INDIMEDEA Team

  Prof. FABRIZIO NESTOLA

Principal Investigator (Dipartimento di Geoscienze, University of Padova, Italy)

My main research activity is focused on mineral physics, investigating minerals under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure. 

For INDIMEDEA, beyond the general management of the project, I focus on the crystallographic orientation relationships between diamond and its inclusions and on the determination of P-V equations of state for the upper mantle minerals typically found as inclusions in diamonds.

Further personal details at www.geoscienze.unipd.it/category/ruoli/personale-docente?key=2D51ECF0A9DA3DA2B5FB8634930ADE9C

Fabrizio Nestola


  Prof. PAOLO NIMIS

Senior staff (Dipartimento di Geoscienze, University of Padova, Italy)

I started as a crystallographer and then moved into mantle petrology and geochemistry and economic geology. I have dedicated a significant part of my research to the thermobarometry of mantle rocks and minerals and its implications for diamond studies.

My role in this project is to connect the microscale to the megascale. I will provide the necessary petrological background for a sound interpretation of the mineralogical, crystallographic and geobarometric data within the framework of Earth's mantle evolution and diamond-forming processes.

Further personal details at www.geoscienze.unipd.it/category/ruoli/personale-docente?key=5FA8C2DD8B12E2D22DBC941E6AA11901

Paolo Nimis


  Dr. MARCO BRUNO

External expert researcher (Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, University of Torino, Italy)

I am a crystallographer who has specialized in (i) crystal growth from aqueous solution, and (ii) quantum-mechanical and empirical calculations applied to the study of the surfaces of minerals.

For this project I am performing ab initio quantum-mechanical calculations for determining: (i) the structure and surface energy of the main faces of diamond, olivine, garnet and pyroxene, and (ii) the structure and energy of the diamond/olivine, diamond/garnet and diamond/pyroxene interfaces.

Further personal details are at mabruno.weebly.com

Marco Bruno


  Dr. JEFFREY W. HARRIS

External expert researcher (School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK)

I hold an Honorary Research Fellowship at the University of Glasgow, where I had previously worked. I was also a consultant to DeBeers Consolidated Mines for over 30 years, managing their worldwide outside diamond research programmes conducted at Universities and equivalent institutions; a research endeavour which played a major part in furthering the understanding of geochemical processes operating in the mantle. I have published over 160 peer reviewed papers.

Jeff Harris


  Dr. ROSS JOHN ANGEL

Research scientist, funded by ERC Grant 307322 (Dipartimento di Geoscienze, University of Padova, Italy)

I am a crystallographer who has specialized in high-pressure and single-crystal diffraction methods, and elasticity, mostly applied to minerals.

For this project I am developing software tools to analyse the data collected from both the inclusions entrapped within the diamonds, and from separate single-crystal measurements of minerals to determine their thermoelastic properties. I am also developing the software to combine these results to calculate the entrapment conditions of the minerals in the diamonds – the so-called ‘isomekes’ of the inclusions - and hence the formation conditions of the diamonds.

Further personal details and software for download at www.rossangel.net

Ross Angel


  Dr. MATTEO ALVARO

Research scientist, funded by ERC Grant 307322 (Dipartimento di Geoscienze, University of Padova, Italy)

I am a mineral physicist specialized in high-pressure and high-temperature single-crystal diffraction methods mostly applied to minerals.

For this project I am investigating the thermoelastic properties, mainly the thermal expansion behaviour, of natural minerals and synthetic analogues frequently occurring as inclusion in diamonds. With R.J. Angel I am also developing new standards for collecting high-temperature data consistent with the widely adopted methods for high-pressure measurements.

Matteo Alvaro


  Dr. SULA MILANI

Research scientist, funded by ERC Grant 307322 (Dipartimento di Geoscienze, University of Padova, Italy)

My expertise is in high-pressure and high-temperature single crystal X-ray diffractometry.

My current research is focused on the determination of the relative crystallographic orientations of olivine inclusions in diamonds and their entrapment pressures, hence their depth of formation, by non-destructive single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments.

Sula Milani


  Dr. FRANCESCO ROBERTO MASSARO

Research scientist, funded by ERC Grant 307322 (Dipartimento di Geoscienze, University of Padova, Italy)

I am a crystallographer specialized in studying crystal surfaces and modelling equilibrium and growth morphologies of organic/inorganic crystals.

For this project I am studying the likely configurations and surface structures of the most stable crystallographic forms belonging to the most common mineral inclusions in natural diamonds (e.g. olivines, garnets, pyroxenes, spinels) starting from calculation of the surface energies at ab-initio level. In a second step I will investigate the inclusion/diamond interfacial energies to provide information about the potential epitaxial relationships between the host diamonds and the minerals trapped within them.

Francesco Roberto Massaro


  CHIARA ANZOLINI

PhD student, funded by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo (CaRiPaRo) (Dipartimento di Geoscienze, University of Padova, Italy)

I am currently a PhD student at the University of Padova. I started to collaborate with the INDIMEDEA project during my Master’s Thesis research, which was focused on the thermoelastic properties of coesite and their implications for diamond geobarometry.

In my PhD project I will try to obtain the pressure of formation of super-deep diamonds, to understand if their inclusions are protogenetic or syngenetic, and to identify mineralogical phases not previously found as natural samples, with particular emphasis on hydrous phases.

Chiara Anzolini


  LORENZO SCANDOLO

PhD student (Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e dell'Ambiente, University of Pavia, Italy)

I am studying mineral physics. During my master thesis I have studied the high-pressure behaviour of sulphates by single-crystal diffraction methods.

For this project I am determining the thermoelastic properties of synthetic pyroxenes which are analogues of pyroxenes that occur as inclusion in diamonds. The aim of the project is to calculate the T-EoS and P-EoS in order to extrapolate the thermoelastic properties of inclusions.

Lorenzo Scandolo


  MATTIA LUCA MAZZUCCHELLI

PhD student (Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e dell'Ambiente, University of Pavia, Italy)

I am currently MSc student at University of Pavia. I took part to this project during my BSc thesis, that was mainly focused on the determination of the thermal expansion behaviour of natural and synthetic garnets occurring as inclusions in diamonds.

Currently, in my MSc thesis I am helping to investigate the influence of the thermoelastic properties of diamond (host) and inclusions on the determination of the pressure of formation of the inclusion-host pair.

Mattia Mazzucchelli


  Dr. DARIA PASQUAL

Technical staff (Dipartimento di Geoscienze, University of Padova, Italy)

My scientific background is high-temperature and high-pressure crystallography using single-crystal X-ray diffraction methods. I currently manage and run the laboratories for X-ray fluorescence and single-crystal X-ray diffraction.

My role in INDIMEDEA is to take care of all of the instruments used for the project; to help in training and supervising undergraduates and PhD students in performing experiments at room conditions and under high-pressure conditions using diamond anvil cells, and subsequent data processing; and to collaborate with R.J. Angel for software maintenance and testing.

Daria Pasqual


  Dr. BENEDETTA PERIOTTO

Former Research scientist, funded by ERC Grant 307322 (Dipartimento di Geoscienze, University of Padova, Italy)

My expertise is in high-pressure crystallography mainly with X-ray diffraction.

For INDIMEDEA I determined the pressure-volume equations of state of Cr-spinels with compositions typical of those found as inclusions in diamonds. The main target of my post-doctoral research was to use the compression data for diamond geobarometry.

Benedetta Periotto