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I apply the principles of metamorphic petrology, as well as some structural geology and igneous petrology, to fields of geoscience where these principles have been somewhat neglected. This non-traditional application of petrology has allowed me to make unique contributions to the fields of economic geology and meteoritics/planetary science.

My research in Economic Geology has involved investigating:

(1) Sulfide partial melting during metamorphism.

(2) The role of sulfosalt melts in concentrating PGE within fractionating magmatic sulfide systems.

(3) The P-T-t-D windows for metamorphic generation of sulfur rich hydrothermal fluids.

(4) The upper P-T limits at which gold deposits can form.

(5) The behaviour of metals during silicate anatexis (melting of the deep crust).

(6) Sulfide melt immiscibility in magma mixing zones at the base of arcs (MASH zones) and its role in ore deposit genesis.

An important aim has been has been to link the results of these studies with tectonic models for the genesis of orogenic gold deposits (relates to points 3 and 4) and felsic magma-related Cu-Au deposits (relates to 5 and 6).

Meteorites Research: Since 2007 I have been leading meteorite collecting expeditions to Australian deserts, and we have now collected over 100 new meteorites including several rare finds. My students and I have been using some of these finds in our research, which has largely evolved out of my interests in metamorphic influences on sulfide minerals in ore deposits. Our recent research has included investigating:

(a) The effects of post-impact metamorphism on metal-sulfide assemblages.

(b) The role of impacts in generating large accumulations of metal, which might later be involved in core formation in planetesimals. This work includes consideration of the effects of these processes on the isotopic systems we use to date core formation in the earliest solar system bodies.

(c) The role of immiscibility between liquid Fe-carbide and Fe-sulfide in controling the chemical evolution of silicate-bearing iron meteorites.

(d) The role of oxidation state in core formation.

(e) The upper limits of radiogenic metamorphism in the ordinary chondrite parent bodies, including developing an understanding of the genesis of Type 7 chondrites.

Research area keywords

  • Economic Geology
  • Meteoritics


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