Teaching and Training Program



GEMOC's teaching program aims to:

•  provide undergraduate and postgraduate students with a broad, integrative understanding of Earth architecture and processes, bridging the discipline boundaries of geology and geophysics

•  train undergraduate and postgraduate students in new conceptual approaches and the applications of advanced technology, including geochemical analysis techniques and the integrated field and laboratory use of geographic information systems (GIS)

•  develop international links in teaching programs (especially postgraduate) relevant to GEMOC's goals

•  develop formal tailored course work components at postgraduate level which also can be packaged for distance education delivery and as short courses available to the mining industry

•  enhance the pool of high quality geoscience graduates by restructuring academic programs to attract a new clientele

teaching HIGHLIGHTS 2008

  • All of our units ran successfully in 2008 with student numbers up from 2007. In February 2009 we ran our field trip to New Zealand (GEOS373 Volcanic Geology). Students enjoy the amazing volcanic landscapes while learning skills in the identification of volcanic rocks, deposits and landforms. The students visit a range of deposits from the basaltic scoria cones of the Auckland region, to the andesitic cones of Ruapehu and Ngarauhoe to rhyolitic lavas and ignimbrites around Rotorua and Taupo. This attracted 40 students – a record number - and was very successful.

  • Kelsie Dadd, Jenny George (Environment and Geography) and Mark Taylor (formerly with Environment and Geography) were awarded a Learning and Teaching grant of $15,000 to look at Work-Integrated Learning in Environmental and Life Sciences. Kelsie is exploring experiential learning and, in particular, boat trips in marine science courses.

  • We were awarded $30,000 to replace laptop computers in our portable computer facility. These were used for a GIS exercise during GEOS226 Introduction to Field Geology, in December 2008.
Teaching2 Teaching

Kelsie Dadd and Dick Flood guide students from GEOS260 - Marine Depositional Environments - as they investigate the geology of NSW’s south coast.

  • The Department established a presence on Facebook that is used to advertise events and to keep in contact with alumni.

  • Craig O’Neill was a finalist for the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year, to be awarded to an outstanding scientist born after 1/1/72.

    • EPS successfully ran another field trip to Broken Hill together with the University of Sydney. Numbers were very high and a decision has been made to run the unit twice in 2009 but still in cooperation with the University of Sydney.

    • Kelsie Dadd participated in the UNESCO-funded University of the Sea program, supervising six final year undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Asia Pacific region during a 4-week Geoscience Australia research cruise on the RV Sonne in the Indian Ocean. The first leg of the cruise sailed from Singapore to Fremantle.
    • As in previous years, we continue to develop our “tailored problem-based learning” modules and to add new problems based on real industry issues or recent research. These prepare the students for employment by ensuring they master a range of generic skills such as problem-solving, team work and critical thinking as well as technical content. Where possible we integrate computers into the coursework using both our portable computer laboratory and more traditional computer labs. Students are introduced to a number of computer packages used in industry.

    • Simon George ran a new unit in 2008, GEOS204: Life, the Universe and Everything. This unit covers mainly astrobiology, so includes elements of astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology and geology. It also includes a module on organic geochemistry and our energy security. GEOS204 is taught assuming no prior knowledge in these sciences and has proved to be very popular, attracting over 70 students in 2009.

    • 2008 was also a year of change around the University. The academic units in the University were reorganised from Divisions into larger Faculties. We are now within the Faculty of Science. We also began a University-wide process of curriculum renewal that will continue over the next few years.




    Kelsie Dadd with participants in the University of the Sea aboard the RV Sonne.

    Geophysics teaching progress 2008

    The geophysics curriculum was assessed as part of the university-wide curriculum review and as a result, a new unit dealing with petroleum geophysics and geology will be introduced in 2011.

    Use of an extensive pool of GPS units for undergraduate (and postgraduate) fieldwork continued.

    Extended use of seismic, gravity, GPS (including the ASHTECH Z-Xtreme Differential GPS system) and resistivity (DUALEM Frequency Domain EM System) and the new GPR equipment for student field projects in exploration, groundwater, environmental and engineering geophysics was implemented.

