No strain no gain; from constructing continental crust to building diversity in the geosciences

Lawrence, Anya (2022). No strain no gain; from constructing continental crust to building diversity in the geosciences. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

Text - Accepted Version
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (15MB) | Preview


Granite petrogenesis is a fundamental Earth process that underpins the construction and evolution of the continental crust. Understanding how granites are generated and structurally emplaced is key to answering the question of how the continental crust has grown throughout geological time and can also provide insights on tectonic and geodynamic processes; styles of mineralisation; and the interaction between the Earth’s mantle and crust.

The study of granite petrogenesis is also deeply influenced by the experience of the researchers that engage in this field. For researchers from minoritized backgrounds, pursuing scholarly studies in the Geosciences, a disciplinary area with a documented lack of diversity in the context of UK higher education, can be experienced as particularly challenging.

This thesis presents a dual approach which examines both the fundamental Earth process of granite petrogenesis as well as documenting and reflecting on the perspective of the author as a researcher from a diverse, intersectional background. A variety of research designs are employed including: rock magnetics to provide novel structural data to link granite petrogenesis to tectonics; geochemistry to investigate the sources of granitic magmas and their evolution in the continental crust; review of the literature to examine equity, diversity and inclusion in the Geosciences; and finally, autoethnography to document and provide reflection on individual experiences and challenges and proposed solutions to the persistent inequities in the wider field.

The findings of this thesis suggest that parallels can be drawn between constructing the continental crust and building diversity in the Geosciences. Just as granite petrogenesis and emplacement is often pulsatory and incremental in nature, efforts to address structural inequalities, systemic discrimination and exclusionary cultures within academic Geoscience are shown to be equally episodic and prolonged by institutional inaction, departmental unaccountability and personal biases deeper-seated than the continental crust itself.
In order to improve our understanding of granite petrogenesis and enhance equity, diversity and inclusion it is paramount that intersectional approaches are applied in future work, both in terms of research methodologies and the frameworks by which we acknowledge individual’s different experiences and identities within the academic Geosciences.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > QE Geology


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year