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PD Dr. Raúl Fonseca

 +49 221 470-89829 (Lab: -89810)

Telefax +49 221 470-5199

E-Mail: raul.fonseca(at)uni-koeln.de


  • Experimental Petrology
  • Isotope Geochemistry
  • Trace element partitioning
  • Planetary Evolution

Selected Publications

(** represent student manuscripts)

 Fonseca R.O.C., Kirchenbaur, M., Ballhaus C., Münker C., Zirner A., Gerdes A., Heuser A., Roman Botcharnikov, and Lenting C. (2017). Fingerprinting fluid sources in Troodos ophiolite complex orbicular glasses using high spatial resolution isotope and trace element geochemistry. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 200, 145-166

Münker C., Fonseca R.O.C., and Schulz T. (2017). Silicate Earth’s missing niobium may have been sequestered into asteroidal cores Nature Geoscience, 10, 622–626 doi:10.1038/ngeo3048 

**Leitzke F.P., Fonseca R.O.C., Sprung P., Mallmann G., Lagos M., Michely LT, and Münker C. (2017) Redox dependent behaviour of molybdenum during magmatic processes in the terrestrial and lunar mantles: Implications for the Mo/W of the bulk silicate Moon. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 474, 503–515. 

Fonseca R.O.C., Mallmann G., Sprung P., Sommer J.A., Heuser A., Speelmanns I.M. and Blanchard H. (2014). Redox controls on tungsten and uranium crystal/silicate melt partitioning and implications for the U/W and Th/W ratio of the lunar mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 404, 1-13 

Helmy H.M., Ballhaus C., Fonseca R.O.C., Wirth R., Nagel T., and Tredoux M. (2013) Nanoparticles in high-temperature magmatic liquids. Nature Communications 4 (2405), DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3405 

**Laurenz V., Fonseca R. O. C., Ballhaus C., Jochum K. P., Heuser A. and Sylvester P. J. (2013) The solubility of Pd and Ru in picritic melts: 2. The effect of sulfur. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, in press doi:10.1016/j.gca.2013.01.013 

Fonseca R.O.C., Laurenz V., Mallmann G., Luguet A., Hoehne N. and Jochum K.P. (2012) New constraints on the genesis and long-term stability of Os-rich alloys in the Earth’s mantle. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 87, 227-242


  • 2015-present day “Analytische Methoden in den Geowissenschaften“ (Analytical methods in the Earth Sciences), co-lecturer (BSc. course)
  • 2015-present day “Kolloquium Masterarbeiten Geowissenschaften“ (MSc.Geoscience Seminar)
  • 2010 “Geochemie“(Geochemistry), co-lecturer (with Alex Heuser, BSc. course)
  • 2009-present day “Grundlagen der Petrologie & Polarisationsmikroskopie“ (Optical Mineralogy), Lecturer (BSc. course).
  • 2009-present day “Übung zur Analyse gesteinsbildender Prozesse“ (Petrography), lecturer (BSc. course).
  • 2009-present day “Theoretische Petrologie“ (Theoretical Petrology), lecturer (MSc. course)
  • 2008 “Metamorphe Petrologie“ (Metamorphic Petrology), lecturer (Diploma course)
  • 2003 “Disasters and Catastrophes“, Australian National University, Teaching assistant (BSc. course).


    Honors and Awards

    • University of Lisbon medalist, 2002 (awarded to the top 50 students of the University).
    • BES award, 2003 (awarded to the top 10 students in the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon).
    •  Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology PhD fellowship, 2003 (European Union fellowship awarded by the Portuguese Government)

    Research Grants Awarded:

    • DFG project FO 698/5-1 (Germany as PI) – Heisenberg Fellowship – “Stable isotope fractionation in high-temperature systems: an experimental approach”.  Awarded January 2018.
    • DFG project FO 698/6-1 (Germany as PI) – “Titanium isotope fractionation during lunar magmatism - the importance of redox”. Awarded January 2018.
    • DFG project FO 698/3-1 (Germany - as PI) - “The effect of melt composition in synthetic lunar silicate melts on the behavior of trace elements during lunar magma ocean fractionation”. Awarded January 2015
    • CNPq project 248562/2013-4 (Brazil - as PI with a PhD position for Felipe Padilha Leitzke, as well as research money) - “Correlation between TiO2 content of silicate melts and trace element partitioning behaviour between silicates, Fe-Ti oxides and basalt (in Portuguese)” – ca. 80,000€ (includes PhD stipend and bench fees). Awarded Summer 2014.
    • DFG project BA 964/26-1 (as co-author - Christian Ballhaus PI) “Speciation of palladium and ruthenium in S-bearing, sulfide-undersaturated basaltic melt - implications for enrichment mechanisms of noble metals in magmatic sulfide melt” Awarded Summer 2009.
    • DFG project FO 698/1-1 (as PI) “The fractionation of Highly Siderophile Elements (HSE) during partial melting, and its implication for the HSE composition of the Primitive Upper Mantle”. Awarded December 2008.

    Equipment Grants Awarded

    • December 2009 - As co-proponent (along with Christian Ballhaus Uni Bonn), applied successfully to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for funding to purchase a LA-ICPMS system (Excimer 193nm Resonetics M50-E laser plus an ELEMENT XR mass spectrometer).

    Peer Review Work

    • Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
    • Earth and Planetary Science Letters
    • Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
    • Chemical Geology
    • Asian Journal of Earth Sciences
    • Meteoritics & Planetary Science
    • Mineralogy and Petrology
    • Economic Geology
    • Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research
    • The Canadian Mineralogist
    • Reviews in Mineralogy (MSA)
    • American Mineralogist
    • National Science Foundation (USA – Research Proposals)

    Editorial work

    • Guest Editor for Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta Special issue on: “Highly Siderophile Elements, Earth and Planets”
    • Guest Editor for American Mineralogist Special Section on: “Planetary Processes as Revealed by Sulfides and Chalcophile Elements”