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 2009

  • All of our units ran successfully in 2009. Student numbers increased from 2008, as did our retention of students from first year. GEOS226 Introduction to Field Geology attracted 60 students.
    This has been a year of preparing for change with many of our units changing from 4 credit points to 3 credit points in line with the University's new curriculum. We are also introducing two new units that will be ready for 2011: Geology of Australia - Global Perspectives that will investigate interdisciplinary perspectives on the origin and geological evolution of Australia and its plate margins; and Liquid Fuels and Energy Security that will combine geological and geophysical approaches to investigate exploration and production methods for crude oil, natural gas and coal bed methane.

  • EPS successfully ran another GEOS307 field trip to Olary (200 km west of Broken Hill) together with the University of Sydney. With combined enrolments of over 60 students this year, the unit was run twice. The dual offering was welcomed by the students as it offered flexibility and two lots of smaller groups reduced the strain on the Plumbago Station shearer's quarters, otherwise known as the "Plumbago Hilton". Postgraduate tutors Luke Milan, Ryan Portner, Matt Pankhust, James Watton and Andrew Frost ably assisted the students with their field mapping. 2009 saw some of the best maps ever produced of the area. This year also saw Steve and Jan Craven lead the camp management for the second trip with enthusiastic feedback from the students. The field trip will be relocated to Alice Springs in Central Australia in 2010. The students will enjoy mapping two locations in the red centre at Ormiston Gorge and Aileron.



Students on the very popular GEOS307 field trip to Olary, South Australia.

  • Kelsie Dadd and Jenny George (Environment and Geography) presented the results of their Work-Integrated Learning in Environmental and Life Sciences project at the Faculty of Science Learning and Teaching Forum. Kelsie also presented aspects of her research on problem-based learning and its use in undergraduate classes at the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Education Roundtable.

  • Kelsie Dadd participated in IODP Leg 323 to the Bering Sea in July and August and Simon George participated in the Canterbury Basin Sea Level Expedition, Leg 317, off the coast of New Zealand in December and January 2010. This research will be incorporated into the teaching of marine science units and will probably form the basis for "tailored problem-based learning" modules. 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.

Students on the very popular GEOS307 field trip to Olary, South Australia.3

Students measure strike and dip during the GEOS226 Introduction to Field Geology field trip in the Lake Keepit region of NSW.

Teach4 Teach5

Students visited numerous volcanic environments in New Zealand on GEOS373 Volcanic Geology, held in February 2009.


Geophysics teaching progress 2009

The geophysics curriculum was updated throughout the year in readiness for the new curriculum, which will take effect in 2010. A new unit dealing with petroleum geophysics and geology will be introduced in 2011.

Extended use of seismic, gravity, GPS (including the ASHTECH Z-Xtreme Differential GPS system) and resistivity (DUALEM Frequency Domain EM System) electrical (TerraTEM em equipment) 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, Discover3D, Maxwell, Quickmag and Reflexw have been maintained, while teaching packages such as SurfSeis and SeisImagerSW were purchased to upgrade the software suite.

• A set of low frequency geophones (4.5Hz) were purchased for environmental studies.




GEMOC honours

The following honours projects in GEMOC were completed 2009:

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.

Andrew Frost: Petrogenesis, modelling and characterisation of layered mafic intrusion White Hill and Peculiar Knob North within the Mount Woods Inlier, South AustraliaHons1

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

Sophie Ratcliff: Breccias of the Wasp Head Formation, southern Sydney Basin

Elyse Schinella: Convergence within the Wedges Region, Europa

James Watton: Petrogenesis and geochemical characterisation of the Breaksea Orthogenesis, Fiordland, New Zealand


Nathan Daczko and James Watton conducting field work in the Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. James examined the Breaksea Orthogneiss unit and received first class honours.


