Amy J. V. Riches      

2022, Meeting Info – Forming and Exploring Habitable Worlds.

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail (and see who joins in!).

Amy walk

Planetary and Earth Scientist, Isotope Cosmo/Geochemist, and Petrologist
Activities   Books
Scholar   ORCID   Researcher ID
Interview with the American Astronomical Society’s CSWA
National Geographic Explorer  CV available on request.

Research goal: How do habitable (Earth-like) worlds form and evolve?


Is habitable Earth unique? Are we alone?

I am passionate about my work that seeks to constrain how habitable worlds came to be, and where they can be found in and beyond our Solar System. To understand which worlds across the cosmos may be habitable, we must first fathom the origin and evolution of Earth and its environments. My contributions generally draw on foundations of petrographic, mineralogical / petrological, and geochemical studies (major, minor, trace, and highly siderophile elements, selected radiogenic and stable isotope systematics).  This work has a strong focus on constraining magmatic processes, the nature of planetary interiors, as well as the evolutionary histories of the Solar System and its constituent worlds. The approaches that I take drive forward frontier interdisciplinary knowledge, in part because they involve conceiving and realising a number of world first of their kind studies that have broad potential applications for resultant understanding and front-line techniques.

Projects such as books that I am authoring, edited volumes and meetings that I have led, as well as their intentions to disseminate knowledge widely while actively fostering and promoting inclusion and diversity, are among factors intended to benefit the scientific community.  A body of workers that must exchange knowledge widely, and elevate awareness of key discoveries and matters of concern so as to ‘make a difference’ while drawing from all possible talent pools. 

Main research themes

Students supervised / mentored include:

  • Co-Supervisor to Dr. Nicola Mari, Ph.D candidate, completed 2020.  Link
    “Understanding the formation and evolution of Mars.”
    Ph.D thesis completed and approved.
    Recipient of the Meteoritical Society’s 2019 Brian Mason Award.
  • Dr. Chao Wang. Visiting Chinese Doctoral Scholar, U of Durham, UK – completed 2017. Now Lecturer at China University of Geosciences, Beijing.
  • Dr. Katie Singer. Planetary Science Ph.D , U of TN, USA – completed 2016.
    Now Senior Policy Analyst for the U of TN’s Office of Institutional Research.
  • Laura Brin. MSc, U of Alberta, Canada – successful 2016.
  • Further, I have supported the training of a number of other excellent and successful doctoral (5+), masters-level (3+), and undergraduate students (8+) who have gone on to a range of careers that they love. I thoroughly enjoy embedding independence and getting the best out of others.


I take pride in being an energetic and imaginative woman of STEMM who does whatever she can to address the need for greater diversity more broadly. In addition, as the first member of my extended family to attend any form of university – and to be considered able to in a pragmatic sense – I have a special appreciation for the privilege of continued education. It has proven to be so much fun that I have stayed in the academic system and take various opportunities to learn all life long. Whatever your background and path, being fortunate in education and enjoying dedication to your passions (whatever path that may involve) can provide for all kinds of opportunities the world over.

I’m sorry I know so little. I’m sorry we all know so little.
But that’s kind of the fun, isn’t it?
Vera Rubin

There is no cure for curiosity.

meProfessional Affiliations: Member of the Meteoritical Society, Geochemical Society, European Association of Geochemistry, American Geophysical Union, Marie Curie Alumni Association, Royal Astronomical Society [Fellow],  Royal Society of Chemistry [MRSC], America Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences, Inspiring Futures and Inspiring Governance (UK),  STEM NET Ambassador (UK), the Secure World Foundation, UK Planetary Forum, Moon Dialogs, the Lunar and Lunar policy lists and more. In addition, I have applied for membership of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland on a competitive basis and with the support of Rich Walker (UMD, USA) and Marc Norman (ANU, Australia).

My other interests include a cat called Ninja, crafts, walks and basketball.

“Without freedom of choice there is no creativity” Cpt. Kirk, Star Trek.