Prof. Hugh Rollinson

Professor Hugh Rollinson is Course Director at the Faraday Institute and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Derby. After graduating from Oxford Hugh worked for a number of years as a field geologist in the Geological Survey of Sierra Leone. This was followed by a PhD at the University of Leicester and then a post-doc at the University of Leeds. He then joined the University of Gloucestershire and worked there for 20 years, during which time he took a three year leave of absence to work as Associate professor of geology and head of Department in the University of Zimbabwe. He then took a position as Professor of Earth Sciences and Department Head at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman for six years after which he served as Professor of Earth Sciences and Department Head at the University of Derby. Hugh is a Fellow of the Geological Society, a Chartered Geologist and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Hugh’s academic interests are in the earliest part of Earth history – the first two billion years of planetary evolution and these are summarised in his text ‘Early Earth Systems’ (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007). He has worked on some of the Earth’s oldest rocks in NW Scotland, West Africa, Southern Africa, West Greenland and Russia with the purpose of understanding how the Earth’s continental crust has formed, and more recently on modern analogues for the Earth’s ancient crust in the Oman ophiolite. He uses the techniques of geochemistry to interrogate ancient rocks, a methodology summarised in his earlier text ‘Using Geochemical Data’ (Taylor and Francis, 1993).

Hugh has had a life-long commitment to the Christian faith and has sought to integrate his beliefs with his scientific work. This has largely been through serving the local church wherever he has lived. He has a strong commitment to making the Christian faith accessible and engaging in dialogue with those who hold divergent views.


Selected academic publications


Rollinson, H.R., 1993, Using Geochemical Data: Evaluation, Presentation, Interpretation, Longman, UK. 352 pp. IBSN 0 582 0 6701 4. Now with Taylor Francis.

Rollinson, H.R. 2007. Early Earth Systems: a geochemical approach. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. 296 pp. ISBN: 1405122552.

Rollinson, H.R., Searle, M.P., Abbasi, I., Al-Lazki, A.I. and Al-Kindi M.H., 2014. Tectonic Evolution of the Oman Mountains. Special Publication of the Geological society 392, 471 pp.


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

Rollinson, H.R., Appel, P.W.U. and Frei, R. 2002.  A metamorphosed, early Archaean chromitite from the inner Godthabsfjord region, west Greenland: implications for the genesis of Archaean anorthositic chromites. Journal of Petrology. 43, 2143-2170.

Rollinson, H.R., 2008. The secular evolution of the continental crust: implications for crust-evolution models. G-cubed. doi:10.1029/2008GC002262.

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.

Rollinson, H.R., 2015. Slab and sediment melting during subduction initiation: granitoid dykes from the mantle section of the Oman ophiolite. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Volume 170, Issue 3 doi: 10.1007/s00410-015-1177-9

Rollinson, H.R., Adetunji, J., Lenaz, D., 2017. Constant Fe3+/SFe in Earth’s asthenospheric mantle since 3.8 Ga. Lithos, 282-283, 316-325

Rollinson, H.R. 2017. There were no large volumes of continental crust in the early Earth. Geosphere (GSA) – special thematic issue. P10.1130/GES01437.1

Spencer, C., Cavosie, A., Raub, T., Rollinson, H., Jeon, H., Searle, M, Miller, J., McDonald, B.J., Evans, N.J., EIMF, (2017). Evidence for melting mud in Earth's mantle from extreme oxygen isotope signatures in zircon. Geology, 45, 975-978.