darren mark

Prof. Darren Francis Mark

Chief Executive Officer, SPERO


Professor of Isotope Geochronology, Head of the Argon Isotope Facility, Director of NERC Facilities, SUERC, Honorary Professor University of St Andrews


Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, Rankine Avenue, Scottish Enterprise Technology Park, East Kilbride, G75 0QF
01355270194 (office)
01355270193 (Laboratory)

Email address: Darren.Mark@glasgow.ac.uk


Research interests:

  • Ar/Ar dating
  • Geochronology
  • Fluid-rock interaction
  • Planetary science & astrobiology
  • Development of technologies for space exploration

Research summary:

Time is the 4th dimension that resides at the heart of geoscience research. It is the common thread that binds scientific discoveries within the Earth and Planetary Science Sectors, and places them within context of Earth and Solar System History. Darren’s planetary science research interests focus on understanding the development and evolution of planetary surfaces across the last 4.6 Ga of Solar System history. He does this by integrating geochemistry (e.g., noble gas geochemistry, clumped isotope paleothermometry, stable isotopes) and petrographical observations (scanning- and transmission-electron microscopy) with high-precision geochronological data (40Ar/39Ar, U-Pb, I-Xe) to resolve a relative sequence of events and elucidate the temporal relationships between such events. Darren has tackled major research questions concerning the development of Mars, primitive and evolved meteorites, the Moon and even to lead the development of new instrumentation for future rover-based space missions. He has developed a successful portfolio of grant-funded research (NERC, STFC, EU, Carnegie Trust, Leverhulme Trust, UK Space Agency) – the objective to strengthen and underpin UK science, maximise impact, innovate, improve the quality of the next generation of scientists, and engage with, inspire and capture the imagination of the public.