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Our people

Ko Tātou

Head of Department

Andrew Gorman smAssociate Professor Andrew R Gorman

BSc(Calgary) PhD(Br Col)

  • Geophysics
  • Crustal controlled-source seismology
  • Marine seismology
  • Gas hydrates
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Paulette Milnes smPaulette Milnes

BA(Hons)(Otago) MA(Victoria)
Client Services Administrator (Shared Services)

  • Administration
  • Enquiries

Tel +64 3 479 7519

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Teaching staff

Marco Brenna smDr Marco Brenna

BSc(W Aust) PhD(Massey)

  • Igneous petrology and geochemistry
  • Volcanology
  • Magma ascent dynamics
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Sophie Briggs thumbDr Sophie Briggs

BSc(Hons)(Otago) PhD(UCSB)

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

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

  • Economic geology
  • Orogenic gold deposits
  • Structure and fluid flow in metamorphic belts
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Candace Martin smDr Candace E Martin

BS(N Carolina) MPhil PhD(Yale)

  • Environmental geology
  • Biogeochemical cycles
  • Radiogenic isotope and trace element geochemistry
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Chris Moy smAssociate Professor Christopher Moy

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

  • Paleoclimatology
  • Sedimentology
  • Geochemistry
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Christian Ohneiser smDr Christian Ohneiser

MSc PhD(Otago)

  • Paleomagnetism
  • Paleoclimate/ocean reconstructions
  • Antarctic climate evolution
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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
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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

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Marcus Richards 2021 imageMarcus Richards

Teaching Fellow / Paleontology Lab Technician

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

Tel +64 3 479 7506

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Christina Riesselman smDr Christina Riesselman

BA (Nebraska-Lincoln) PhD (Stanford)

  • Cenozoic paleoceanography and paleoclimate
  • Antarctic climate evolution
  • Micropaleontology (diatoms)
  • Geochemical proxies of paleoenvironmental change
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James Scott smAssociate Professor 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
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Steve Smith smDr Steven A F Smith

MSci PhD(Durh)

  • Structure and mechanical properties of fault zones
  • Fault rock microstructure
  • Deformation experiments
  • Structural Geology
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Claudine Stirling image smallProfessor Claudine Stirling

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

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

Tel +64 3 479 7932

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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
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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
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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

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Marshall Palmer imageMarshall Palmer

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


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Ewan Fordyce smProfessor R Ewan Fordyce


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

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Gemma Kerr thumbnailDr Gemma Kerr

BSc(Hons)(St Andrews) PhD(Otago)
Geochemistry/X-ray Lab Technician

  • Geochemical processes in human impacted environments
  • Environmental / low temperature geochemistry and mineralogy
  • Alluvial gold deposits

Google Scholar Gemma Kerr
Tel +64 3 479 7523

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Marianne NegriniDr Marianne Negrini

MSc(Zurich) PhD(Tromsø)
Electron Beam Data Technician

Tel (SEM lab) +64 3 471 6097
Tel (Office) +64 3 479 7507

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Malcolm Reid image smallDr Malcolm Reid

Scientific Officer, Centre for Trace Element Analysis


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Cathy RufautDr Cathy G Rufaut

Dip. Wildlife Management(Otago) MSc(Victoria) PhD(Otago)

  • Geo-ecology, botany, zoology
  • Mine environmental issues
  • Land rehabilitation
  • Project management and outreach

Tel +64 3 479 7579
Mob +64 27 491 9293

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Postdoctoral Fellows

Amber Coste image 2021Dr Amber Coste

MSci (Southampton)

  • Cetacean palaeobiology
  • Anatomy and functional morphology
  • Cetacean systematics and phylogeny

Google Scholar Amber Coste

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Matt Druce image smallDr Matthew Druce


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


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Sheng_Fan image 2021Dr Sheng Fan


  • Ice microstructure and mechanics
  • Ice deformation (creep) experiments
  • Cryogenic electron backscatter diffraction (cryo-EBSD) and fabric analyzer
  • Cryo-seismology

Google Scholar Sheng Fan
ResearchGate: Sheng Fan

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Sophie Gangl image smallDr Sophie K Gangl

MSc(BOKU, Vienna) PhD(Otago)

  • Heavy isotope geochemistry
  • Trace element geochemistry
  • Palaeoclimatology


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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
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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
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Daphne LeeHonorary Associate Professor Daphne E Lee

BSc PhD(Otago)

  • Cenozoic paleobotany and paleoclimate
  • Invertebrate paleontology (brachiopods)
  • Cenozoic stratigraphy
  • Earth science education
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Felix MarxHonorary Senior Lecturer Felix G Marx

MSci(Bristol) PhD(Otago)

  • Paleontology
  • Marine mammal biology and evolution
  • Baleen whales

Google Scholar Felix G. Marx

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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

Google Scholar Nick Mortimer

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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
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Virginia ToyHonorary 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
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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


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

Petrology Technician

  • thin sectioning and polishing of rock samples
  • equipment maintenance

Tel +64 3 479 7502

Stephen Read smDr Stephen Read

BSc(Hons) DipGrad PhD(Otago)
Geological Mapping Technician

  • mapping equipment and software
  • imagery equipment and software
  • illustration software
  • 3D visualization, modelling and analysis

Sophie White smSophie White

Paleontology Lab Technician

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


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Shared Services staff

Sharmaine Elley imageSharmaine Elley

Finance Associate – Shared Services

Room 1n19 (Thursday and Friday)

Mel Black 2021 imageMel Black

Lead Client Services Administrator – Shared Services

  • Geology, Dodd Walls Centre, Food Science, Human Nutrition, School of Physical Education Sport and Exercise Sciences

Email or
Mob +64 21 279 0429

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