    Equipment upgrades funded by Macquarie University over the last five years have resulted in an excellent array of new instrumentation.

    • Software such as GEOSOFT, MODELVISION, EMVISION, ERMAPPER, SeisImager, Profile Analyst, Discover and Reflexw have been maintained, while teaching packages such as Maxwell, Quickmag, Noddy and Discover 3D were purchased to upgrade the software suite.

    • A GEODE seismic system was purchased to replace an older system and was used successfully within the first week on a third year field excursion.

    • The MALA Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) system was expanded with the purchase of additional high frequency and rough terrain antennas.


    GEMOC honours

    The following honours projects in GEMOC were completed 2008:

    Shelley Allchurch: Petrographic, geochemical and geochronological characterisation of crustal xenoliths from Coliban Dam, Victoria with implications for the early evolution of the Lachlan Fold Belt.

    Peter Caffi: Evolution of an active metamorphic core complex, Suckling-Dayman Massif, eastern PNG.

    Sharlin Emami: Petrogenesis and geochemical characterisation of ultramafic cumulates from the root of the Fiordland Magmatic Arc, New Zealand.

    Elizabeth Hoese: The use of perovskites to examine the age and origins of kimberlites

    Melissa Murphy: Petrography and geochemistry of oceanic crust: Provenance of sedimentary detritus, Macquarie Island

    Ben Wilkins: Geophysical investigations of the structure of the Budawang Synclinorium


    The following honours projects are relevant to GEMOC in 2009:

    Eileen Dunkley: Geochemical and isotopic evolution of the Median Batholithic magmatic arc, Fiordland, New Zealand

    Andrew Frost: Petrogenesis of the Prominent Hill deposit within the Mt Woods Inlier, Gawler Craton, South Australia

    Jaime Lovell: The usefulness of mASW in delineating soils

    Danielle Mitchell: Organic geochemistry of high latitude early Permian sediments exposed on the south coast of NSW

    Rosanna Murphy: The major and trace element composition and isotope geochemistry of the garnet in silicic volcanic and plutonic rocks

    Sophie Ratcliff: An investigation of the breccia of the Lower Wasp Head Formation,
    southern-most Sydney Basin

    Elyse Schinella: Convergence on Europa: Past and present?

    James Watton: Petrographic and geochemical characterisation of the Western Fiordland Orthogneiss - Breaksea Orthogneiss boundary, Fiordland, New Zealand



    GEMOC postgraduate


    See advertisement for GEMOC postgraduate opportunities, Appendix 6

    Gemoc’s active international exchange program continued, with three recipients of the new China Government (CSC) scholarships commencing in 2008 (Lijuan Wang, Jinxiang Huang and Yamei Wang). Yoann Gréau and Véronique le Roux continued PhD co-tutelle programs jointly with the University of Montpellier (France) and Anne Fonfrege commenced a co-tutelle with the University of Jean Monnet (St Etienne, France) in 2008.


    Olivier Alard (PhD):  Chalcophile and siderophile elements in the mantle: Geochemical characteristics and distribution;  IPRS with MUIPRA stipend (graduated 2001)

    Kari Anderson (PhD):  Palaeozoic Eastern Gondwana: palaeomagnetic investigations of Queensland;  IPRS with MUIPRA stipend (graduated 2003)

    Sonja Aulbach (PhD):  Evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Slave Craton and Alberta Canada;  IPRS with MUIPRA stipend (graduated 2004)

    Elena Belousova (PhD):  Zircon and apatite geochemistry: applications to petrology and mineral exploration;  APA and sponsorship by Rio Tinto (graduated 2000)

    Eloise Beyer (PhD):  Evolution of the lithosphere beneath Tasmania and Western Norway;  Field assistance from Ashton Mining (graduated 2003)

    Rondi Davies (PhD):  East Australian Diamonds: Characterisation and origin;  Sponsored by Rio Tinto, Kennecott Canada (graduated 1999)

