Claire Orlov

Claire Orlov


I am currently undertaking a PhD in planetary geoscience at the University of Leeds looking at volcanism and associated tectonism on Mars. This allows me to combine my research interests in astronomy and geology to focus on big-picture questions about planet formation and geological evolution.

I completed my BSc in geology at the University of New South Wales in 2013. My honours thesis was focused on mineral deposit geochemistry, and involved geochemical, structural, and lithological analyses to assess the prospectivity for hydrothermal Ag-Pb-Zn mineralisation in a region of eastern Australia.

After graduating, I spent the next 5 ½ years working in the public sector as a geoscientist/basin analyst at Geoscience Australia (Australia’s national geoscience organisation – similar to the British Geological Survey). My work there focused on sequence stratigraphic and structural mapping in seismic data for petroleum prospectivity studies of offshore sedimentary basins, with a particular emphasis on understanding basin evolution and tectonic history.

Research interests

My primary interest is understanding the links between surface observations and subsurface processes in relation to Martian volcanic and tectonic systems. This will involve analysing magmatically-driven faulting, modelling volcanic behaviour, and investigating analogous structures on Earth - such as in Iceland.

Since there’s not much chance of doing fieldwork on Mars any time soon, my project will rely on high resolution remote-sensing data collected by satellites that have been orbiting Mars for many years, specifically from the MOLA, CTX, HiRISE, and SHARAD instruments.


  • BSc (Hons I) Geology, University of New South Wales

Research groups and institutes

  • Planetary Exploration
  • Institute of Applied Geoscience
  • Volcanology