School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


Andrew Dobrzanski

MSci (Hons) MPhil (Dunelm) FGS FGA DGA MNEIMME

PhD Title: “The influence of magmatic and volatile evolution upon Lanthanoid fractionation within peralkaline magmas (Norra Kärr, Sweden)”

Andrew is currently reading for a PhD in ore-deposit geology at the University of Edinburgh, funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council and National Museums Scotland. Alkaline rocks compose less than 1% of the total volume of exposed igneous rocks on Earth’s surface but are important sources of mineral fertilisers (carbonatites) and gem quality diamonds (lamporites and kimberlites). However, alkaline granitic rocks have until recently been overlooked but are now understood to be the best exploration targets for ‘critical metals’ essential to modern technologies. The project is focusing on the Norra Kärr complex in Sweden and aims to better understand the geology of these or deposits and their formation processes.

Andrew is interested in ore-forming mineralising processes in general and in what mineral compositions and textures can tell us about the formation of materials in geological and industrial environments. He has conducted research into sedimentary and magmatic ore deposits and the production of varied mineral textures under liquid and supercritical-fluid conditions. He is interested in the use of varied techniques to answer petrological questions and in the application of pure chemical, physical and statistical theory to solve problems in natural systems.


Andrew is a geologist and gemmologist whose research focuses on the structure and formation of ore and gem deposits. His current research is focused on alkaline rocks including carbonatites, kimberlites, lamproites and syenites. Andrew uses a range of materials science techniques in his research including SEM, EPMA, Mössbauer and FTIR. His research is primarily concerned with genesis of the Norra Kärr lanthanoid-deposit which could supply Europe’s industries with rare earths for over 30-years.

Andrew holds a First Class MSci (Hons) degree in geology with a thesis on sedimentary hosted mineral deposits. He went on to complete an MPhil in Applied Mineral Carbon Sequestration at Durham University (St Chad’s College) working with Lafarge-Tarmac to characterise the CO2-sequestration potential of their slag products to make cost savings of £250,000 per year. Andrew has worked with Scottish Water and the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation to develop policy ideas surrounding the decarbonisation of water delivery in the Scottish Highlands.

Andrew has experience of active drilling projects and core-recovery. During 2014 he worked on the International Continental Drilling Programme (ICDP) drill rig in the Swedish Caladonides looking to tie geophysics data to physical evidence of Caledonian Nappe tectonics. He was involved in the recovery and archiving of core data into ICDP databases during project.

As a member of the Geological Society of London’s Information Management Committee Andrew was responsible for the strategy and development of the print and online resource of the Society. He has previously served on the Applied Mineralogy committee of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain where he helped co-edit the popular Applied Mineralogist newsletter. He helped to write and co-edit features on economic geology, analysis of radioactive materials and diamonds.

He is a Council member of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers and is helping to guide the development and reorganisation of the Institute during a £6.5 million Heritage Lottery redevelopment grant. Andrew led in developing a new membership structure and has helped to draft a new Royal Charter for submission to the Privy Council.

Andrew is currently Secretary of the Scottish Gemmological Association and has won awards for his performance in the Gemmological Association of Great Britain’s Diploma exams. He is collaborating with National Museums Scotland to develop a new model for fire opal formation. He is also involved with research into the formation and development of the natural surface features of rough diamonds and what they can tell us about the geological history of gem diamond deposits hosted in kimberlites and lamproites. Andrew has utilised the alkaline rock collection of the National Museums Scotland during his PhD research and has assisted National Museums Scotland with the gemmological identification of historical artefacts such as the Fetticarn Jewel.

Andrew is interested in developing his teaching to ensure that complex mineralogical concepts can be taught in an accessible and applied manner. He is keen to encourage knowledge exchange between academia and industry and encourages jewellers to play a role in directing and undertaking academic research in gemmology. Andrew is also interested in developing international links to improve artisanal and industrial mine safety in developing countries.


Andrew has demonstrated on mineralogy and geology courses at Durham and Edinburgh Universities. He has tutored geology students in petrology and field techniques at St Chad’s College, Durham; and has established the student study group in economic geology at Edinburgh University. Andrew has been a guest speaker on Fenno-Scandian tectonics and ore genesis at the Newcastle Mining Institute and has given talks to local geological societies on economic geology and mining.

