Staff profile

Professor Hugh Rollinson

Head of Geosciences




College of Life and Natural Sciences


School of Environmental Sciences


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



Subject Head of Geosciences and Professor of Earth Sciences.


Teaching responsibilities

Teaching in areas of igneous and metamorphic petrology, crustal tectonics, mineralogy and geological fieldwork.


Professional interests

I joined the University of Derby in September 2008. From 2002-2008 I was Professor of Earth Sciences and Department head at Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman. Before that I was Professor of Geology at the University of Gloucestershire.


Research interests

Research topics: Geochemistry; Archaean Geology; Crustal evolution; Mantle geochemistry; Chromite mineralisation. Over the past 30 years my research has focused on two main themes - namely geochemistry and the very early part of Earth history - the period of time we call the Archaean.

My work has been summarised in two text books which cover these two themes:

I am also interested in the Geology and Tectonics of Oman and co-edited the book:

I have published extensively on the topic of chromite mineralisation in Oman, Greenland and Zimbabwe. Working with Dr Jacob Adetunji at the University of Derby and Dr Davide Lenaz at the University of Trieste we are studying the oxidation state of chromite using Mossbauer spectroscopy and single-crystal X-ray spectrometry.

Membership of professional bodies

Membership of Learned Societies:

Editorial Board Memberships:


Undergraduate qualifications

Research qualifications

Recent conferences

Invited talks

May 2010

Mineralogical Society of Berlin, Frei University of Berlin [invited keynote speaker]

April 2011

European Geoscience Union, Vienna Austria. Symposium on the early Earth.

Are plumes an appropriate mechanism for Archean continent creation? [invited talk]

Recent Public Presentations

January 2010

Manchester Geological Society, University of Manchester

East Midlands Geological Society, Nottingham University

February 2010

Christian in Science, Nottingham University

March 2010

Leicester Lit and Phil, Geological Section. Day Symposium on Plate tectonics

May 2010

Department Seminar University of Liverpool

October 2010

Departmental Seminar, University of Keele

March 2011

East Midland Geological Society

April 2011

European Geoscience Union, Vienna, Austria

LILE-depletion in the Archaean lower continental crust: the Lewisian granulites revisited.

SEGH2011 – The International Conference on Environmental and health

The characterisation of airborne inorganic particulate matter in western Derby, Derbyshire UK (with Adetunji, J., Greenwood, M. and Souch, G.)

January 2012

Geology of the Arabian Plate, Muscat, Oman

  1. 1.       Chromite from the mantle section of the Oman ophiolite: insights into the mantle redox state
  2. 2.       Plagiogranites from the mantle section of the Oman Ophiolite: models for early crustal evolution

February 2012

Café Scientifique, Nottingham

May 2012

Departmental seminar, University of Durham

November 2012

South Peak geology Group, Worksworth.

September 2013

Mineralogical Society Building Strong Continents Conference (Univ. Portsmouth) Plagiogranites from the mantle section of the Oman ophiolite: models for early crustal evolution.

November 2013

South Peak geology Group, Worksworth.

Department Seminar, University of Leicester

March 2014

North Atlantic Craton Conference, University of St Andrews

April 2014

International workshop on ophiolites and related mineral deposits, Beijing, China. Chromite in the mantle section of the Oman ophiolite: implications for the tectonic evolution of the Oman ophiolite (invited talk).

December 2014

Lapworth Lecture, University of Birmingham. Why the Oman ophiolite did not form at a mid-ocean ridge.

Experience in industry

Geological Survey of Sierra Leone 1972-1975;

Geological mapping and mineral surveying of the Precambrian rocks of eastern Sierra Leone

Research post

Research fellow: Archaean Geochemistry 1979-1981

Based at the University of Leeds to investigate the geochemistry of the rocks which I studied during my Survey days in Sierra Leone.

