Professor Monica Grady CBE
Professor Monica Grady is a leading British space scientist and is Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences, Chancellor of Liverpool Hope University and director of the Cosmochemistry research group at the Open University (OU).
Professor Grady is a Fellow and former President of the Meteoritical Society, fellow of the Institute of Physics and Geochemical Society and former fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. She has built up an international reputation in meteoritics, publishing many papers on the carbon and nitrogen isotope geochemistry of primitive meteorites, on Martian meteorites, and on interstellar components of meteorites.
Professor Grady obtained her undergraduate degree from the departments of Chemistry and and Geology, Durham University (where she is now a fellow). Professor Grady’s postgraduate studies were at the University of Cambridge, where she completed her PhD in carbon in meteorites. She subsequently worked at the Open University, before joining the Department of Mineralogy of the Natural History Museum, London, first as a Higher Scientific Officer with responsibility for meteorites, to eventually as Head of the Meteorites and Cosmic Mineralogy Division. Professor Grady was Honorary Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London (2004-2007) and Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute at the Open University (2001), before rejoining the OU in 2005 in her current position.
Professor Grady has led major research programmes in the study of meteorites. Her research interests are in the fields of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope geochemistry of primitive meteorites and of martian meteorites, interstellar components in meteorites, micrometeorites, and also in astrobiology and the possibilities of life elsewhere in the cosmos. She also has expertise in infra red and optical microspectroscopy, and has worked with astronomers in order to make connections between dust observed around stars with that analysed in the laboratory. Monica is currently working with a team of Norwegian scientists to develop a miniature combined infra red spectrometer and microscope, for deployment on the surface of Mars or an asteroid.
Professor Grady is a member of STFC’s Science Board and ESA’s Solar System Advisory Committee. She was an Associate editor of Geochimica Chemica Acta from 2002-2005, and of Elements from 2004-2007. Asteroid (4731) was named “Monicagrady” in her honour. In 2003, Monica gave the Royal Institution Christmas lecture on the theme ‘Voyage in Space and Time’.