    Guillaume Delpech (PhD):  Trace-element and isotopic fingerprints in ultramafic xenoliths from the Kerguelen Archipelago (South Indian Ocean);  Co-tutelle with University of Jean Monnet, IPRS with GEMOC stipend and EURODOC scholarship (graduated 2005)

    Oliver Gaul (PhD):  Composition of the lithospheric mantle beneath Australia;  APAI collaborative with Stockdale Prospecting, CSIRO EM (graduated 2000)

    Bin Guo (PhD):  An integrated geophysical investigation of the Tamworth belt and its bounding faults;  IPRS with MUIPRA stipend (graduated 2005)

    Véronique Le Roux (PhD): Refertilisation and isotopic variations (Sr, Nd, Hf) in the Lherz Massif (France); Eurodoc and Co-tutelle with Montpellier University, France (graduated 2009) (see Research Highlights)

    Joanne McCarron (MSc):  Mantle xenoliths from Queensland and South Australia (graduated 1997)

    Bertrand Moine (PhD):  The role of fluids in the genesis, segregation and crystallisation of intraplate oceanic mantle magmas: implications for crustal accretion;  Co-tutelle with University of Jean Monnet (graduated 2000)

    Valeria Murgulov (PhD):  Lithosphere evolution and metallogeny in the Georgetown Inlier and adjacent Tasman Fold Belt, North Queensland, Australia;  APA (graduated 2007)

    Mark Pirlo (PhD):  Australian groundwater geochemistry; applications to heat flow and exploration;  APA and Queen’s Trust for Young Australians Award (graduated 2003)

    Will Powell (PhD):  Geochemically diverse domains in lithospheric mantle, eastern Australia;  APA (graduated 2006)

    Sonal Rege (PhD):  Trace-element geochemistry of diamond;  IPRS with iMURS scholarship (graduated 2006)

    Stéphanie Touron (PhD):  Geochemical fingerprints of mantle metasomatism beneath the Massif Central, France;  IPRS with MURAACE scholarship (graduated 2006)

    Esmé van Achterbergh (PhD):  Geochemical fingerprints of mantle metasomatism (graduated 2005)

    Shixin Yao (PhD):  Chromite as a petrogenetic indicator in ultramafic rocks;  Collaborative with Rio Tinto (graduated 2000)

    Xu Xisheng (PhD):  The lithospheric mantle beneath eastern China;  Formal exchange PhD, Nanjing and Macquarie (graduated 2000)


    Some of GEMOC’s 2008 postgraduate students. Above: Lijuan Wang, Marek Locmelis, June Chevet, Yoann Gréau, James Cowlyn and Ryan Portner. Below: John Caulfield, Alan Kobussen and Jinxiang Huang.


    Brad Bailey (PhD):  Law Dome: Ice and crust mass balance studies  (commenced 2004)

    Jacques Batumike (PhD):  The origin of kimberlites from the Kundelungu region (D.R. Congo) and the nature of the underlying lithospheric mantle;  IPRS, iMURS (commenced 2005)  (see Research Highlights)

    Stephanie Carroll (PhD):  The mechanisms and deep-crustal controls on continental rifting;  RAACE (commenced 2005)

    John Caulfield (PhD):  Tofua volcano- Tonga Arc: Eruption history and timescales of magma chamber processes;  iMURS (commenced 2006)

    June Chevet (PhD):  Gabbroic rocks from the Kerguelen Islands (Indian Ocean): a petrologic, geochemical and isotopic investigation of their origin;  iMURS  (commenced 2005)

    David Child (PhD):  Characterisation of Actinide particles in the environment for nuclear safeguards using mass spectrometric techniques (commenced part time 2007)

    David Clark (PhD):  Contributions to integrated magnetics - applications to the Earth Sciences (commenced 2006)

    James Cowlyn (PhD): Growth of evolved continental crust in the primitive Tonga Arc: A study of the island of Fonualei; MQRES (EAPE CoRE) (commenced 2008)

    Steven Cooper (PhD):  Diamonds and mantle-derived minerals, NW SteveAustralia and South Australia (commenced part time 2003)

    Stephen Craven (PhD):  The structural and metamorphic evolution of the Wongwibinda Complex, NSW, Australia (commenced 2006)


    PhD student Steve Craven collecting stream samples from his field area in the Wongwibinda Complex, NSW.

