Cesca Willcocks

Cesca Willcocks

Technician - Electron Microscopy

Faculty of Science and Engineering



Francesca is a geologist currently working as a technician at Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre. Having recently completed a research masters in planetary geological science, Francesca's research focuses on looking for terrestrial analogue materials for other planetary bodies in our solar system, using non-destructive analytical techniques. Francesca also helps classify meteorites here at Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre and recently supported efforts for the classification of the Winchcombe meteorite that fell in February 2021, alongside Natasha Stephen and Jen Mitchell. 


ResM Planetary Geological Sciences: University of Plymouth, UK: 'Intraplate Volcanism in our Solar System; Searching for Terrestrial Analogues for the Moon and Mars' - 2020-2022

BSc(Hons) Geology: University of Plymouth, UK: 'Establishing the Structural Style between the Choletria Complex and Nata Complex within the Suture Zone of SW Cyprus' - 2017-2020

Professional membership

Francesca is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a member of the Royal Microscopical Society.



Research interests

Francesca's research focuses on looking for terrestrial analogue samples for other planetary bodies in our Solar System. Terrestrial analogues can be samples and/or sites on Earth that aim to be geologically, chemically, biologically or physically similar to another planetary body. Finding these samples helps space agencies such as NASA test the design of spacecraft that they are hoping to send to another planetary surface, and make sure all of its components can function against the materials they may face without having to go off world. Using non-destructive analytical techniques allows us to compare textural and chemical analyses between samples on Earth to precious extraterrestrial samples without damaging them. This can help us find more terrestrial analogue samples for use in preparations for future space exploration. 



Conference Papers

  1. Willcocks, F.M., Stephen, N.R., Grimes, S.T., Mitchell, J.T. (2022), A new terrestrial analogue for Martian volcanism: An unexpected match for the shergottite meteorites,  85th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, #6018

  2. Mitchell, J.T., Willcocks, F.M., Stephen, N.R. (2022), Northwest Africa 6414 classified after 10 years: A complex polymict eucrite of at least nine lithological groups, 85th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, #6017

  3. Suttle, M.D. et al. (2022), Geological history of the Winchcombe meteorite - a new CM chondrite fall, 85th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, #6076

  4. Daly, L. et al. (2022), A coordinated approach to investigate the heterogeneity of aqueous alteration at the micro-scale in the Winchcombe meteorite, a CM fall, 85th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, #6262

  5. Genge, M.J. et al. (2022), The fusion crust of the Winchcombe meteorite: Vigorous degassing during atmospheric entry, 85th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, #6345

  6. Martin, P-E.M.C., King, A.J., Mitchell, J.T., Stephen, N.R., Trimby, P., Van Ginneken, M., Salge, T., Almeida, N.V., Willcocks, F.M., Daly, L., Lee, M.R. (2022), Calcium-aluminium-rich inclusion populations within the Winchcombe CM2 meteorite breccia, 85th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, #6358

  7. Willcocks, F., Grimes, S.T. & Stephen, N.R. (2021) Comparative Planetology of the Inner Solar System; Using Flood Basalts on the Moon (Lunar Maria), Mars (Tharsis and Elysium) and Earth to Investigate the Magmatic Evolution of Our Solar System, LPI Contributions 2609, 6061