About Me

I am a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow working on research questions which bridge core processes, such as the geodynamo, to crust-to-space effects, including magnetic shielding and the evolution of life. I use the record of Earth's magnetic field to gain insight into how the deep interior has changed over the last 4.5 billion years and the implications on habitability and life.

As part of the DEEP group (funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Award and Early Career Fellowship), I develop statistical paleomagnetic field models as part of a multidisciplinary team of geophysicists, geologists and dynamo modelers. These statistical models are used to characterize and test hypotheses related to long term geomagnetic field evolution, and aid comparisons between observational data to numerical dynamo simulations using Earth-like configurations.

Previous research focused on using single crystal paleomagnetism to investigate questions about how terrestrial planetary interiors evolved over time, the impact of this evolution on planetary surfaces, potential implications for the evolution of life and habitability, and fundamental capabilities of single crystals as magnetic recorders.

My passion for geology is centered on the field of paleomagnetism – the recognition that the magnetic record stored in rocks could act as a compass or a clock going back through geologic time inspired my pursuit in addressing questions about Earth’s interior across deep time.

The broad implications of the research are as follows: the habitability of a planetary body is largely understood to be determined by its ability to retain liquid water on its surface. To maintain the physical conditions required to preserve liquid water on the surface, the body must host an atmosphere, which is vulnerable to erosion over geologic timescales. Preserving the atmosphere from cosmic radiation requires a planetary magnetic field which shields the atmosphere, allowing liquid water to remain present on the surface. Therefore, understanding the conditions required to generate and maintain a dynamo in planetary bodies is crucial to gaining insight in the dual evolutions of Earth’s life and dynamo.

EGU EMRP Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist (2021)
The Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow (2020)