    Heather Cunningham (PhD):  A U-series isotope study of magma residence times, degassing and petrogenesis of Rabaul Caldera, Papua New Guinea;  iMURS (commenced 2005)

    Cara Danis (PhD): Geothermal structure of Eastern Australian Basins; APA (commenced 2008)

    Cara Donnelly (PhD):  Mantle xenoliths, kimberlites and related rocks of the Kuruman Kimberlite Province, Kaapvaal Craton, South Africa;  iMURS (commenced 2007)

    Anne Fonfrege (PhD): Geochemical and isotopic characterisation of magma mixing: comparative studies in volcanic and plutonic settings; Co-tutelle with Jean-Monnet University, France (commenced 2008)

    Yoann Gréau (PhD):  Elemental and isotopic fractionation of siderophile and chalcophile elements: A new perspective on eclogite origin;  iMURS and Co-tutelle with Montpellier University, France (commenced 2007)

    Jinxiang Huang (PhD): Origin of eclogite and pyroxenite xenoliths in kimberlites and basalts; China Government Scholarship and co-tutelle with China University of Geosciences, Beijing (commenced 2008)

    Alan Kobussen (PhD):  Composition, structure, and evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath Southern Africa;  iMURS (commenced 2006)  (see Research Highlights)

    Véronique Le Roux (PhD):  Refertilisation and isotopic variations (Sr, Nd, Hf) in the Lherz Massif (France);  Eurodoc and Co-tutelle with Montpellier University, France  (commenced 2007)

    Weiqiang Li (PhD):  Stable metal isotope geochemistry of the Cadia and Northparkes porphyry Cu-Au deposits;  iMURS (commenced 2006) (see Research Highlights)

    Marek Locmelis (PhD):  Understanding nickel deposits using platinum group element geochemistry;  iMURS (commenced 2006) 

    Kathleen McMahon (PhD):  Fracturing and deformation along the Amery Ice Shelf: A seismic study (commenced 2004)

    Luke Milan (PhD):  The emplacement, pressure-temperature-time path and structural evolution of lower crustal gneisses in Fiordland, New Zealand (commenced 2004)

    Nenad Nikolic (PhD):  Evolution of crust-mantle systems near a young rift: NW Spitsbergen, Norway;  iMURS (commenced 2004)

    LijuanRyan Portner (PhD):  Spreading ridge sedimentation processes: a novel approach using Macquarie Island as a natural laboratory;  iMURS (commenced 2006)  

    Lijuan Wang (PhD): Crustal evolution of the Yangtze Block using zircons in sediments; China Government Scholarship (commenced 2008)

    Yamei Wang (PhD): Evolution of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath the Western Block of the North China Craton: a mantle xenolith approach; China Government Scholarship (commenced 2008)

    Jinhai Yu and Lijuan Wang collecting samples in West China for Lijuan's PhD project.


    commencing 2009

    Fiona Foley (PhD): Generation of continental crust during subduction initiation

    Felix Genske (PhD): Assessing tshe heterogeneous source of the Azores mantle plume

    Melissa Murphy (PhD): A novel U-series isotopic approach for investigation of the Beverley U mine, South Australia

    Matt Pankhurst (PhD): Geodynamic significance of shoshonitic magmatism within the Andean Altiplano

    Suresh Puthiyaveetil Othayoth (PhD): Timescales of soil evolution and sediment transport in a small catchment in SE Australia


    Faculty of Science Research Day - GEMOC Postgraduate posters.


    June Chevet.


    Claudio Marchesi, James Cowlyn, John Caulfield and Kelsie Dadd.


    Yoann Gréau, Alan Kobussen, Sue O'Reilly and Jinxiang Huang.



    Mareck Locmelis, Sue O'Reilly , Lijuan Wang and Yamei Wang.

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