Andrew has lectured on the Advanced Gemmology module (GEM6000) at BCU, where he taught crystallography and mineralogy along with SEM/EPMA and spectrosopic techniques.

Professional Memberships

• Fellow of the Geological Society of London

• Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain

• Diamond Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain

• Corporate Member of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers

• Member of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

• Professional Member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining

• Graduate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers

Awards and Sponsorship

• Winner of the Ness Trophy (2018) for excellence in Gemmology (Scottish Gemmological Association)

• Winner of the Pairman Trophy (2017) for excellence in Gemmology (Scottish Gemmological Association)

• Cigdem Lule sponsorship for gemmology

Public Talks

‘Pyhäsalmi: Cu-Pb-Zn Mining In The Heart Of Finland’ – February 2017 – North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers (Newcastle)

Link to Slideshare Talk

‘Mining In Finland: Gold, Vanadium, Diamonds and Zinc’ – December 2017 – Essex Rock and Mineral Society (Colchester)


Work at National Museums Scotland

Teaching at Birmingham City

Applied Mineralogist Newsletter

Work at the Newcastle Mining Institute

Scottish Gemmological Association

Professional Development

Characterisation of crystalline materials by EBSD, TKD and TEM (December 2017, Glasgow University)

NERC E3 DTP Impact and Digital Strategy Training Course (September 2017) (Three day workshop on developing impactful research and how to promote research though digital platforms)

Cardiff Society of Economic Geologists Field-course – Sweden - June 2017 (Field visits to active Cu-Pb-Zn, Cu, Fe, REE mines and prospects)

NERC Advanced Training Course "Fundamentals of Electron Probe Micro Analysis (EPMA)" (September 2016, EPMA theory course at Bristol University including talks by Johnson Matthey and AWE. Practical tuition carried out at Oxford University)

Cardiff Society of Economic Geologists Field-course – Finland - June 2016 (Field visits to active Fe-Ti-V, Cu-Zn, PGE, Au mines and prospects as well as meeting researchers at Oulu University)

Critical Metals Workshop – June 2015 (Applied Mineralogy Group - Natural History Museum) - UK research in progress meeting for critical and security of supply metals.


Dobrzański et al. (2018) Petrology and Petrogenesis of the Norra Kärr Lanthanoid (REE) Deposit (Mineral Deposit Studies Conference 2018, Brighton)

Dobrzański et al. (2018) The Mineralogical History of an Argyle Octahedral Diamond (Mineral Deposit Studies Conference 2018, Brighton)

Dobrzański, A., (2017) Green Energy - Opportunities and Challenges to Applied Mineral Research, Applied Mineralogist 2.3

Dobrzański et al. (2017) Mössbauer analysis of Alkaline Igneous Systems – Tracking redox within the Norra Kärr Lanthanoid resource (British Planetary Science Conference 2017, Glasgow)

Dobrzański (2016) The geological conditions of fire opal formation in the Simav Graben, Turkey and Querétaro Region, Mexico (Mineral Deposit Studies Conference 2016, Bristol)

Dobrzański et al. (2016) The REE Rich Norra Kärr Meta-Syenite: Europe’s Largest REE Resource (North Atlantic Craton Conference 2016, Edinburgh)

Worrall et Dobrzański (2015) Can iron-making and steelmaking slag products be used to sequester CO2? Passive weathering and active carbonation experiments (European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2015, Vienna)

Dobrzański et Evans (2015) Metallurgical Slag as a Suitable Analogue Material for Lava-Flow Fabric Studies (Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group 2015, Norwich)

Dobrzański (2014) Mineral Textures Produced From A Fe/Mg/Ca-rich Fluid at Low CO2 Pressure (<10MPa) / Low Temperature (<125˚C) Conditions (Mineral Deposit Studies Conference 2014, Southampton)

Dobrzański (2013) Initial results of a geochemical reconnaissance study of the Kirk Maughold Haematite Ore Deposit, Isle of Man, foundations of a modern ore deposit model (Mineral Deposit Studies Conference 2013, Leicester)