Meteoritic mineral named in honour of David Wark

Dr David Wark, a former research assistant and PhD student in the School of Earth Sciences, has had a newly discovered meteoritic mineral named after him.

In a newly published paper in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Chi Ma and others describe a new scandium-rich mineral they have named ‘warkite’, found in carbonaceous chondrites including the Murchison meteorite.

David Wark was a cosmochemist whose work largely focused on uranium distributions in moon rocks and meteorites. In the 1970s he completed a PhD alongside Professor John Lovering on the structure and mineral chemistry of calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions, before moving to the California Institute of Technology to pursue further research.

Wark later returned to Australia to teach science at high school. Up until his death in 2005, he retained a great passion for meteorites, reflected in the quality research he published.

Wark’s supervisor and mentor, Professor John Lovering, also had a meteoritic mineral named in his honour – loveringite.