Prof Adrian Finch

Prof Adrian Finch
Professor; Examinations Officer


My research is underpinned by using the geochemistry of minerals to reconstruct past conditions, either in magmatic, metamorphic or environmental systems. I particularly use isotope geochemical methods and the physical properties of minerals to determine how they formed and to extract geologically relevant information (such as magma or hydrothermal fluid compositions). My research has involved technique development (particularly in mineral spectroscopy) and I have a reputation for working in Arctic environments.

I commonly consult for Exploration geology companies.



Understanding the origins and mobility of rare elements such as niobium, zirconium and rare earths associated with alkaline magmatism. I have studied a variety of alkaline and peralkaline igneous rocks including syenite, nepheline syenite, lujavrite and carbonatite. My work has sought to understand more fully the mechanisms by which rare metals, such as rare earth elements, become concentrated in magmas, and how late-stage post-crystallisation processes modify and mobilise elements. This work involves studies of the mobility of rare earths and high field-strength elements such as zirconium, hafnium, niobium and tantalum. I am part of two consortia, HiTech AlkCarb and SoS RARE.

I consult for a number of Exploration Geology companies interested in the petrology and petrogenesis of alkaline rocks and rare elements.

The physical properties of minerals as a tool for provenance and geological history, particularly in gem materials using luminescence techniques. I have links with several gem and gem-testing laboratories, supported by the Facility for the Luminescence of Minerals at St Andrews University.

The geochemistry of biominerals as archives for past climate in collaboration with Dr Nicola Allison. This research has been funded by several Research Council grants.

My research group (‘the A-team’) past and present is listed here. Current staff include Dr Will Hutchison, Dr Anouk Borst and my current PhD students are Nicky Horsburgh and Kris Sokol.


Current: Professor of Geology, specialising in Mineralogy and Petrology,

2000-2003 Personal Research Fellowship from Royal Society of Edinburgh

2011-2014 Head of Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences

2012-2014 Co-Head of School of Geography & Geosciences

2010-2011 ProDean of Postgraduate Affairs, Faculty of Sciences

2007 Vice President of Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

source: symbiosis


Recent publications

50  (of 116 published available) for aaf1. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details.

2019 (1)
vol.324-325 pp.74-88
Dating agpaitic rocks
Anouk Margaretha Borst, Tod Waight, Adrian Anthony Finch, Michael Storey, Petrus Le Roux 
Keywords: Geochronology, Agpaitic nepheline syenites, Peralkaline rocks, Ilimaussaq, Radiogenic isotopes, Eudialyte
2018 (6)
Coral Reefs
vol.37 pp.471-481
2018 (2)
Ore Geology Reviews
vol.93 pp.38-59
(Review article)
Fenites associated with carbonatite complexes
H. A. L. Elliott, F. Wall, A. R. Chakhmouradian, P. R. Siegfried, S. Dahlgren, S. Weatherley, Adrian Anthony Finch, M. A. W. Marks, E. Dowman, E. Deady 
Keywords: Fenite, Carbonatite, Metasomatism, REE, Niobium

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
vol.In press 
Influences of coral genotype and seawater pCO2 on skeletal Ba/Ca and Mg/Ca in cultured massive Porites spp. corals
Nicola Allison, Catherine Sarah Cole, Christopher James Hintz, Kenneth Hintz, Adrian Anthony Finch 
Keywords: Calcification, Photosynthesis, Respiration, KD Ba/Ca, KD Mg/Ca, Coral

