Dr Thomas Mueller

Dr Thomas Mueller


09/2019 – present: Associate Professor for Metamorphic Petrology and Hydrothermal systems at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Leeds, UK

11/2014 - 08/2019: Lecturer for Metamorphic petrology/geochemistry at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Leeds, UK
09/2010 - 10/2014: Junior Professor (Assistent Professor) at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
09/2010 - 08/2014: Adjunct Researcher at the New York Center for Astrobiology hosted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, USA
01/2010 - 12/2010: Adjunct Professor at the Earth and Environmental Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, USA
08/2009 - 08/2010: Post-doctoral fellowship at the New York Center for Astrobiology hosted at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, USA
01/2008 - 08/2009: Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (Associated Researcher) at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
04/2007 - 12/2007: Post-doctoral fellowship at the Earth and Environmental Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, USA
05/2003 - 03/2007: PhD studies at the Universito of Lausanne, Switzerland

PhD thesis: Nucleation and growth of metamorphic minerals in contact aureoles

10/2000 - 07/2001: Erasmus stipend for a one year stay at the University of Oviedo, Spain
10/1997 - 06/2003: Diploma studies in Earth Sciences at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany

Diploma thesis: Structural and petrological study of the northern Ubehebe contact aureole, Death Valley, CA, USA


  • Programme Leader for Geological Sciences
  • Academic Lead for the experimental petrology laboratory
  • Academic Lead for the XRD facility

Research interests

Metamorphic and experimental petrology. I use numerical models together with phase petrology and thermodynamic calculations to advance our understanding of the complex interaction of the processes, generating rock textures. My research focuses on the kinetics of geochemical and petrologic processes on different scales, ranging from entire contact aureoles over outcrop scale, and down to the scale of single grains. Field mapping of these various scales, is a fundamental tool to understand structural and textural relationships providing the basis for most investigations. Field areas include the Alps (Adamello massif) as well as the Ubehebe Peak contact aureole (USA).

Ongoing research focuses on non-equilibrium processes during texture formation and investigates the kinetics of minerals reactions in various geological settings (igneous and metamorphic). This study aims to constrain specific reaction rates and shed light on actual mechanisms during minerals formation and crustal processes. These data allow determination of timescales of various geological events.
Another important part of my research is my laboratory work which includes a combination of various geochemical analyses (chemical-, isotope, and trace element compositions), and statistical treatment of spatial data (X-ray tomography).

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Professional memberships

  • Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (MinSoc)
  • Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)
  • Deutsche Mineralogische Gesellschaft (DMG)
  • European Association of Geochemistrz (EAG)

Student education

My teaching at the University of Leeds includes

  • SOEE1580: Geology II (metamorphic petrology part) - I am module leader for this core module
  • SOEE1590: Geological Sciences - Level 1 tutorial
  • SOEE2010: Chemistry of the Earth
  • SOEE2590: Mineralogy and Petrology (metamorphic petrology part)
  • SOEE2XXX: Geological Sciences - Level 2 tutorial
  • SOEE2108: Metamorphic field class to Connemara (W-Ireland)
  • SOEE3490: Mountain Belts

Since, December 2017, I am also Programme Leader for Geological Sciences.

Research groups and institutes

  • Rocks, Melts and Fluids
  • Cohen Geochemistry
  • Ores and Mineralization
  • Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>