International experience

Recent publications


ROLLINSON H.R., 1993,  Using Geochemical Data: Evaluation, Presentation, Interpretation,Longman, UK. 352 pp. [Co-published by J. Wiley & Sons. Inc. in the USA]. IBSN 0 582 0 6701 4. Reprinted 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998. Printed in Chinese 2000.

ROLLINSON H.R. 2007. Early Earth Systems: a geochemical approach. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK. 296 pp. ISBN: 1405122552.

Edited books

Rollinson, H.R., Searle, M.P., Abbasi, I., Al-Lazki, A.I. and Al-Kindi M.H., 2013. Tectonic Evolution of the Oman Mountains. Special Publication of the Geological society.

Edited volumes

ROLLINSON, H.R., AFFATON, P., AYONGHE, S., TREDOUX, M. AND WALSH, K. (Guest Editors) 1999. Earth Science Education in Africa. Special Issue of: Journal of African Earth Sciences (vol. 28, part 4. pp.773-917)

ROLLINSON, H.R. and WHITEHOUSE, M (Guest Editors), 2001, Archaean Crustal Evolution. Special Issue of Precambrian Research (vol 112, Issue 1-2. pp. 1-164).

ROLLINSON, H.R and MARTIN, H. (Guest Editors), 2005. Geodynamic controls on adakite, TTG and sanukitoid genesis: implications for models of crust formation. Lithos79, No. 1.

Journal articles

LENAZ, D., ADETUNJI, J. and ROLLINSON, H.R. 2014 The oxidation state of the sub-oceanic mantle: insights from the petrology and crystal chemistry of chromitites from the Oman ophiolite. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 167:958 doi 10.1007/s00410-013-958-2

ROLLINSON, H.R., 2014. Classic localities explained 15: A virtual field excursion through the Oman Ophiolite. Geology Today30, 112-120.

ROLLINSON, H.R. 2014. Plagiogranites from the mantle section of the Oman ophiolite: models for early crustal evolution. In (eds) ROLLINSON, HR, SEARLE, M, ABASSI, I, AL-LAZKI, A. and AL_KINDI, M.  Tectonic Evolution of the Oman Mountains. Spec. Publ. Geol. Soc. London. Pp 245-258.

ROLLINSON, H.R., Searle, M.P., Abbasi, I., Al-Lazki, A.I. and Al-Kindi M.H., 2014. Tectonic Evolution of the Oman Mountains: an introduction. In (eds) ROLLINSON, HR, SEARLE, M, ABASSI, I, AL-LAZKI, A. and AL_KINDI, M.  Tectonic Evolution of the Oman Mountains. Spec. Publ. Geol. Soc. London. Pp. 1-8

ADETUNJI, J., EVERITT, S. and ROLLINSON, H.R., 2013. New Mossbauer Measurements of Fe3+/SFe ratios in chromites from the early Proterozoic Bushveld Comples, South Africa. Precambrian Research,

ROLLINSON, H.R. and ADETUNJI, J. 2013. The geochemistry and oxidation state of podiform chromitites from the mantle section of the Oman ophiolite: a review. Gondwana Research. Doi 10.1016/

ROLLINSON, H.R. and ADETUNJI, J. 2013. Mantle podiform chromitites do not form beneath ocean ridges: a case study from the Moho transition zone of the Oman ophiolite. Lithos doi 10.1016/j.lithos.2013.07.004

ROLLINSON, H.R. and GRAVESTOCK, P., 2012. The trace element geochemistry of clinopyroxenes from pyroxenites in the Lewisian of NW Scotland: insights into light rare earth element mobility during granulite facies metamorphism. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. 163, 319-335. doi 10.1007/s00410-011-0674-8

ROLLINSON, H.R., Adetunji, J., Yousif, A.A and Gimelseed, A.M., 2012. New Mossbauer measurements of Fe3/SFe in chromites from the mantle section of the Oman ophiolite: evidence for the oxidation of the sub-oceanic mantle. Mineralogical Magazine, 76, 579-596.