Probing the structural state of Y and Nd in eudialyte using X-ray absorption spectroscopy
Anouk Margaretha Borst, Platon Gamaletsos, Adrian Anthony Finch, Takeshi Kasama, Joerg Goettlicher, Ralph Steiniger, Kalotina Gerakis 
2018 (6)
vol.33 pp.654-659
Temperature dependence of bulk luminescence from ZnO
Meima Cui, Zili Zhang, Yafang Wang, Adrian Anthony Finch, P. D. Townsend 
Keywords: Radioluminescence, Temperature dependence, Thermoluminescence, ZnO defects
2018 (10/10)
Chemical Geology
vol.497 pp.162-169
The effect of ocean acidification on tropical coral calcification
Nicola Allison, Catherine Sarah Cole, Christopher James Hintz, Kenneth Hintz, James William Buchanan Rae, Adrian Anthony Finch 
Keywords: B/Ca, Dissolved inorganic carbon, Coral, Calcification, Calcification fluid, δ11B
2018 (1/5)
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
vol.489 pp.203-218
The evolution of magma during continental rifting
William Hutchison, Tamsin A. Mather, David M. Pyle, Adrian J. Boyce, Matthew L.M. Gleeson, Gezahegn Yirgu, Jon D. Blundy, David J. Ferguson, Charlotte Vye-Brown, Ian L. Millar, Kenneth W.W. Sims, Adrian Anthony Finch 
Keywords: Rift, Magmatism, Assimilation, Peralkaline, Ethiopia, Oxygen isotopes
2017 (4)
Journal of Luminescence
vol.184 pp.55-63
2017 (12)
Journal of Luminescence
vol.192 pp.574-581
Spectral changes and wavelength dependent thermoluminescence of rare earth ions after X-ray irradiation
P. D. Townsend, Adrian Anthony Finch, M. Maghrabi, V. Ramachandran, G. V. Vázquez, Y. Wang, D. R. White 
Keywords: Thermoluminescence, Model, Wavelength dependent
2017 (2)
Radiation Measurements
vol.97 pp.1-13
2016 (28/5)
Journal of Materials Research
vol.31 pp.1403-1412
Competing roles of defects in SrAl2O4:Eu2+,Dy3+ phosphors detected by luminescence techniques
Y. Wang, M. Cui, Y. Zhao, Z. G. Xia, Adrian Anthony Finch, P. D. Townsend 
Keywords: Defects, Dopant, Luminescence
2016 (7)
Physics and Chemistry of Minerals
vol.43 pp.481-491
2016 (5)
Geoscience Frontiers
vol.7 pp.315-334
From mantle to critical zone
M. P. Smith, K. Moore, D. Kavecsánszki , Adrian Anthony Finch, J. Kynicky, F. Wall 
Keywords: Rare earth elements, Carbonatite, Syenite, Giant deposit, Grade
2016 (31/5)
Scientific Reports
Understanding cold bias: variable response of skeletal Sr/Ca to seawater pCO2 in acclimated massive Porites corals
Catherine Sarah Cole, Adrian Anthony Finch, Christopher Hintz, Kenneth Hintz, Nicola Allison 
2015 (10)
Journal of Luminescence
vol.166 pp.17-21
Energy dependence of radioluminescence spectra from strontium titanate
Y. Wang, Y. Zhao, Z. Zhang, C. Zhao, X. Wu, Adrian Anthony Finch, P.D. Townsend 
Keywords: X-ray energy dependence, Radioluminescence, SrTiO3, Low temperature phase changes
Journal of Materials Research
Ion size effects on thermoluminescence of terbium and europium doped magnesium orthosilicate
Y. Zhao, Y. Zhou, Y. Jiang, W. Zhou, Adrian Anthony Finch, P.D. Townsend, Y. Wang 
Keywords: Radiation effects, Luminescence, Optical properties
2015 (7/9)
Journal of Applied Physics
Substrate lattice relaxations, spectral distortions, and nanoparticle inclusions of ion implanted zinc oxide
Y. Wang, B. Ma, W. Zhang, D. Li, Y. Zhao, Adrian Anthony Finch, P. D. Townsend 
2014 (1/1)
Environmental Science and Technology
vol.48 pp.3449-3456
Controls on the valence species of arsenic in tobacco smoke
Ed Stephens, Adrian Anthony Finch, K. Geraki 
2014 (22/12)
Nature Communications
Corals concentrate dissolved inorganic carbon to facilitate calcification
