Seaway: origin of the San Souci Volcanic Group, Trinidad. Tectonophysics, 626, 170-185

Williams, R.W., Branney, M.J., & Barry, T.L., 2014. Temporal and spatial evolution of a waxing then waning catastrophic density current revealed by chemical mapping. Geology, 42, 107-110

Smith, A.G., Barry, T., Bown, P., Cope, J., Gale, A., Gibbard, P., Gregory, J., Hounslow, M., Kemp, D., Knox, R., Marshall, J., Oates, M., Rawson, P. & Waters, C., 2013. GSSPs, global stratigraphy and correlation. In: Strata and Time: Probing the Gaps in Our Understanding (Smith, D. ed.). Proceedings of the William Smith meeting, Geol. Soc., London, Special publication

Murphy, J.B., Waldron, J.W.F., Schofield, D.I., Barry, T.L., & Band, A.R., 2013. Highly depleted isotopic compositions evident in Iapetus and Rheic ocean basalts: implications for crustal generation and preservation. International Journal of Earth Sciences. DOI: 10.1007/s00531-013-0925-1

Vye-Brown, C., Gannoun, A., Barry, T.L., Self, S., & Burton, K.W., 2013. Osmium isotope heterogeneity accompanying the formation of a single flow field in the Columbia River Flood Basalt Province. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 368, 183-194

Vye-Brown, C., Self, S. & Barry, T.L., 2013. Architecture and emplacement of flood basalt flow fields: case studies from the Columbia River Basalt Group, NW USA. Bulletin of Volcanology, 75, 697

Barry, T.L., Kelley, Reidel, S., Camp, V S.P., Self, S., Jarboe, N., Duncan, R., & Renne, P., 2013. Eruption chronology of the Columbia River Basalt Group. In Reidel, S.P., Camp, V.E., Ross, M.E., Wolff, J.A., Martin, B.S., Tolan, T.L., and Wells, R.E., eds., The Columbia River Flood Basalt Province. Geological Society of America, Special Paper 497, 45-66

Vaughan, A.P.M., Storey, C., Kelley, S.P., Barry, T.L., & Curtis, M.L., 2012. Syn-kinematic emplacement of Lassiter Coast Intrusive Suite plutons at the Beaumont Glacier in eastern Palmer Land: evidence for mid-Cretaceous sinistral transpression during the Palmer Land Event. Journal of the Geological Society London, 169, 759-771

Hunt, A.C., Parkinson, I.J., Harris, N.B.W., Barry, T.L., Rogers, N.W., & Yondon, M., 2012. Cenozoic volcanism on the Hangai dome, central Mongolia: Geochemical evidence for melt sources and implications for mechanisms of melting. Journal of Petrology, 53, 1913-1942

Knox, R.W.O'B., Pearson, P.N., Barry, T.L., Condon, D.J., Cope, J.C.W., Gale, A.S., Gibbard, P.L., Kerr, A.C., Hounslow, M.W., Powell, J.H., Rawson, P.F., Smith, A.G., Waters, C.N., Zalasiewicz, J., 2012. Examining the case for the use of the Tertiary as a formal period or informal unit, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 123, 390-393. 10.1016/j.pgeola.2012.05.004

Barry, T.L., Self, S., Kelley, S.P., Reidel, S., Widdowson, M., & Hooper, P., 2012. Response to Baksi, A., 2012. ‘New 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Grande Ronde lavas, Columbia River Basalts, USA: implications for duration of flood basalt eruption episodes’ by Barry et al., 2010-Discussion, Lithos, 146-147, 300-303

Clay, P.L., S.P. Kelley, S.C. Sherlock, & T.L. Barry, 2011. Partitioning of excess argon between alkali feldspars and glass in a volcanic system, Chemical Geology, 289, 12-30

