New Zealand is an outstanding place to study igneous and metamorphic petrological processes. This is because an extremely wide array of different rock-types and crustal levels are exposed as a result of New Zealand having been built up on the Paleozoic and Mesozoic paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana, rifted away in the Cretaceous, and then sheared during Miocene imposition of the Australia-Pacific plate boundary (Alpine Fault).
To understand how the crust and mantle have behaved, we examine rocks from a field through to a microscopic scale. Fieldwork underpins our research – this enables us to visit some of the most beautiful localities in the world (mainly New Zealand, of course!). The analytical side of research is supported by an electron microprobe, a XRF, and a LA-ICP-MS. A clean lab has just been set up.
Follow the links below for some examples of our research projects:
- Petrology of the Continental Crust
- Petrology of the Mantle
- Petrology at the Field Scale
- Petrology at the Micro Scale
Please refer to our publications for more insights into our research.
STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE
One great aspect of New Zealand geology is that there are plenty of opportunities to undertake interesting research. We are always looking for students to come and study at Otago. For general information on postgraduate studies, please see the Geology Department application information or University of Otago Postgraduate Study webpages. Please contact Michael Palin or James Scott if you interested in metamorphic or igneous projects. Australian, French and German MSc students are eligible for domestic fees and many domestic scholarships, although citizens/residents of most other countries must pay foreign fees. As of 2006 there are no longer any foreign fees for PhD study in New Zealand.