Nicola Allison, I. Cohen, Adrian Anthony Finch, J. Erez, A.W. Tudhope 
2014 (1/4)
Quaternary Science Reviews
vol.89 pp.94-107
vol.43 pp.955-972
2013 (16/10)
Journal of Quaternary Science
vol.28 pp.673-682
2013 (1/12)
Radiation Effects and Defects in Solids
vol.168 pp.1030-1037
2013 (9)
Surface and Interface Analysis
vol.45 pp.1389-1394
2012 (1/5)
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
vol.84 pp.534-542
2012 (6)
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
vol.163 pp.967-982
Independent ages of magmatic and hydrothermal activity in alkaline igneous rocks
Adrian Anthony Finch, S. L. Simonsen, Colin Henry Donaldson, A. Armour-Brown 
Gems and Gemology
vol.47 pp.125-125
Applications of fluorescence in gemology
Adrian Anthony Finch, Colin Henry Donaldson, Fred J. Mosselmans 
2011 (1/11)
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
vol.75 pp.6350-6360
Controls on Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca in scleractinian corals
Nicola Allison, Itay Cohen, Adrian Anthony Finch, Jonathan Erez,  
2011 (1)
Physics and Chemistry of Minerals
vol.38 pp.45-57
2011 (1)
Radiation Measurements
vol.46 pp.1-9
2011 (10)
Radiation Measurements
vol.46 pp.1082-1089
The problem of dating quartz 2: Synchrotron generated X-ray excited optical luminescence (XEOL) from quartz
Adrian Anthony Finch, Ruth Alison Joyce Robinson, J. F. W. Mosselmans 
2010 (15/2)
Chemical Geology
vol.270 pp.179-185
Ba XAFS in Ba-rich standard minerals and the potential for determining Ba structural state in calcium carbonate
Adrian Anthony Finch, Nicola Allison, Hannah Steaggles, J. Fred W. Mosselmans 
Chemical Geology
vol.270 pp.179-185
Ba XAFS of Ba-rich standard minerals and the potential for determining Ba structural state in calcium carbonate
Adrian Anthony Finch, Nicola Allison, H Steaggles, CV Wood, JFW Mosselmans 
2010 (4)
American Mineralogist
vol.95 pp.519-526
2010 (9)
Physics and Chemistry of Minerals
vol.37 pp.519-528
ESEEM and multi-frequency EPR study on Mn2+ luminescence centres in leucophanite
Hassane El Mkami, Adrian Anthony Finch, Graham Murray Smith 
2010 (6)
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
vol.74 pp.A293-A293
Magnesium in palaeoenvironmental carbonates
Adrian Anthony Finch, Nicola Allison, Lindsay J Wilson, Ed Hathorne 
2010 (6)
Physics and Chemistry of Minerals
vol.37 pp.333-342
Photoluminescence of zircon (ZrSiO4) doped with REE3+ (REE = Pr, Sm, Eu, Gd, Dy, Ho, Er)
Adrian Anthony Finch, C. Terry Williams, John M. Hanchar 
2010 (2)
Journal of Solid State Chemistry
vol.183 pp.356-360
Journal of Solid State Chemistry
vol.183 pp.356-360
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
vol.74 pp.5537-5548
2010 (1/10)
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
vol.74 pp.5537-5548
2010 (6)
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
vol.74 pp.A156-A156
2010 (15/3)
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
vol.74 pp.1790-1800
δ11B, Sr, Mg and B in a modern Porites coral
Nicola Allison, Adrian Anthony Finch,  
2009 (6)
The Holocene
vol.19 pp.549-558
Controls on delta18O and delta13C profiles within the aragonite bivalve Arctica islandic
Nicola Allison, Adrian Anthony Finch, C. Andersson, U. S. Ninnemann 

Contact Details:

Prof Adrian Finch
Irvine Building
University of St Andrews
North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

tel: +44 01334 462384
fax: +44 01334 463949
room: 421



Scottish Oceans Institute
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

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