Ellis, B.S., Branney, M.J., Barry, T.L., Barfod, D., Bindeman, I., Wolff, J.A. & Bonnichsen, B., 2011. Geochemical correlation of three large-volume ignimbrites from the Yellowstone hotspot track, Idaho, USA, Bulletin of Volcanology, DOI 10.1007/s00445-011-0510-z

Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M., Fortey, R., Smith, A., Barry, T.L., Coe, A.L., Bown, P.R., Rawson, P., Gale, A., Gibbard, P., Gregory, F.J., Hounslow, M., Kerr, A.C., Pearson, P., Knox, R., Powell, J., Waters, C., Marshall, J., Oates, M., & Stone, P., 2011. Stratigraphy of the Anthropocene, Philosophical Transactions A, Maths Physics & Engineering Sciences, 369, 1036-1055

Haase, K.M., Beier, C., Fretzdorff, S., Leat, P.T., Livermore, R.A., Barry, T.L., Pearce, J.A., & Hauff, F., 2011. Magmatic evolution of a dying spreading axis: evidence for the interaction of tectonics and mantle heterogeneity from the fossil Phoenix Ridge, Drake Passage, Chemical Geology, 115-125

Ellis, B.S., Barry, T.L., Branney, M.J., Wolff, J.A., Bindeman, I., Wilson, R., & Bonnichsen, W., 2010. Petrologic constraints on the development of a large-volume, high temperature, silicic magma system: the Twin Falls eruptive centre, central Snake River Plain, Lithos, 475-489

Barry, T.L., Self, S., Kelley, S.P., Reidel, S., Widdowson, M., & Hooper, P., 2010. New 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Grande Ronde lavas, Columbia River Basalts, USA: implications for duration of flood basalt eruption episodes, Lithos, 118, 213-222

Gertisser, R., Self, S., Gaspar, J.L., Kelley, S.P., Pimentel, A., Eikenberg, J., Barry, T.L., Pacheco, J.M., Queiroz, G., & Vespa, M., 2010. Ignimbrite stratigraphy and chronology on Terceira Island, Azores, in Groppelli, G., and Viereck-Goette, L., eds., Stratigraphy and geology of volcanic areas, Geological Society of America Special Paper 464, 133-154

Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M., Smith, A., Barry, T.L., Bown, P.R., Rawson, P., Brenchley, P., Cantrill, D., Coe, A.L., Gale, A., Gibbard, P., Gregory, F.J., Hounslow, M., Knox, R., Powell, J., Waters, C., Marshall, J., Oates, M., & Stone, P., 2008. Are we now living in the Anthropocene?, GSA Today, 18/2, 4-8. (Most highly cited paper)

Branney, M.J., Bonnichsen, W., Andrews, G.D.M., Ellis, B., Barry, T.L., McCurry, M., 2008. Snake River (SR)–type volcanism on the Yellowstone hotspot track: distinctive products from unusual high-temperature silicic super-eruptions. Bulletin of Volcanology, DOI10.1007/s00445-007-0140-7

Barry, T.L., Ivanov, A.V., Rasskazov, S.V., Demonterova, E.I., Dunai, T., Davies, G., & Harrison, D., 2007. Helium isotopes provide no evidence of a primordial component in the mantle source of central Asian Cenozoic basalts. Lithos, 95, 415-424

Zalasiewicz, J., Smith, A., Hounslow, M., Williams, M., Gale, A., Powell, J., Waters, C., Barry, T.L., Bown, P.R., Brenchley, P., Cantrill, D., Gibbard, P., Gregory, F.J., Knox, R., Marshall, J., Oates, M., Stone, P., Rawson, & P., Trewin, N., 2007. The scale-dependence of strata-time relations:  implications for stratigraphic classification. Stratigraphy, 4, 139-144

Barry, T.L., Pearce, J.A., Leat, P.T., Millar, I.L., & le Roex, A. P., 2006. Hafnium isotope evidence for selective mobility of high-field-strength-elements in a subduction setting: South Sandwich Islands. Earth Planetary Science Letters, 252, 223-244

