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Head of Department

Andrew Gorman smAssociate Professor  Andrew R Gorman

BSc(Calgary) PhD(Br Col)

  • Geophysics
  • Crustal controlled-source seismology
  • Marine seismology
  • Gas hydrates

Louise Schumacher 2022 thumb 1xLouise Schumacher

(NZDipBus; DipCeramicArts; GradDipTchg)

Client Services Administrator (Shared Services)

  • Administration
  • Enquiries

Tel  +64 3 479 7519

Teaching staff

Marco Brenna smDr Marco Brenna

BSc(W Aust) PhD(Massey)

  • Igneous petrology and geochemistry
  • Volcanology
  • Magma ascent dynamics

Sophie Briggs thumbDr Sophie Briggs

BSc(Hons)(Otago) PhD(UCSB)

  • 100- and 200-level teaching
  • Petrology (igneous and metamorphic)
  • Geochemistry
  • Geochronology
  • Tectonics

Doug MacKenzie 2022 thumb 1xDr Doug MacKenzie

BSc(Toronto) MSc PhD(Otago) MAusIMM CP(GEO)

  • Economic geology
  • Orogenic gold deposits
  • Structure and fluid flow in metamorphic belts

Candace Martin smDr Candace E Martin

BS(N Carolina) MPhil PhD(Yale)

  • Environmental geology
  • Biogeochemical cycles
  • Radiogenic isotope and trace element geochemistry

Chris Moy imageAssociate Professor Christopher Moy

BSc(Union College, Schenectady) MSc(Syracuse) PhD(Stanford)

  • Paleoclimatology
  • Sedimentology
  • Geochemistry

Christian Ohneiser smDr Christian Ohneiser

MSc PhD(Otago)

  • Paleomagnetism
  • Paleoclimate/ocean reconstructions
  • Antarctic climate evolution

Mike Palin smDr J. Michael Palin

BA(Calif State Fullerton) MS(New Mexico Tech) PhD(Yale)

  • Mineralogy and petrology
  • Geochronology and isotope geology
  • Mineral deposits

Dave Prior smProfessor David J Prior

BSc(Wales) PhD(Leeds)

  • Grain Boundary Sliding (GBS) and Earth Rheology
  • The Alpine Fault Zone, South Island, New Zealand
  • Ice microstructure and mechanics

Christina Riesselman smDr Christina Riesselman

BA (Nebraska-Lincoln) PhD (Stanford)

  • Cenozoic paleoceanography and paleoclimate
  • Antarctic climate evolution
  • Micropaleontology (diatoms)
  • Geochemical proxies of paleoenvironmental change

James Scott smProfessor James Scott


  • Meteorites, solar nebula and planetary geology
  • Earth's mantle composition, history, melting
  • Metamorphism, mineralisation and fluid flow
  • Subduction zones and element redistribution
  • Environmental geochemistry
  • Zealandia's tectonics

Claudine Stirling image smallProfessor Claudine Stirling

PhD(ANU), BSc(Hons)(Well)

  • Isotope Geochemistry
  • Biogeochemical cycles of trace metals
  • Paleoceanography and paleoclimatology
  • Environmental Geochemistry

Mark Stirling 2019 thumbProfessor Mark W Stirling

BSc MSc(Otago) PhD(Nevada)
Chair of Earthquake Science

  • Multidisciplinary seismic hazard modelling
  • Seismotectonics
  • Earthquake statistics
  • Tectonic geomorphology

James White smProfessor James D L White

BA BSc(TCU) MSc(Missouri) PhD(UCSB)

  • Subaqueous and subglacial eruptions
  • Explosive basaltic eruptions
  • Shallow intrusions
  • Volcaniclastic sedimentology

Research staff

Catherine BeltranDr Catherine Beltran

MSc PhD(UPMC Sorbonne Universite)Organic Geochemistry Research Facility

  • Paleoceanography and paleoclimates
  • Sedimentology
  • Organic geochemistry

Google Scholar Catherine Beltran

Rebecca McLeod 2022 imageDr Rebecca McLeod

PhD(Otago)Senior Research Fellow


Marshall Palmer 2021 imageDr Marshall Palmer

BSc(Hons) PhD(Otago)Assistant Research Fellow
Geochemical assessment of element mobility between ultramafic and quartzofeldspathic rocks along the Livingstone Fault

  • Scheelite isotope and trace element geochemistry
  • Mineral deposits
  • metamorphic petrology


Malcolm Reid image smallDr Malcolm Reid

Scientific Officer, Centre for Trace Element Analysis

Jeffrey Robinson imageDr Jeffrey Robinson

PhD (Otago)

Assistant Research Fellow

  • Paleontology
  • Archivist of Geology Museum Fossil Collections


Postdoctoral Fellows

Matt Druce image smallDr Matthew Druce


  • Isotope geochemistry
  • Paleoceanography and paleoclimatology
  • Trace metal biogeochemical cycles