Contact Details

Richard K. Bono
University of Liverpool
Liverpool, UK


• W. P. de Oliveira, G. A. Hartmann, F. Terra-Nova, D. Brandt, A. J. Biggin, Y. A. Engbers, R. K. Bono, J. F. Savian, D. R. Franco, R. I.F. Trindade, T. R. Moncinhatto, 2021. “Paleosecular variation and the time‐averaged geomagnetic field since 10 Ma,” Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 22, e2021GC010063, doi: 10.1029/2021GC010063
• C. J. Sprain, J. M. Feinberg, R. Lamers, R. K. Bono, 2021. “Characterization of Magnetic Mineral Assemblages in Clinkers: Potential Tools for Full Vector Paleomagnetic Studies,” Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 22 (9), e2021GC009795, doi: 10.1029/2021GC009795
• C. J. Davies, R. K. Bono, D. G. Meduri, J. Aubert, S. Greenwood, A. J. Biggin, 2021. “Dynamo constraints on the long-term evolution of Earth’s magnetic field strength,” Geophysical Journal International 228 (1), doi: 10.1093/gji/ggab342
• J. A. Tarduno, R. D. Cottrell, K. Lawrence, R. K. Bono, W. Huang, C. L. Johnson, E. G. Blackman, A. V. Smirnov, M. Nakajima, C. R. Neal, T. Zhou, M. Ibanez-Mejia, H. Oda, B. Crummins, 2021. “Absence of a long-lived lunar paleomagnetosphere,” Science Advances 7 (32), doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abi7647
• A. van der Boon, A. J. Biggin, D. Thallner, M. Hounslow, R. K. Bono, J. Nawrocki, K. Wójcik, M. Paszkowski, P. Königshof, T. de Backer, P. Kabanov, S. Gouwy, R. VandenBerg, (preprint). “A Persistent Non-uniformitarian Paleomagnetic Field in the Devonian?,” EarthArXiv doi: 10.31223/X53W56
• D. G. Meduri, A. J. Biggin, C. J. Davies, R. K. Bono, C. J. Sprain, J. Wicht, 2021. “Numerical dynamo simulations reproduce palaeomagnetic field behaviour,” Geophysical Review Letters 48 (5), doi: 10.1029/2020GL090544
• A. J. Biggin, R. K. Bono, D. G. Meduri, C. J. Sprain, C. J. Davies, R. Holme, P. V. Doubrovine, 2020. “Quantitative estimates of average geomagnetic axial dipole dominance in deep geological time,” Nature Communications 11, 6100, doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19794-7.
• Y. Engbers, A. J. Biggin, R. K. Bono, 2020. “Elevated paleomagnetic dispersion at Saint Helena suggests long-lived anomalous behavior in the South Atlantic,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117 (31), p. 18258-18263, doi:10.1073/pnas.2001217117.
R. K. Bono, A. J. Biggin, R. Holme, D. G. Meduri, J. Bestard, 2020. “Covariant giant Gaussian process models with improved reproduction of palaeosecular variation,” Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 21 (8), e2020GC008960, doi: 10.1029/2020GC008960.
• J. A. Tarduno, R. D. Cottrell, R. K. Bono, et al., 2020. "Paleomagnetism indicates that primary magnetite in zircon records a strong Hadean geodynamo,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117 (5), p. 2309-2318, doi:10.1073/pnas.1916553117.
• C. J. Sprain, A. J. Biggin, C. J. Davies, R. K. Bono, D. G. Meduri, 2019. "An assessment of long duration geodynamo simulations using new paleomagnetic modeling criteria (QPM),” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 526, 115758, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2019.115758.
R. K. Bono, J. A. Tarduno, H.-P. Bunge, 2019. "Hotspot motion caused the Hawaiian-Emperor Bend and LLSVPs are not fixed,” Nature Communications 10, 3370, doi:10.1038/s41467-019-11314-6.
R. K. Bono, J. A. Tarduno, F. Nimmo, R. D. Cottrell, 2019. "Young inner core inferred from Ediacaran ultra-low geomagnetic field intensity,” Nature Geoscience 12(2), p. 143-147, doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0288-0.
R. K. Bono, J. A. Tarduno, R. D. Cottrell, 2019. "Primary pseudo-single and single-domain magnetite inclusions in quartzite cobbles of the Jack Hills (Western Australia): implications for the Hadean geodynamo,” Geophysical Journal International 216(1), p. 598-608, doi:10.1093/gji/ggy446.
• V. J. Hare, J. A. Tarduno, T. Huffman, M. Watkeys, P. C. Thebe, M. Manyanga, R. K. Bono, R. D. Cottrell, 2018. “New Archeomagnetic Directional Records From Iron Age Southern Africa (ca. 425–1550 CE) and Implications for the South Atlantic Anomaly,” Geophysical Research Letters 45, doi:10.1002/2017GL076007.
R. K. Bono, J. A. Tarduno, M. S. Dare, G. Mitra, R. D. Cottrell, 2018. “Cluster analysis on a sphere: Application to magnetizations from Jack Hills metasediments, Western Australia,” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 484, p. 67-80, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.12.007.
R. K. Bono; J. Clarke; J. A. Tarduno; D. Brinkman, 2016. “A Large Ornithurine Bird (Tingmiatornis arctica) from the Turonian High Arctic: Climatic and Evolutionary Implications,” Scientific Reports 6, doi:10.1038/srep38876.
• M. S. Dare; J. A. Tarduno; R. K. Bono; R. D. Cottrell; J. S. Beard; K. P. Kodama, 2016. “Detrital magnetite and chromite in Jack Hills quartzite cobbles: Further evidence for the preservation of primary magnetizations and new insights into sediment provenance,” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 451, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2016.05.009.
R. K. Bono; J. A. Tarduno; R. D. Cottrell, 2016. “Comment on: Pervasive remagnetization of detrital zircon host rocks in the Jack Hills, Western Australia and implications for records of the early dynamo, by Weiss et al. (2015),” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 450, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2016.06.006.
• R. D. Cottrell; J. A. Tarduno; R. K. Bono; M. S. Dare; G. Mitra, 2016. “The inverse microconglomerate test: Further evidence for the preservation of Hadean magnetizations in metasediments of the Jack Hills, Western Australia,” Geophysical Research Letters 43, doi:10.1002/2016GL068150.
• A. V. Smirnov; J. A. Tarduno; E. V. Kulakov; S. A. McEnroe; R. K. Bono, 2016. “Paleointensity, core thermal conductivity and the unknown age of the inner core,” Geophysical Journal International 205(2), doi:10.1093/gji/ggw080.
• J. A. Tarduno; R. D. Cottrell; W. J. Davis; F. Nimmo; R. K. Bono, 2015. “A Hadean to Paleoarchean geodynamo recorded by single zircon crystals,” Science 349(6247), doi: 10.1126/science.aaa9114.
R. K. Bono; J. A. Tarduno, 2015. “A stable Ediacaran Earth recorded by single silicate crystals of the ca. 565 Ma Sept-Îles intrusion,” Geology 43(2), doi:10.1130/G36247.1.


University of Rochester

Ph.D. in Geology December 2016

Thesis title: “Paleomagnetic Investigations of Deep Time: Evolution and Dynamics of the Core, Mantle and Life”

Qualifying exam topics: Paleomagnetism, hot spots and plate motion, structural geology of oroclines, and paleoclimatology.