Upton, B.G.J., Rämö, O.T., Heaman, L.H., Blichert-Toft, J., Kalsbeek, F., Barry, T.L., & Jepsen, H.F., 2005. The Zig-Zag Dal basalts and associated intrusions of eastern North Greenland: a progressive mantle plume - lithosphere interaction. Contributions to Mineralogy & Petrology, 149, 40-56

Gibbard, P.L., Smith, A.G., Zalasiewicz, J.A., Barry, T.L., Cantrill, D., Coe, A. L., Cope, J.C.W., Gale, A.S., Gregory, F. J., Powell, J.H., Rawson, P.R., Stone, P., & Waters, C. N., 2005. What status for the Quaternary? Boreas, 34, 1-6

Coogan, L.A., Thompson, G.M., MacLeod, C.J., Dick, H.J.B., Edwards, S.J., Hosford Scheirer, A., & Barry T.L., 2004. A combined basalt and peridotite perspective on 14 million years of melt generation at the Atlantis Bank segment of the Southwest Indian Ridge: evidence for temporal changes in mantle dynamics? Chemical Geology, 207, 13-30

Harrison, D., Barry, T.L., & Turner, G., 2004. Possible diffusive fractionation of helium isotopes in olivine and clinopyroxene phenocrysts. European Journal of Mineralogy, 16 (3), 213-220

Leat, P.T., Pearce, J.A., Barker, P.F., Millar, I.L., Barry, T.L., & Larter, R.D., 2004. Magma genesis and mantle flow at a subducting slab edge: the South Sandwich Arc-basin system. Earth Planetary Science Letters, 227, 17-35

Branney, M.J., Barry, T.L., & Godchaux, M., 2004. Sheathfolds in rheomorphic ignimbrites. Bulletin of Volcanology, 66, 485-491

Barry, T.L., Saunders, A.D., Kempton, P.D., Windley, B.F., Pringle, M., Dorjnamjaa, D. & Saandar, M., 2003.  Petrogenesis of Cenozoic basalts from Mongolia; evidence for the role of asthenospheric versus metasomatised lithospheric mantle. Journal of Petrology, 44, 55-91

Brown, R., Barry, T.L., Branney, M.J., Pringle, M.S. & Bryan, S.E., 2003.  The Quaternary pyroclastic succession of southeast Tenerife, Canary Islands: explosive eruptions, related caldera subsidence, and sector collapse. Geological Magazine, 140, 265-288

Kempton, P.D., Pearce, J.A., Barry, T.L., Fitton, J.G., Langmuir, C., & Christie, D.M., 2002. Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotope results from ODP Leg 187: evidence for mantle dynamics of the Australian-Antarctic Discordance and origin of the Indian MORB source. Geophysics, Geochemistry, Geosystems (G3), 3:1, 10.1029/2002GC000320

Barry T.L. & Kent, R., 1998.  Cenozoic magmatism in Mongolia and the origin of Central and East Asian basalts, in: Flower, M., Chung, S.-L., Lo, C.-H., & Lee, T.-Y., (ed.) “Mantle dynamics and plate interactions in East Asia”  AGU Monograph, Geodynamics Series, 27, 347-364

Cunningham, W.D., Windley, B.F. Owen, L.A., Barry, T.L., Dorjnamjaa, D., & Badamgarov, G., 1997. Geometry and style of partitioned deformation within a late Cenozoic transpressional zone in the eastern Gobi Altai Mountains, Mongolia, Tectonophysics, 277, 285-306



PhD project supervision (with start date) (*first supervisor):

*2023: Katie Baumber. NERC CENTA-funded.
Relating changes in melt genesis to dynamic conditions of the demise of a continental arc: Antarctic Peninsula arc

2022: Adam Fox. UoL Future 100 scholarship. Collaborative with Physics & Astronomy
Mercury’s surface composition – from global to local scales

*2021: Alex Rutson. NERC CENTA-Flagship funded project with Halliburton
Unpicking global mantle convection influences from the local: investigating asthenospheric versus lithospheric constraints on the evolution of landscapes

