Professor Cusack completed her PhD at the University of Liverpool where she studied the sweetest substance known, a protein called thaumatin. Protein research then brought her to Geosciences where she investigated proteins in brachiopod shells, establishing her enthusiasm for modern and fossil biominerals.
As Professor of Biomineralisation, Maggie’s research interests are broad and multi-disciplinary. These interests include extracting environmental information from shells and corals using isotopes and trace elements, how shells of economically important species such as mussels, will be affected by environmental change including ocean acidification, resulting in one of her favourite publications, ‘Ocean acidification impacts mussel control on biomineralisation‘ as published in Nature: Scientific Reports and even how stem cells respond to nanotopography of shells to produce bone.
Maggie is the 2017 winner of the Mineralogical Society’s Schlumberger Award for ground-breaking earth science in recognition of her ‘scientific excellence in mineralogy and its applications’. She is a member of the EPSRC peer-review College and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Indeed, she has recently been elected to join the RSE’s Council as Vice-President, Physical Sciences.