Dr Aileen Doran of iCRAG at UCD has won the SFI Research Image of the Year 2021 award. The Research Image competition celebrates images captured by Science Foundation Ireland funded researchers during the course of their research.
The image depicts an example of colloform sphalerite from the Lisheen deposit, southern Ireland. Lisheen mine (closed in 2015) was Ireland's second-largest known base metal deposit, and it was mined for zinc and lead. Sphalerite is a common ore mineral for zinc, which is a valuable metal required for many green technologies (e.g. wind turbines, solar panels). Ireland is currently one of Europe’s top suppliers of zinc. Often, sphalerite can display textures such as these (colloform growth), with variations in colour generally linked to trace element variations. Image was taken using a transmitted light microscope at UCD School of Earth Sciences. Scale included.
Dr Aileen Doran is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Economic Geochemistry, in iCRAG, the SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences and the School of Earth Sciences, University College Dublin.