Distinguished for his work in geochemistry and cosmochemistry on terrestrial, meteoritic and lunar materials and for the development of new analytical methods in the earth sciences.
He played a major role in developing fission-track analysis for the microdistribution of uranium and the thermal history of minerals. He pioneered the geological use in Australia of the electron microprobe and of neutron activation analysis. His work with the first analytical ion microprobe has encouraged a major development of this instrument around the world.
By combining these diverse techniques with his own expertise in mineralogy and petrology, Lovering has made major scientific advances in a number of widely separated fields and especially in the geochemistry of uranium.