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Personal profile


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.


  • Economic Geology
  • Meteoritics

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Projects 2010 2019

A Global Fireball Observatory

Bland, P., Ireland, T. R., Rushmer, T., Horner, J., Tomkins, A. G., Macquart, J., Chennaoui, H., Collins, G., Brown, P., Jenniskens, P., Herd, C., Swindle, T. & Pendleton, Y.


Project: Other

Research Output 2001 2017

Effects of geodynamic setting on the redox state of fluids released by subducted mantle lithosphere

Evans, K. A., Reddy, S. M., Tomkins, A. G., Crossley, R. J. & Frost, B. R. 1 May 2017 In : Lithos. 278-281, p. 26-42 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Evaluation of meteorites as habitats for terrestrial microorganisms: Results from the Nullarbor Plain, Australia, a Mars analogue site

Tait, A. W., Wilson, S. A., Tomkins, A. G., Gagen, E. J., Fallon, S. J. & Southam, G. 15 Oct 2017 In : Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 215, p. 1-16 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Fluorine and chlorine behaviour during progressive dehydration melting: Consequences for granite geochemistry and metallogeny

Finch, E. G. & Tomkins, A. G. Sep 2017 In : Journal of Metamorphic Geology. 35, 7, p. 739-757 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Microbial populations of stony meteorites: substrate controls on first colonizers

Tait, A., Gagen, E. J., Wilson, S. A., Tomkins, A. G. & Southam, G. 30 Jun 2017 In : Frontiers in Microbiology. 8, JUN, 14 p., 1227

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Ore shoot formation in an orogenic gold deposit

Vollgger, S. A., Tomkins, A. G., Micklethwaite, S., Cruden, A. R. & Wilson, C. 2017

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractOther


Waldemar Lindgren Award

Andrew George Tomkins (Recipient), 2008

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)