Johnson, T.E., Fischer, S., White, R.W., Brown, M. and ROLLINSON, H.R., 2012 Intracrustal differentiation from partial melting of metagabbro – field and geochemical eviodence from the central region of the Neoarchaean Lewisian complex, NW Scotland. J. Petrology.

ROLLINSON, H.R., 2012. Geochemical constraints on the composition of Archaean lower continental crust: partial melting in the Lewisian granulites. Earth and Planet Sci Lett., 351-352, 1-12.

Fowler, M. and ROLLINSON, H.R., 2012. Phanerozoic sanukitoids from Caledonian Scotland: implications for Archaean subduction. Geology. Doi 10.1130/G33371.1

Nasir, S., Al-Khirbash, S., ROLLINSON, H.R., Al-Harthy, A., Al-Sayigh, A. Al-Lazki, A., Theye, T., Massonne, H-J. and Belousova, E., 2011. Petrogenesis of Early Cretaceous carbonatite and ultramafic lamprophyres in a diatreme in the Batain nappes, eastern Oman continental margin. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. 161, 47-74. doi: 10.1007/s 00410-010-0521-3

ROLLINSON, H.R. and Whitehouse, M.J. 2011. The growth of the Zimbabwe Craton during the late Archaean: a new zircon U-Pb ion-microprobe study. Journal Geological Society of London168, 941-952. doi: 10.1144/0016-76492010-156

ROLLINSON, H.R., REID, C. and WINDLEY, B.F., 2010. Chromitites from the Fiskenæsset anorthositic complex, West Greenland: clues to late Archaean mantle processes. In: (eds) Kusky, T.M., Zhai, M-G. and Xiao, W., The Evolving Continents: Understanding Processes of Continental Growth. Geol. Soc. Spec. Pub338, 197-212.

Wheeler, J., Beach, A, Park, R.G. and ROLLINSON, H.R., 2010. The Lewisian Complex: insights into deep crustal evolution. In: (eds) Law, R.D., Butler, R.W.H., Holdsworth, R.E., Krabbendam, M. and Strachan, R.A., Continental tectonics and mountain building: the legacy of Peach and Horne. Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ335, 51-79.

ROLLINSON, H.R., 2010. Coupled evolution of Archean continental crust and subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Geology 38, 1083-1086. doi: 10.1130/G31159.1. [Highlighted in Nature Geoscience Jan 2011]

Other publications

ROLLINSON, H.R. (2013) Review of Harmon and Parker. Frontiers in geochemistry. Geological Journal. (book review)

ROLLINSON, H.R. (2012) Review of Foulger, G.R. Plates vs Plumes: a geological controversy. Geology Today28, 39-40. (Book review)

ROLLINSON, H.R., Adetunji, J., Souch,G., Greenwood, M. 2012. ‘Derby dust’ – the geochemical characterisation of airborne inorganic particulate matter in western Derby. Mercian Geologist 18, 41-46.

ROLLINSON, H.R., 2011. The origins of Life and the RNA world. Geology Today27, 87-88.

Papers on the geology of Sierra Leone

ROLLINSON, H.R., 1978,  Zonation of supracrustal relics in the Archaean of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast. Nature 272, 440-2.

ROLLINSON, H.R. & CLIFF, R.A., 1982,  New rubidium-strontium age determinations on the Archaean basement of Sierra Leone. Precambrian Research17, 63-72. 

ROLLINSON, H.R., 1982,  P-T conditions in coeval greenstone belts and granulites from the Archaean of Sierra Leone. Earth Planetary Sci. Lett. 59, 177-191.   

ROLLINSON, H.R., 1983, The geochemistry of mafic and ultramafic rocks from the Archaean greenstone belts of Sierra   Leone.  Mineral.  Mag.47, 267-80. 

ROLLINSON, HR. 1997. Eclogite xenoliths in West African kimberlites are residues from Archaean granitoids. Nature 389, 173-6.

ROLLINSON, HR. 1999. Petrology and geochemistry of metamorphosed komatiites and basalts from the Sula Mountains greenstone belt, Sierra Leone.  Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology134, 86-101