Tom Boonants

During my time as a chemistry student at the VUB, I obtained plenty of experience with analytical techniques. During my BSc thesis, under guidance of Prof. Dr. Christophe Snoeck of the AMGC research unit, I analyzed ancient cremated human bones using a variety of characterization methods (FTIR, IRMS, ICP-MS, MC-ICP-MS). In this study, I assessed the variations of Sr isotopes within and between different populations in Belgium during the Bronze Age. My subsequent MSc thesis, guided by Prof. Dr. Steven Goderis (AMGC), consisted of a geochemical characterization of Antarctic micrometeorites. Here, I further widened my analytical experience (SEM-EDS, µXRF, LA-ICP-MS, SIMS), and learned how to interpret these results in a geological context.

My PhD consists of the development and optimization of ICP-MS methods for the elemental analysis of precious geochemical samples, including bones, sediment and meteorites. As a (geo)chemist, I am highly motivated to apply my acquired knowledge, and to explore and optimize analytical methods that can help us to characterize and understand various geochemical samples.


  • MSc in Chemistry (2020), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
  • BSc in Chemistry (2018), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

Key Research Interests

  • Analytical spectrometry
  • Development of instrumental methods
  • Isotope & trace element geochemistry
  • Cosmochemistry
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Bioarchaeology

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