• 3024 Citations
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Personal profile


Professor Matt Kilburn obtained his BSc in Planetary Science from University College London, and then completed a PhD in Experimental Petrology at the University of Bristol. He held postdoctoral positions at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the University of Bristol, before joining the University of Oxford as a Research Fellow in 2003. In 2006, Matt joined UWA as a lecturer at CMCA, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2010, and to Associate Professor in 2013. In 2016 he became Deputy Director of CMCA, and has been Director since 2018.

Roles and responsibilities

Director, CMCA
Head, Ion Probe Facility
SIMS Technique Group Leader

Teaching overview

GEOS5507 - Unit Coordinator


Prof Kilburn is an expert in Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS), and is head of UWA’s Ion Probe Facility. The facility houses a CAMECA IMS1280 large-geometry ion probe, for the in-situ measurement of isotopes in minerals, and two CAMECA NanoSIMS instruments for imaging mass spectrometry. Prof Kilburn’s research focuses on the application of SIMS to a range of disciplines, from geochemistry to biomedical research.
The NanoSIMS instruments are imaging mass spectrometers, providing elemental and isotopic maps of samples with ultra-high spatial resolution (50-100nm) and high sensitivity. They are routinely used in stable isotopes probing (SIP) experiments, in which a rare stable isotope (eg, 13C, 15N) is added to an experimental system to visualise biological processes or chemical reactions at interfaces (eg diffusion).
The IMS1280 is a state-of-the-art ion probe for the measurement of high-precision isotope ratios in minerals and materials. In particular, oxygen isotopes in zircons and other refractory minerals, and sulphur isotopes in sulphide minerals.
Prof Kilburn also undertakes U isotopic analyses of environmental samples for nuclear safeguards. The IMS1280 laboratory is part of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Network of Analytical Laboratories.


  • Development of NanoSIMS technique in the fields of biology and medicine, material science and earth science
  • Fundamentals of isotopic analyses with SIMS
  • Stable isotope analysis at micron-scale using Cameca NanoSIMS and IMS 1280
  • Early life, stromatolites and astrobiology
  • Planetary science, planetary formation and meteorites

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Matt Kilburn is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 2 Similar Profiles
Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Medicine & Life Sciences
Secondary ion mass spectrometry Chemical Compounds
pyrite Earth & Environmental Sciences
Sulfur Chemical Compounds
Sulfur Isotopes Chemical Compounds
Sulfides Chemical Compounds
Metals Chemical Compounds
sulfur Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Research Output 1997 2019

4 Citations (Scopus)

Detection of Trace Elements/Isotopes in Olympic Dam Copper Concentrates by nanoSIMS

Rollog, M., Cook, N. J., Guagliardo, P., Ehrig, K., Ciobanu, C. L. & Kilburn, M., Jun 2019, In : Minerals. 9, 6, 25 p., 336.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Effect of reduced irradiance on 13C uptake, gene expression and protein activity of the seagrass Zostera muelleri

Kim, M., Pernice, M., Watson-Lazowski, A., Guagliardo, P., Kilburn, M. R., Larkum, A. W. D., Raven, J. A. & Ralph, P. J., 1 Aug 2019, In : Marine Environmental Research. 149, p. 80-89 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ribulose-Bisphosphate Carboxylase
ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase

Insights into architecture, growth dynamics, and biomineralization from pulsed Sr-labelled Katelysia rhytiphora shells (Mollusca, Bivalvia)

Otter, L. M., Agbaje, O. B. A., Kilburn, M. R., Lenz, C., Henry, H., Trimby, P., Hoppe, P. & Jacob, D. E., 12 Sep 2019, In : Biogeosciences. 16, 17, p. 3439-3455 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
shell (molluscs)

In situ spatial distribution mapping of radionuclides in minerals by nanoSIMS

Rollog, M., Cook, N. J., Guagliardo, P., Ehrig, K. & Kilburn, M., Aug 2019, In : Geochemistry: Exploration Environment Analysis. 19, 3, p. 245-254 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Intermobility of barium, strontium, and lead in chloride and sulfate leach solutions

Rollog, M., Cook, N. J., Guagliardo, P., Ehrig, K., Gilbert, S. E. & Kilburn, M., 5 Sep 2019, In : Geochemical Transactions. 20, 1, 23 p., 4.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Projects 2006 2021


Electron multipliers
Secondary ion mass spectrometry
Rare earth elements
Spectral resolution
Mass spectrometers
Ion beams