Marian Tredoux: world-renowned geochemist


Prof Marian Tredoux, Associate Professor in the
Department of Geology at the University of the Free State,
recently had a mineral named after her.
Photo: Sonia Small

Prof Marian Tredoux is a geochemist and lecturer in the Department of Geology at the University of the Free State (UFS). Her research interests are rocks, particularly the chemistry of rocks and the minerals they are composed of – chemicals similar to those found in laboratories, although they occur in nature.

Prof Tredoux started her research career at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), after which she spent a number of years at the University of Cape Town (UCT). For the past 11 years, she has been at the UFS, which has brought her in close proximity of her primary field-research area in Barberton. This fascinating part of the country has been the focus of her research for 30 years. She has always been intrigued by the earth's crust in this area, which she describes as "very old, very strange, and very interesting".

Prof Tredoux has been collaborating with colleagues and peers overseas in an attempt to unravel the intricacies of this unusual geological area. Some of these colleagues recently discovered a new mineral in one of the rock formations of the Barberton mountain range. They decided to name the mineral after Prof Tredoux, dubbing it tredouxite. "I am very honoured by this, and very grateful that all these years of collaboration are being acknowledged," Prof Tredoux said.