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

  • All of our units ran successfully in 2010 with student numbers up again from 2009. Our retention of students from first year also increased. GEOS226 Introduction to Field Geology, which runs in December each year, attracted 60 students.

  • This year continued with implementation of the university-wide curriculum change with our first and second year units changing from 4 credit points to 3 credit points. We are also introducing two new units that will be ready for 2011: GEOS272 Geology of Australia - Global Perspectives that will investigate interdisciplinary perspectives on the origin and geological evolution of Australia and its plate margins; and GEOS309 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
  • EPS successfully ran a new GEOS307 field course based iTeachn Alice Springs together with the University of Sydney. With combined enrolments of over 60 students this year, the unit was run twice. It lasted one month with Nathan Daczko, Bruce Schaefer, Sandra Piazolo, Tracy Rushmer, and Ryan Portner leading field groups. The students enjoyed mapping two locations in the red centre at Ormiston Gorge and Aileron. The mapping skills required ramped up during the field campaign and culminatedin mapping very complex and difficult granulites at Mt Boothby (Aileron). Student feedback was excellent and the course will run again in 2011.




    Students on the field trip for GEOS206 Marine Depositional Environments.

    In line with the University's review of postgraduate units and programs, we are currently revising our Masters degree by coursework. This will be known as a Master of Science with a specialisation in Geoscience from 2013. Olary



The GEOS307 field work moved from Broken Hill/Olary to Alice Springs where they mapped two locations at Ormiston Gorge (pictured here) and Aileron.










Geophysics teaching progress 2010

Geophysics teaching progress 2010
The geophysics curriculum of the 300-level units was updated throughout the year in readiness for the new curriculum, which will take effect in 2011. A new unit dealing with petroleum geophysics and geology was developed and will be introduced in 2011.

Student numbers had increased from the previous year in both 200- and 300-level subjects.

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 upgraded.

• A set of small netbooks was purchased to enhance the teaching of linux-based software.




GEMOC honours

The following honours projects in GEMOC were completed 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

Will Abbott: Crater Mt, Papua New Guinea; A Diatreme Hosted Low Sulphidation Carbonate-Base Metal Gold Deposit

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

Glen Cathers: A combined geological and geochemical approach to determine the petrogenesis and geochronology of the Mount Hawker and Pluto packages, Gawler Craton, South Australia

Chris Firth: Understanding the magmatic history of Ambrym and Yasur Volcanoes, Vanuatu

Tom Harris: Gravity constraints on the subsurface geometry of the elongate S-Type Bundarra Plutonic Suite, Eastern Australia

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

Tim Jones: The Effects of Thermochemical Piles and the Post-Perovskite Phase Transition on Plume Dynamics

Jaime Lovell: Multichannel analysis of surface waves: Evaluating the effects of acquistion parameters in distinguishing shallow subsurface structure

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

Commenced Mid year

Katherine Farrow: Parallel isotopic studies of turbidite mud-sand pairs and application of the TerraneChron® method to a low-pressure high-temperature regional aureole: Mt Stafford, Central Australia

Nicholas Tefay: Petrographic characterisation and zircon geochronology of the Cobungra Granite low-P high-T regional aureole in the Omeo Metamorphic Complex, Lachlan Fold Belt

The following honours projects are relevant to GEMOC in 2011

Cam Adams: The interaction of the Thomson and Lachlan Fold Belts, NW NSW: Sedimentary basin analysis of the Eromanga and Cobar Basins with emphasis on geothermal prospects and economic mineralisation occurance at Ordovician basement features

Patt Carr: Geodynamic setting of the eastern Gawler Craton: an insight from the Proterozoic mafic components

Maricar Damayo: The influence of pre-existing fabric on the progression of reactions, mineral replacement and element mobility: Examples from the Olary Domain, South Australia

Amanda Pearse: The subcontinental lithospheric mantle of easternmost Zealandia: A mantle xenolith study of the Chatham islands

Allyson Tanner: An experimental study of primitive arc magmas in the Tonga-Kermadec Arc





GEMOC postgraduate


See advertisement for GEMOC postgraduate opportunities, Appendix 6

Gemoc postgraduate students had 18 papers published or accepted in high-profile international journals in 2010, including in Precambrian Research, Lithos and Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, and 18 presentations at international conferences. Particular highlights were:

JinxiangEkaterina and Friend
• Jinxiang Huang (pictured left) was awarded the prize for "Excellent Student Presentation" at the 2010 Annual Chinese National Symposium of Petrology and Geodynamics at Peking University in Beijing.






• Ekaterina Rubanova (pictured right) was awarded theRussian Academy of Science Young Scientist Medal in "Geology, Geophysics, Geochemistry and Mining Sciences."


