Claire Orlov

Claire Orlov


I am currently undertaking a PhD in planetary geoscience at the University of Leeds looking at tectonism and associated volcanism on Mars. This allows me to combine my research interests in astronomy and geology to focus on big-picture questions about 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 interests are Martian tectonic and volcanic systems, particularly understanding deformation and structural controls associated with the Tharsis Rise (the largest volcano-tectonic province on Mars). I am currently investigating the evolution of structures and causative stress regimes at Tempe Terra, a region in the NE of the Tharsis Rise. I am also interested in the alignment of the Tharsis Montes volcanoes and their correlation with structures at Tempe Terra.

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, HRSC, CTX, and SHARAD instruments, as well as investigations of analogous structures on Earth - such as in Iceland.


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

Research groups and institutes

  • Planetary Exploration
  • Institute of Applied Geoscience
  • Volcanology
  • Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics
  • Basin Structure