M.S. in Geology October 2011

Essay topic: “Applied Secular Variation Studies: Characterizing Magnetic Field Behavior During the Mesozoic and Early Cenozoic”

B.S. in Geological Sciences May 2010

High Honors in Research, Senior Thesis: “Paleomagnetic results of Late Cretaceous Hansen Point volcanics, NW Ellesmere Island, Sverdrup Basin”

Field work and other traveling

Western Australia, Archean granites, cherts and conglomerates - Summer 2011, 2012, 2016
Canadian High Arctic, Cretaceous volcanics and paleoclimate - Summer 2012, 2015
Cornell University, FIB preparation and TEM study of silicate crystals - 2014-2016
Northern Quebec, Ediacaran mafic intrusions - Fall 2012, 2014
FORC workshop, Institute for Rock Magnetism, Sante Fe, NM - Summer 2014
Cornell University, electron microprobe of silicate crystals - Fall 2013
Active geology of California, undergraduate field trip and geocognition study - Spring 2011-2013
UT Austin, high resolution CT scanning of Cretaceous Arctic fossils - Spring 2012
South Pacific, Cretaceous volcanics - Summer 2011
University of Hawaii Marine Core Repository, Midway volcanics - Spring 2011


Research Interests

- Statistical field model development
- Recognizing coherent signals in highly scattered data
- Applying machine learning and novel statistical techniques to geomagnetic problems
- Bridging between numerical dynamo simulations and paleomagnetism

- Ediacaran paleointensity recorded by Sept Iles Intrusive Series
- Archean paleofield recorded by Jack Hills zircons
- Magnetotactic bacteria in the Archean
- Igneous records of Proterozoic paleofield

- Isolating single-domain-like magnetite in silicate crystals
- Linking magnetic signals with carriers using electron microscopy
- Evaluating the limits of current-generation magnetometers
- Development of ultra-weak magnetic laboratory standards

- In-depth SEM and TEM studies of magnetic carriers within geologic materials
- Magnetic microscopy to analyze magnetic carriers
- Focused Ion Beam techniques to characterize magnetic grains in 3D
- High resolution CT imaging of fossils
- Development and interpretation of three-dimensional data of geologic materials

- Oligocene Hawaiian hotspot stability
- Ediacaran Sept Iles Intrusive Series paleomagnetism
- Evaluating Proterozoic records for possible rapid Earth rotation
- Superchrons and secular variation

- Main and Eagle Station Group pallasite paleomagnetic records
- Detecting evidence for dynamos in protoplanetary bodies
- Potential record of a paleofield in 4 Vesta
- Advancing development of single crystal paleomagnetic techniques

- Active volcanism at high latitudes
- Magnetic field within the tangent cylinder
- Evolution of polar coastal environments
- Climate within the Arctic circle during high atmospheric CO2

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching in the geosciences requires providing students with the critical thinking, content knowledge and analytic tools to bridge our common experiences on Earth to the fundamental physical concepts which underpin our understanding of geosciences. As educators, we start with the advantage that we all live on, and have interacted with, our case study – Earth. Along the journey towards educating a scientifically literate community with the knowledge and skills to contribute meaningfully to a global dialogue, we have the opportunity to expose students to the critical thinking and decision making required to understand Earth’s environment. We have a unique opportunity to foster special modes of thought that are central to the geosciences, e.g., penetrative, four-dimensional thinking, and cross-disciplinary applications and relationships between geology, physical sciences, engineering and wider academic community. Introductory instruction should focus on applying fundamental scientific concepts and developing visuo-spatial observation skills. These goals are achieved through traditional lecture, interactive demonstrations in analog and digital space, and hand-on-rock laboratories and field trips. Upper level instruction should be inquiry based, with a focus on student-initiated research projects and student-led seminar style discussions. At all levels of instruction, it is vital to emphasize development of writing skills, with introductory students focusing on basic scientific writing while upper level students prioritize hypothesis-driven inquiry and original figure creation.

Teaching Experience
(Instructor/Teaching Assistant)

Undergraduate and Masters theses, co-supervisor - 2018-2021
Planetary Science, Instructor - Fall 2015-2017
Planetary Science, Instructor - Fall 2015-2017
Seminar in Paleomagnetism, Instructor/Teaching Assistant, SEM operator - Fall 2014, Spring 2016
Undergraduate geology field camp in the Canadian High Arctic, Teaching Assistant - Summer 2012, 2015
Marine Geophysics, Teaching Assistant, SEM operator - Spring 2014
Planetary Science, Teaching Assistant - Fall 2012, 2013
Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Mountain Ranges in California: A Field Quest, Teaching Assistant - Spring 2011-2013
Introduction to Geological Sciences, Teaching Assistant - Fall 2010-2012
Evolution of Earth History, Teaching Assistant - Spring 2009-2012

Community Engagement

MagNetZ, online seminar series, co-organizer Summer 2020 - present
UKSEDI/RAS Discussion, “Collaborative study of Earth's core-mantle boundary region”, organizer November 2021
ETH Earth Sciences colloquium, invited speaker November 2020
RAS Discussion, “Observing and simulating Earth’s core and the magnetic field”, organizer November 2019
Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, “Magnetic to the Core” July 2019
Victoria Gallery and Museum School Holiday Workshop May 2019
Ness Botanic Gardens Family Science Fair March 2019

Get In Touch.

I would be excited to speak with you about my research or teaching efforts. Please feel free to email me using the link below.


Richard K. Bono
University of Liverpool
Liverpool, UK