Dr Jen Mitchell

Dr Jen Mitchell

Technical Specialist (Electron Microscopy - Physical Sciences)

Faculty of Science and Engineering



Jen Mitchell is a Technical Specialist for the application of electron microscopy within the physical sciences. With a strong background in geoscience, Jen's research focuses on non-destructive analytical techniques to investigate meteorites - rocks that formed billions of years ago on asteroids and other planets - and what they can tell us about the early Solar System as well as all things rock-related on Earth. In her role as part of the Plymouth Materials Characterisation Network (PMCN), Jen will utilise her expertise and knowledge to analyse samples from staff, students, and companies relating to the physical sciences.


PhD, Planetary Geology & Geochemistry: Monash University, Australia, "The Complex Magmatic Evolution of Crustal Processes of Asteroid 4 Vesta" (2021)

MGeol (Hons), Geosciences: University of Plymouth, U.K., "Monomict Eucrites: A Comparative Petrology from Scanning Electron Microscopy" (2016)

Professional membership

Jen is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Geological Society of London, and a member of the Meteoritical Society and the UK Planetary Forum.



Research interests

Jen's research focuses on the formation and development of asteroids and planets in the early solar system over 4 billion years ago. By studying meteorites, scientists like Jen can piece together the history of our corner of space from the very first bits of dust to the growth of enormous planets. However, meteorites are hard to come by and cannot be replaced so the use of non-destructive techniques available in the Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre plays a key role in Jen's research. Whilst the search for life among the stars is a driving force in space science research, Jen's work aims to help answer long-standing questions a bit closer to home, like when does a planet become a planet? Just what was going on all those billions of years ago? And how come is Earth so different from all the other planets?

Other research

Jen has also taken part in a number of meteorite collection fieldtrips and has assisted in the classification of newly found meteorites including the UK's most recent meteorite, Winchcombe (2021).




Mitchell, J.T., Tomkins, A.G., Newton, C. & Johnson, T.E. (2021), A model for evolving crust on 4 Vesta through combined compositional and thermal modelling, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 571, 117105 DOI

Tomkins, A.G., Johnson, T.E. & Mitchell, J.T. (2020), A review of the chondrite-achondrite transition, and a metamorphic facies series for equilibrated primitive stony meteorites, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 55, 857-885 DOI

Jansen-Sturgeon, T., Hartig, B.A.D., Madsen, G.J., Bland, P.A., Sansom, E.K., Devillepoix, H.A.R., Howie, R.M., Cupak, M., Towner, M.C., Cox, M.A., Nevill, N.D., Hoskins, Z.N.P., Bonning, G.P., Calcino, J., Clark, J.T., Henson, B.M., Langendam, A., Matthews, S.J., McClafferty, T.P., Mitchell, J.T., O'Neill, C.J., Smith, L.T., Tait, A.W. (2020), Recreating the OSIRIS-REx slingshot manoeuvre from a network of ground-based sensors, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 37, e049 DOI

Mitchell, J.T. & Tomkins, A.G. (2019), On the source of diogenites and olivine diogenites: compositional diversity from variable fO2, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 258, 37-49 DOI

Conference Papers

Mitchell, J.T., Tomkins, A.G., Wilson, N.C., Howard, D.L. & Stephen, N.R. (2022), A single chondrule preserved in a petrographic thin section of howardite Dhofar 018, 53rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, #1184

Mitchell, J.T., Stephen, N.R. & Tomkins, A.G. (2021), Sampling an impact melt sheet with unusual diogenite Northwest Africa 5480, 84th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, #6008

Mitchell, J.T., Tomkins, A.G., Newton, C. & Johnson, T.E. (2021), The evolving crust of 4 Vesta from compositional and thermal modelling, 52nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, #1576

Mitchell, J.T. & Tomkins, A.G. (2019), Compositional diversity of diogenites: variable fO2 and post-eucritic magmatism, 82nd Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, #6065

Mitchell, J.T. & Tomkins, A.G. (2019), Constraining ejecta blanket conditions of Dhofar 018 form a single pristine chondrule, SSERVI Australia

Mitchell, J.T. & Tomkins, A.G. (2018), On the origin of olivine diogenites and diogenites: compositional diversity linked to variable fO2, 22nd Meeting of the International Mineralogical Association, #IMA2018-1393

Mitchell, J.T. & Stephen, N.R. (2016), Revisiting NWA 3141, 8266, and 8594: two eucrites and a howardite?, 79th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, #6224

Mitchell, J.T. & Stephen, N.R. (2016), Variations within the Vestan meteorites: cause for re-evaluating the HED classification scheme?, Extraterrestrial Materials Research Meeting



Conferences organised

NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) Australia Node Annual Conference (2019), hosted by Monash University at the Australian Synchrotron