Rachel Kirby

Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours) - The Australian National University
PhD Candidate

Rachel Kirby is a PhD student at the Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES) at the Australian National University.  She began her undergraduate degree at the University of Wollongong before transferring to the ANU.  In 2014 she graduated with First Class Honours in a Bachelor of Science (Advanced), receiving the University Medal.

Awards and Achievements


  • John Conrad Jaeger Scholarship for PhD Research in Earth Sciences (ANU)
  • VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Science Award for the best Geology and Planetary Geology Honours thesis in space sciences in Australia


  • University Medal (ANU)
  • A L Hales Honours Scholarship in Geophysics and Geochemistry (ANU)
  • Janet Elspeth Crawford Prize (ANU)
  • Chancellor's Letter of Commendation (ANU)
  • Director of Science Education Commendation (ANU)


  • Geological Society of Australia (ACT Division) Mike Rickard Third Year Prize
  • Anthony Seelaf Memorial Prize in Earth Sciences (ANU)
  • Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia (ACT Branch) Structural Geology Prize
  • Chancellor's Letter of Commendation (ANU)


  • W B Clarke Prize in Earth Science (ANU)
  • Irene Crespin Prize for Palaeontology (ANU)


  • Merit Award in Geology (University of Wollongong)


  • PIMS Award (University of Wollongong)
  • Dean's Merit List - Faculty of Science (University of Wollongong)


  • Faculty of Science Undergraduate Scholarship (University of Wollongong)





Research interests

Rachel’s PhD focuses on the role of gases and high temperature processes in the formation of early solar system materials.  Rachel is particularly interested in the role impacts play in altering the mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry of chondritic and planetary materials.  To date, Rachel's research has focussed on the anomalous IIE iron meteorites and the role that impacts played in their formation.  Future work will focus on how impacts may alter chondritic material through the petrological and geochemical investigations of hand samples, thermodynamic and physical modelling, and high-temperature experiments.


Kirby, R., King, P., Norman, M., Ireland, T. Forster, M., Pelton, A., Troitzsch, U., Tamura, N., Turner, M., 2022. Formation, cooling history and age of impacts on the IIE iron parent body: evidence from the Miles meteorite. 53rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. 1797.PDF (usra.edu)

Kirby, R., King, P., Norman, M., 2022. Evidence from oxygen isotopes and metal chemistry for a common parent body for H chondrites and IIE iron meteorites. 53rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. 1807.PDF (usra.edu)

Kirby, R., King, P., Forster, M., Henley, R., Ireland, T., Norman, M., Pelton, N., Troitasch, U., Turner, M., 2018. Formation and multiple impact events on the IIE iron parent body as recorded by the Miles meteorite. Australian Geoscience Council Convention 2018. https://www.agcc.org.au/abstracts

Kirby, R.S. and King, P.L., 2018. Evidence of gas-solid reactions and the formation of iron phosphide in IIE iron meteorites. Elizabeth and Frederick White Conference 2018.

Troitzsch, U., King, P., Tamura, N., Marcus, M. A., Kirby, R. S., Nash, M., Opdyke, B. N., and Diaz-Pulido, G., 2017. Biomineralization Characterization Using Micro X-ray Diffraction. AXAA 2017.

Kirby, R.S., King, P.L., Henley, R.W., Troitzsch, U., Ireland, T.R., Turner, M., 2016. A New Hypothesis for the Evolution of IIE Iron Meteorites based on Geochronology and Petrology of the Miles Meteorite. 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016LPI....47.1938K/abstract

Troitzsch, U., King, P., Nash, M., Tamura, N., Marcus, M. A., Kirby, R. S., Opdyke, B. N., and Diaz-Pulido, G., 2016. Micron-scale characterization of magnesium-rich minerals in modern coralline algae; their compositions, crystal structures and spatial distributions. Dolomieu conference on carbonate platforms and dolomite.

Troitzsch, U., King, P., Tamura, N., Marcus, M. A., Kirby, R. S., Nash, M., Opdyke, B. N., and Diaz-Pulido, G., 2016. New insights into the growth of modern coralline algae and the ‘Dolomite Problem’ from synchrotron micro-diffraction and the chemistry of magnesium-rich minerals. TIGeR 2016.

King, P.L., Kirby, R.S., Loiselle, L.M., Pure, L.R., Renggli, C.J., 2015. Suggestions for Applying for a Master's or PhD Degree. Elements. http://www.elementsmagazine.org/archives/e11_1/e11_1_dep_lifeinscience.pdf

2013 Demonstrator in Geobiology and Evolution of Life on Earth (EMSC 2019)