Francesca Willcocks
Profiles

Francesca Willcocks

Technician - Electron Microscopy

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Biography

Biography

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. 

Qualifications

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

Research

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. 

Publications

Publications

Conference Papers

  1. 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