The following honours projects are relevant to GEMOC in 2010:


Mid year submission


Andrew Buchel: Geophysical delineation of impact structures: an investigation of impact origin of the Borealis Basin, Mars

Eileen Dunkley: Geochemical evolution of the Median Batholith magmatic arc, Fiordland, New Zealand

Elizabeth Teague: The application of in-situ zircon and monazite geochronology to understanding the tectonic evolution of the Wongwibinda Complex, Southern New England Fold Belt

End of year submission


Trent Bowman: Salinity of groundwater in various vineyards in the Hunter region, NSW

Glen Cathers: The Devils Playground Volcanics: A Late Archaean calc-alkaline complex?

Chris Firth: Magma geochemistry and petrogenesis of Ambrym and Yasur Volcanoes, Vanuatu Arc

Tom Harris: Gravity modelling of the Bundarra Plutonic Suite, New England Batholith, NSW: Implications for pluton geometry during transtensional tectonics

Troy Hewitt: 3-D structure and lithosperic evolution of the Myall Syncline, NSW: Application of magnetic and gravity modelling

Tim Jones: The D" layer


Matthew Robertson: Characterisation of the source for Solander Island volcanics using in-situ REE, U-Pb and Hf-isotope analysis of zircon

Max Milz: Thermo-tectonic history of the Carnarvon Basin

Susie Schartz: Controls on the chemistry and petrography of IOCG mineralisation in the Eastern Gawler Craton, SA



(R-L) Dick Flood, Shelley Allchurch, Kelsie Dadd, Sue O'Reilly and Felix Genske. Shelly and Felix graduated with Honours in April, 2009 after submitting their theses in 2008.





GEMOC postgraduate



See advertisement for GEMOC postgraduate opportunities, Appendix 6



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)Jaques

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

Jacques Batumike (PhD): Origin of kimberlites from the Kundelungu region: Lithospheric mapping, diamond potential and crustal evolution in southern Democratic Republic of the Congo; (graduated 2009)


Dick Flood and Jacques Batumike after Jaques graduation ceremony in May 2009.


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)

Heather Cunningham (PhD): Using short-lived U-series isotopes to constrain the time scales of magmatic processes in an active caldera, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; iMURS (graduated 2009)

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)

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)


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

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, NWAustralia and South Australia (commenced part time 2003)

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)

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

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) (see Research Highlights)

Fiona Foley (PhD): Generation of continental crust during subduction initiation; iMQRES (commenced 2009)

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)


PhD student Felix Genske and Visiting Fellow Christoph Beier in the field on the island of Flores, Azores, Portugal.



Felix Genske (PhD): Assessing the heterogeneous source of the Azores mantle plume; iMQRES (commenced 2009)

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) (see Research Highlights)

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

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

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

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)

Melissa Murphy (PhD): A novel U-series isotopic approach for investigation of the Beverley U mine, South Australia; APA (commenced 2009)

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

Matt Pankhurst (PhD): Geodynamic significance of shoshonitic magmatism within the Andean Altiplano; MQRES (commenced 2009)

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

Suresh Puthiyaveetil Othayoth (PhD): Timescales of soil evolution and sediment transport in a small catchment in SE Australia (commenced 2009)  

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

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)


Faculty of Science Research Day - GEMOC Postgraduate posters. (From top, clockwise; Felix Genske, Jinxiang Huang, Lijuan Wang, Daniel Howell, Matt Pankhurst, Jinxiang Wang, Cara Danis, Marek Locmelis, Suresh Puthiyaveetil Othayoth, Lijuan Wang)


commencing 2010

Ekaterina Rubanova (PhD): Fluid processes in the deep mantle: Geochemical studies of diamonds and related minerals

Edward Saunders (PhD): Gold distribution and mobility within the mantle and its significance to mineralised provinces

Elyse Schinella (PhD): Processes shaping the Venusian landscape

Rajat Taneja (PhD): Origin of intraplate volcanism in the east Indian Ocean

Yao Yu (PhD): The evolution and tectonic dynamics of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle, SE China






Some of GEMOC's 2009 postgraduate students. Above: Cara Donnelly, Alan Kobussen, Matt Pankhurst and Yoann Gréau Middle: Marek Locmelis and John Caulfield. Below: Jinxiang Huang, Fiona Foley and Melissa Murphy

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