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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Professor Monica Grady CBE

Monica Grady is Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University (OU) in Milton Keynes. Her undergraduate studies were at the University of Durham (1976-1979) in the Departments of Chemistry and Geology, and she was a member of St Aidan's College (an Aidan's Maiden). Her postgraduate studies were at the University of Cambridge (1979 -1983), where she completed her PhD in carbon in meteorites. She subsequently worked at the Open University (1983 - 1991) before joining the Department of Mineralogy of the Natural History Museum in London, first as a Higher Scientific Officer with responsibility for meteorites, eventually as Head of the Meteorites and Cosmic Mineralogy Division. She was Honorary Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London (2004-2007) and Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute at the Open University (2001), before rejoining the OU in 2005 in her current position.

Professor Grady's research interests are in the formation and evolution of the Solar System, and what we can learn about this from study of asteroids, meteorites, comets and cosmic dust, the Moon and Mars. She is most specifically interested in the role of carbon in planetary evolution, and the links between the carbon chemistry of extraterrestrial materials and the origin of life on Earth (and beyond).

Professor Grady has led major research programmes in study of meteorites. Her main work has been in trying to understand the history of carbon and water on Mars, and interactions between surface, atmosphere and hydro(cryo)sphere. She has pursued this through investigation of minor components in martian meteorites, components that were formed by alteration processes on the surface of Mars.

In 2012, Professor Grady was awarded a CBE.