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)

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)

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)

John Caulfield (PhD): Nature and timing of magma genesis at Tofua volcano, Tonga; iMURS (graduated 2010)

June Chevet (PhD):
Basaltic intrusives and mafic/ultramafic cumulates, Kerguelen Archipelago; iMURS (graduated 2010)

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)

Cara Donnelly (PhD): Kimberlites, related rocks and the subcontinental lithospheric mantle of the Kuruman Province, Kaapvaal Craton, South Africa; iMURS (Graduated 2010. Awarded Vice-Chancellor's commendation, see Research Highlights)

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)

Alan Kobussen (PhD): The composition, structure and evolution of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle in Southern Africa; iMURS (graduated 2010)

Véronique Le Roux (PhD): Melt-rock interactions and melt-assisted deformation in the Lherz peridotite: Implications for the structural, chemical and isotopic evolution of the lithospheric mantle; (graduated 2009)

Weiqiang Li (PhD): Copper isotope geochemistry of the Northparkes porphyry Cu-Au deposit; iMURS (graduated 2010)

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)

Ryan Portner (PhD): Sedimentary and volcaniclastic record of a mid-ocean spreading ridge: Macquarie Island, Southern Ocean; iMURS (graduated 2010)

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): An ice and crust mass balance study of the Law Dome ice cap, East Antarctica, using geophysical techniques; RAACE (commenced 2004)

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)

Steven Cooper (PhD): Diamonds and mantle-derived minerals, NW Australia 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)Steve

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


Steve Craven presenting his work at SGTSG 2010 Conference held in Port Macquarie in February 2010.

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

Eileen Dunkley (PhD): Hf isotopic behaviour in turbidites, migmatites and granites at Mount Stafford, Central Australia; MQRES (commenced 2010)

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)

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

Yoann Gréau (PhD): Siderophile and chalcophile elements in Roberts Victor Eclogites: Insights on the generation of mantle heterogeneity; iMURS and Co-tutelle with Montpellier University, France (commenced 2007, completed 2010)

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)

Marek Locmelis (PhD): Mechanisms of platinum-group element fractionation in ultramafic melts and implications for the exploration for magmatic nickel sulphide deposits; iMURS (commenced 2006, completed 2010) (see Research Highlights)

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

Daniel Miescher (MSc): Petrographic and geochemical characterisation of a layered garnetite-pyroxenite xenolith and of garnet in the Breaksea Orthogneiss, Fiordland New Zealand


Nathan Daczko, Daniel Miescher, and Prof Geoffrey Clarke (Univ. of Sydney) on field work in Fiordland, New Zealand for Daniel's MSc research project.

Luke Milan (PhD): Cordillera Zealandia, Fiordland, New Zealand: A Mesozoic arc flare-up on the palaeo-Pacific Gondwana margin; (commenced 2004, completed 2010)

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

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

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

Ekaterina Rubanova (PhD): Fluid processes in the deep mantle: Geochemical studies of diamonds and related minerals; IMQRES (commenced 2010)Cocos1

Edward Saunders (PhD):
Gold distribution and mobility within the mantle and its significance to mineralised provinces; APA (commenced 2010)

Elyse Schinella (PhD): Processes shaping the Venusian landscape; APA (commenced 2010)Cocos2

Rajat Taneja (PhD): Origin of intraplate volcanism in the eastIndian Ocean; IMQRES (commenced 2010)


Rajat Taneja in his beautiful research area, the Cocos Islands.

Lijuan Wang (PhD): Crustal evolution of the Yangtze Block using zircons in sediments; China Government Scholarship (commenced 2008, submitted 2010)

Yao Yu (PhD): The evolution and tectonic dynamics of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle, SE China; China Government Scholarship and co-tutelle with Nanjing University (commenced 2010)


commencing 2011

Clement Gaildry (PhD): Island arc processes as seen through Vanuatu volcanism and geochemistry; iMQRES

Chris Firth (PhD): Integrating the volcanological and magmatic record of a young Arc volcano: Yasur Vanuatu; APA

Kim Jessop (MSc): Petrology and Geochemistry of Buckland Province Flows, Dykes and Intrusions

Rosanna Murphy (PhD): Stabilising a craton: origin and emplacement of the 3.1 Ga Mpuluzi batholith (Swaziland/RSA); MQRES

Kathleen Murray (MSc): Zircon U-Pb-Hf trace elelment analysis from metapelites on the Mawson Coast, Antarctica

Pablo Lara (PhD): Late Noeproterozoic granitoid magmatism of the Southernmost section of the Don Feliciano Belt in Uruguay: Regional geology, geochemistry, geochronology and its significance for the geotectonic evolution of the region


Some of GEMOC's 2010 postgraduate students in front of the new Library: (top) Felix Genske, Steve Craven, Ed Saunders, Yoann Gréau, Marek Locmelis (bottom)Fiona Foley, Yao Yu and Jinxiang Huang.

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