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If it involves geochemistry (and all important Earth processes do), then we're interested. Geochemistry allows us to go beyond what a geologic feature looks like and answer the “origins” questions: what is it made of, where did it come from, when did it form, how long did it take, and why is it here?

We use major and trace elements, stable and radiogenic isotopes, experiments and theory. We emphasize making measurements in laboratories at Otago because it allows us to learn from our mistakes and innovate.

The work is challenging, but it's also a lot of fun. To be successful, you need to be a keen observer with a creative imagination (geologist: tick) and an appreciation of chemistry, maths and physics. If this describes you (or someone you'd like to become), then please consider doing postgraduate research with us.

Which degree program is best for you?

PGDipSci MSc BScHons MAppSc
Entry requirement BSc BSc with B average in 300-level BSc with B+ average in 300-level and GEOL 302/321 BSc or equivalent work experience
Research paper GEOL480 GEOL495 GEOL 490 APPS597
Points 40* 40* 60 40
GEOL401 or equivalent (20 points) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional 400-level papers (points) 60 60 40 120
Total points 120 120 120 180
Where does it lead? If B+ in research paper, then entry ti 1 year research MSc If B+ in GEOL 490, then entry to 1 year research MSc or PhD
If below B+ in research paper, then PGDipSci
* Option of 60 point research project and 4 x 10 point papers.

Who we are

Candace Martin

Aqueous and environmental geochemistry
BS (North Carolina), PhD (Yale), postdoctoral research (Carnegie Institution of Science, Caltech, Australian National University)

Mike Palin

Hydrothermal, igneous and metamorphic geochemistry
BA (California State, Fullerton), MS (New Mexico Tech), PhD (Yale), postdoctoral research (Caltech, Australian National University)

Postgraduate research opportunities in Geochemistry

Selected publications (student authors in bold)

Singh, RS, Martin, CE, Barr, D, and Rosengren, RJ. (2019) Immobilised apple peel bead biosorbent for the simultaneous removal of heavy metals from cocktail solution. Cogent Environmental Science, 5:1.
DOI: 10.1080/23311843.2019.1673116

Cooper, AF, and Palin, JM. (2018) Two-sided accretion and polyphase metamorphism in the Haast Schist belt, New Zealand: Constraints from detrital zircon geochronology. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 130 (9-10): 1501-1518.
DOI: 10.1130/b31826.1

Pettinger, V, Martin, CE, and Riesselman, CR. (2018) Sources and downstream variation of surface water chemistry in the dammed Waitaki catchment, South Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 61(2): 207-218,
DOI: 10.1080/00288306.2018.1465985

Scott, JM, Hodgkinson, A, Palin, JM, Waight, TE, Van der Meer, QHA, and Cooper, AF. (2014) Ancient melt depletion overprinted by young carbonatitic metasomatism in the New Zealand lithospheric mantle. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 167: 963-980.
DOI: 10.1007/s00410-014-0963-0

Kautz, CQ, and Martin, CE. (2007) Chemical and physical weathering in New Zealand's Southern Alps monitored by bedload sediment major element composition. Applied Geochemistry, 22: 1715-1735.
DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2007.03.031

Ballard, JR, Palin, JM, and Campbell, IH. (2002) Relative oxidation states of magmas inferred from Ce(IV)/Ce(III) in zircon: application to porphyry copper deposits of northern Chile. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 144 : 347-364.
DOI: 10.1007/s00410-002-0402-5

Martin, CE, Peucker-Ehrenbrink, B, Brunskill, GJ. and Szymczak, R. (2000) Sources and sinks of unradiogenic osmium runoff from Papua New Guinea. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 183: 261-274.
DOI: 10.1016/S0012-821X(00)00281-8

Palin, J,M, and Xu, Y. (2000) Gilt by Association? Origins of Pyritic Gold Ores in the Victory Mesothermal Gold Deposit, Western Australia. Economic Geology ; 95 (8): 1627–1634.

Martin, CE, and McCulloch, MT. (1999) Nd-Sr isotopic and trace element geochemistry of river sediments and soils in a fertilized catchment, New South Wales, Australia. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 63, 287-305.
DOI: 10.1016/S0016-7037(98)00308-1

Palin, JM, Epstein, S, and Stolper, EM. (1996) Oxygen isotope partitioning between rhyolitic glass/melt and CO2: An experimental study at 550-950°C and 1 bar. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 60: 1963-1973.
DOI: 10.1016/0016-7037(96)00072-5

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