Claire McLeod


Assistant Professor

Ph.D. (2012) Durham University
203 Shideler Hall

My research goals aim to improve our understanding of planetary evolution and differentiation.  In order to achieve this, I employ a wide range of geochemical and geochronological tools to a range of rock types from different tectonic and planetary environments. All research to date has encompassed the following fields of study: igneous and metamorphic petrology, geochemistry, cosmochemistry and volcanology. Current research focuses on 1) continental crust differentiation with field localities in the Central Andes of South America and the Oslo Rift, Norway; 2) magmatic evolution of continental arcs with field localities in Bolivia; 3) early evolution of the Earth-Moon system through study of Apollo basalts and lunar crustal rocks; 4) early differentiation of our Solar System through geochemical studies of chondritic material.

Possible Thesis/Dissertation Topics

  • Continental Crust growth and recycling at active margins; a crustal xenolith study of the Central Andean continental basement (potential fieldwork in Bolivia).
  • Modern evolution of the Central Andean volcanic arc; geochemistry and geochronology of Plio-Pleistocene lavas (fieldwork in Bolivia and Peru).
  • Tracing early differentiation of planetary crusts through petrology, geochemistry and geochronology: juvenile vs. recycling processes on the Moon.
  • Magma petrogenesis and crustal growth in continental rifts; granites from the Permo-Carboniferous Oslo Rift, Norway (fieldwork in Norway).

Current/Recent Graduate Student Research

  • Daniel Blakemore (M.S. in progress) Chronology of volcanic host rocks at the Round Mountain Gold Mine, Nevada
  • Aleksandra Gawronska (Ph.D. in progress) Magma dynamics on extraterrestrial planetary bodies: chemical and physical insights from Apollo 11 basalts
  • Liannie Velazquez (Ph.D. in progress) Crustal architecture: inputs and outputs of central Andean magmatic systems


Velázquez Santana, L. C., McLeod C. L., Blakemore, D., Shaulis, B., Hill, T., 2020, Bolivian Hornblendite Cumulates: Insights into the Depths of Central Andean Arc Magmatic Systems. Accepted, Lithos.

*Lindeman, C., *Oglesbee, T., McLeod, C. L., Krekeler, M. P. S., 2020, Mineralogy and Geochemistry of the Kinnikinic Quartzite at the Arco Hills Silica and Gold Project in Butte County, Idaho: Results of an Ore Quality Spot Check and Implications for Potential Plasma Furnace Processing. Minerals, 10(6); 523.

*Oglesbee, T., McLeod, C. L., Chappell, C., *Vest, J., Sturmer, D., Krekeler, M. P. S., 2020, A Mineralogical and Geochemical Investigation of Modern Aeolian Sands near Tonopah, Nevada: Sources and Environmental Implications. Catena, v. 194; 104640.

*Barnes, M., McLeod, C. L., *Faraci, O., Chappell, C., Krekeler, M. P. S., 2020, Characterizing the geogenic background of the Midwest: A detailed mineralogical and geochemical investigation of a glacial till in southwestern Ohio. Environmental Earth Sciences, v. 79; 159.

Crawford, I., Anand, M., Morse, A., Tartese, R., McLeod, C. L., Cowley, A., Junichi, H., Neal, C., 2019, Lunar Resources In. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry (IF: 3.565): New Views on the Moon II. .

Selected Grants

NSF-IUSE Geopaths (EXTRA), GP EXTRA: Advancing Undergraduate Geosciences through Integrated Training Experiences, 8/21/18 - 7/31/21. PI

NASA-Emerging World, The Search for Nebular Heterogeneity and the Compositions of Terrestrial Planetary Materials Using Nd, Sm and Os Isotopes, 4/18/16 - 4/17/19.  PI

Professional Development Funds from Faculty Learning Communities, PI

Teaching Interests

GLG 111 - The Dynamic Earth
GLG 357 - Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
GLG 411/511 - Field Camp
GLG 427/527 – Isotope Geochemistry

To access Dr. McLeod's personal website please see

For complete descriptions of courses please see the 2019/2020 Miami Bulletin.