Jack Williams image 2021Dr Jack Williams


  • Seismotectonics
  • Seismic hazard modelling
  • Structural geology

Google Scholar Jack N Williams

Dr Jie WuJie Wu image


  • Igneous petrology
  • Geochemistry

Google Scholar Jie Wu

Emeritus Professors and honorary staff

Alan Cooper smEmeritus Professor Alan F Cooper

BSc(Sheff) PhD(Otago)

  • Metamorphic mineralogy and petrology of the Haast Schists
  • Petrogenesis of carbonatites and the NZ lamprophyre dyke swarms
  • Alpine Fault structure and activity
  • Antarctica

Dave Craw smEmeritus Professor Dave Craw

BSc PhD(Otago) MSc(Calgary) FRSNZ

  • Economic geology
  • Structure and mineralization in the Haast Schists
  • Fluid flow in orogenic belts

Ewan Fordyce smEmeritus Professor R Ewan Fordyce


  • Vertebrate paleobiology
  • Systematics and phylogeny of Cetacea (whales and dolphins)
  • Cretaceous-Cenozoic paleontology and stratigraphy
  • Paleoceanography and paleoclimates

Daphne LeeHonorary Associate Professor Daphne E Lee

BSc PhD(Otago)

  • Cenozoic paleobotany and paleoclimate
  • Invertebrate paleontology (brachiopods)
  • Cenozoic stratigraphy
  • Earth science education

Felix MarxHonorary Senior Lecturer Felix G Marx

MSci(Bristol) PhD(Otago)

  • Paleontology
  • Marine mammal biology and evolution
  • Baleen whales

Google Scholar Felix G. Marx

Nick MortimerHonorary Research Professor Nick Mortimer

BSc, ARSM(Imperial College) PhD(Stanford) FRSNZ
Principal Scientist, GNS Science, Dunedin

  • Igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary petrology
  • Tectonics and stratigraphy
  • Regional geology of Zealandia and Gondwana
  • Scientific writing, graphics and editing

Rick Sibson smProfessor Emeritus       Richard H Sibson


  • Structural analysis of the 2010–2012 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence
  • Seismotectonics of active compressional inversion in  NE Honshu and the physical conditions of seismogenesis along subduction  megathrusts
  • Seismogenesis in the Buller region of active compressional inversion
  • Earthquake rupturing in fluid-overpressured crust

Virginia Toy 2021 imageHonorary Associate Professor Virginia G Toy

BSc MSc(Auck) MPhil(ANU) PhD (Otago)

  • Structure of shear zones
  • Microstructure and texture analysis
  • Coseismic fault rocks
  • SW Pacific tectonics

Gary Wilson smHonorary Professor Gary S Wilson

BSc BMus PhD(Victoria)
General Manager Strategy, GNS Science

  • Palaeomagnetism
  • Integrated chronostratigraphy
  • Palaeoceanography
  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Stratigraphy, sedimentology and palaeoenvironments'

Professional staff

David Barr image smallDavid Barr

Centre for Trace Element Analysis – Instrument Support Technician


Rachael Baxter imageRachael Baxter

BA, MSc (Otago), MPhil (Cambridge)

Research Assistant / Laboratory Supervisor

  • Volcanology
  • Magma storage system modelling
  • Igneous petrology


Hamish Bowman smHamish Bowman

Computing and Numerical Simulation Technician

  • High performance computing support
  • Numerical modelling and programming
  • Electronics and scientific instrumentation design and fabrication

Bob Dagg imageBob Dagg

BSc MSc(Otago)
Otago Analytical Core Repository

  • iTrax
  • Geotek
  • Coring equipment
  • Geophysical equipment


Ray MarxRay Marx

BSc MSc(Otago)Safety Officer / Lab Manager / Field Coordinator

  • Department Health and Safety Officer
  • Department Lab Manager
  • Coordinating field trips

Tel +64 3   479 5695

Fay Nelson sm

Dr Faye Nelson

BSC MSc(Lethbridge) PhD(Otago)
Otago Paleomagnetic Research Facility – Lab Supervisor

  • Paleomagnetic methods
  • Quaternary climate change

Dianne NyhofDianne Nyhof

BSc PGDipSci(Otago)Curator / Teaching Support / Outreach

  • Curating department collections
  • Teaching support for undergraduate classes
  • Outreach coordinator

Tel +64 3 479 7513

Brent Pooley smBrent Pooley

Physical Geology Laboratories Manager

  • thin sectioning and polishing of rock samples
  • equipment maintenance

Tel +64 3 479 7502

Marcus Richards 2021 imageMarcus Richards

Paleontology Curator

  • Paleontology and Biostratigraphy
  • Fossil Penguin Systematics and Paleobiology
  • Fossil Preparation
  • Curation and conservation of collections
  • Geology Museum

Tel +64 3 479 7506

Sophie White smSophie White

Paleontology Lab Manager and Paleontology Collections Manager

  • Fossil Preparation
  • Curation and conservation of collections
  • Geology Museum


Shared Services staff

Sharmaine Elley imageSharmaine Elley

Finance Associate – Shared Services

Room 1n19 (Thursday and Friday)

Rosie Collier imageRosie Collier

Lead Administrator– Shared Services

  • Marine Science, Surveying, Geology

Mob +64 21 279 2079
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9:30am–4:30pm

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