Thursday, October 30, 2014

PhD research in metamorphic petrology and tectonics, southeastern Yukon Territory, Canada

PhD research in metamorphic petrology and tectonics, southeastern Yukon Territory, Canada

Supervisor and institution: Dave Pattison, University of Calgary (
Collaborating partner: David Moynihan, Yukon Geological Survey (

Start dates: Summer 2015 (field work), September 2015 (academic term)

Project: Applications are invited for a PhD study focussing on the metamorphic and tectonic history of the upper Hyland River area of southeastern Yukon. The aim of the study is to understand the extent, origin and significance of a large region of amphibolite-facies, low-pressure metamorphism centred on the Logan and Mt. Billings batholiths. Questions to be addressed include: the nature and extent of amphibolite-facies metamorphism; the nature of deformation associated with amphibolite-facies metamorphism; the relative and absolute timing of metamorphism, plutonism and deformation; and the structural relationships between amphibolite-facies regions and adjacent low-grade domains. Metamorphic petrology will be combined with structural analysis and modern geochronological techniques to provide a tectonic synthesis of the area and elucidate its significance for the development of the northern Cordilleran orogen. The project will have a large field component, which will be carried out in collaboration with the Yukon Geological Survey. In addition to documenting and interpreting regional geology, it is anticipated that the student will use the information obtained to address process-oriented questions in metamorphic petrology.

Activities: 1:50,000-scale bedrock mapping, isograd mapping, metamorphic petrography and petrology, phase equilibrium modelling, structural and microstructural analysis, U-Pb and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology.

Expectations: In addition to producing a thesis, the student will be expected to present their work orally/in poster form at relevant workshops and meetings during their program, contribute to annual reports for the Yukon Geological Survey, and have published or submitted approximately three peer-reviewed papers upon graduation. The student may also be asked to contribute to applications for external research and travel support. The student will be expected to work as a teaching assistant in support of University of Calgary undergraduate classes and field schools.

Support: Teaching assistantship during academic year, YGS summer salary, research and travel expenses.

Requirements:  MSc or strong BSc. Background in petrography, metamorphic petrology and structural geology.Applicants should have an interest in field geology and previous bedrock mapping experience. They should be physically fit as well as being comfortable traversing rugged terrain and camping in remote locations (2-person fly-camps) for extended periods of time. Some GIS experience would be beneficial.  Above all, self-motivation, a real interest in petrology and geology, and a desire to pose questions and solve problems independently. Candidates must be eligible to work in Canada by March, 2015, have a valid driver's licence, and be eligible to obtain a firearms possession and acquisition licence (PAL).

Application materials: CV; summary of academic record (transcript); statement of interest (including qualifications, motivation); names and contact information for three references.

Deadline to apply: January 19, 2015
Contact details and link to web site for information about Pattison’s research group:
Dr. David Pattison
Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA T2N 1N4