2021: Daniel Bowden-Haynes. NERC CENTA-funded
Catastrophic emplacement and depositional processes during large asteroid impacts: lithofacies analysis and applied volcanology, Manicouagan (Canada) and Chicxulub (Mexico)

*2020: Edward McGowen. NERC CENTA-funded
Eruption source vents and subsidence patterns in exhumed caldera volcanoes, English Lake District

2020: Tayyaba Khurram
Evaluating the shale gas potential of Carboniferous Bowland-Hodder Shales in Britain

2019: Bethan McCarroll. NERC CENTA-funded
Impact-cratering in Scotland: field investigation of the emplacement, sedimentology and environmental effects of a major impact-event

2018: Cara Wells. NERC CENTA-funded
Melt fragmentation during giant impact events: a volcanological approach

2018: Chenshi Gan. Visiting PhD scholarship from China Scholarship Council
The genesis and implication of the Mesozoic intraplate magmatism in the South China Block

*2017: Martha Papadopoulou. University of Leicester funded
Investigating the long term evolution of intraplate basalt magmatism in Mongolia

2017: Yannick Withoos. NERC CENTA-funded
Hazardous explosive eruptions at a flooded caldera volcano, Philippines

*2017: Lewis Banks. CASE-NERC studentship funding with CETAC Technologies
Advancing micro-analytical isotopic and trace-element ICP-MS techniques for future applications to ore genesis and exploration

2017: Laura Ward. CASE studentship NERC CENTA-funded
Crustal controls on craton-margin magmatic ore deposits: insights from south-eastern Africa

2017: Darío Torres Sánchez. Royal Society Advanced Fellow funding with Dr Sanjeet Kumar Verma Geochemistry, petrogenesis and geochronology of San Miguelito Volcanic Complex, San Luis Potosi Volcanic Field, Mexico

2016: Daryl Blanks. Industry (Consolidated Nickel Mines-University of Leicester funded) 
The nature and genesis of the Munali nickel sulfide megabreccia deposit, Zambia

2015: Simone Cogliati. Industry-Open University funded
Tracking excess argon as a proxy for degassing of silicic magma chambers by Ar/Ar laserprobe

2012: Sam Cox. BGS-University of Leicester-funded, joint with Maths
Finite element methods for modelling mantle dynamics backward in time: finding the most likely scenario

*2012: Thomas Sheldrick. Self-funded student at the University of Leicester
Extensive Mesozoic magmatism across Mongolia: was it driven by crust or mantle processes?

*2012: Adrian Band. NERC-funded at University of Leicester
Investigating Early Palaeozoic mantle processes: a study of Rheic Ocean ophiolites

2010: Elizabeth Cramer. Sindri industry funded at the Open University
Understanding 40Ar/39Ar age variations in basaltic lava flows

2006: Rebecca Williams. NERC funded at University of Leicester
Emplacement of hot catastrophic density currents over irregular topography: the volcanology of a recent low aspect-ratio rheomorphic ignimbrite on the island of Pantelleria, Straits of Sicily

2006: Alison Hunt. NERC funded at Open University
Deciphering the tectonics of central Asia from intra-plate volcanism

2006: Patricia Clay. Open University funded 
Ar-Ar dating of young volcanic rocks: arcane isotopes and how to unravel them

2005: Ben Ellis. NERC funded University of Leicester
Physical volcanology of explosive super-eruptions in the Snake River region of Idaho, USA 

2005: Charlotte Vye. Open University funded 
Flow field formation and compositional variations of flood basalt eruptions



GL4100 MGeol project supervisor

GL3106 Planetary geology (Cosmochemistry)

GL3101 Dissertation supervisor

GL3100 Second and third year Independent projects (module co-ordinator, mapping supervisor, and field mapping training fieldcourse lead)

GL2101 Intro to geochemistry (module co-ordinator)


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