Picture of Tom Boonants

Tom Boonants


I currently work as a PhD researcher at the AMGC research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium. Previously, I obtained both BSc and MSc degrees in Chemistry at the VUB. During this time, I obtained plenty of experience with various analytical techniques. Guided by Prof. Dr. Christophe Snoeck, I analyzed (FTIR, IRMS, ICP-MS, MC-ICP-MS) ancient cremated human bones during my BSc thesis, where 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, consisted of a geochemical characterization (SEM-EDS, µXRF, LA-ICP-MS, SIMS) of Antarctic micrometeorites, and learned how to interpret these results in a geological context.

My current PhD research consists of the development and optimization of ICP-MS methodologies for the elemental analysis of precious geochemical samples, mainly focusing on accurate determination of elemental concentrations of Ca-rich samples. Besides mainly working with HR-ICP-MS, I also focus on studying and improving correlations with concentration levels measured by MC-ICP-MS and (LA-)ICP-QQQ-MS, helping archaeologists acquire accurate and representative data.


  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, VUB, 2018
  • Master of Science in Chemistry, VUB, 2020

Key Research Interests

  • Mass spectrometry
  • Method development
  • Elemental analysis
  • Elemental mapping
  • Micrometeorites
  • Diet & mobility

Main Publications

  • T. Boonants, S. Goderis, B. Soens, F. Van Maldeghem, S. Chernonozhki, F. Vanhaecke & Ph. Claeys. Elemental and Oxygen Isotopic Fractionation Recorded in Highly Vaporized Cosmic Spherules from Widerøefjellet, Sør Rondane Mountains (East Antarctica). 85th Annual Meeting of The Meteoritical Society, held August 14-19, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. LPI Contribution No. 2695, id.6316.
  • Dalle, S., Snoeck, C., Sengeløv, A., Salesse, K., Hlad, M., Annaert, R., Boonants, T., Boudin, M., Capuzzo, G., Gerritzen, C. T., Goderis, S., Sabaux, C., Stamataki, E., Vercauteren, M., Veselka, B., Warmenbol, E. & De Mulder, G. (2022). Strontium isotopes and concentrations in cremated bones suggest an increased salt consumption in Gallo-Roman diet. Scientific reports, 12 (1), 9280.

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