Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Research Opportunities

Andrew Bush

I would be very interested to supervise graduate students in the following areas:

  • unravelling the dynamical connections linking ENSO and the south Asian monsoon
  • the role of baroclinic instability of the East African jet in spawning hurricanes
  • the history of ENSO in the Quaternary
  • the dynamical history of the tropical Pacific thermocline
  • initiation and maintenance of glaciation

Octavian Catuneanu

I supervise students along the following themes of research:

  • Process sedimentology: paleo-environmental reconstructions in outcrop and subsurface
  • Sequence stratigraphy: applications for petroleum, coal and mineral resources exploration
  • Basin analysis: interplay of tectonism, sea-level change, climate, and sediment supply
  • Magnetostratigraphy: applications for dating and regional correlation

Tom Chacko

Current Research Projects (in collaboration with graduate students & colleagues)

  • Secular variations in the metamorphic temperatures of collisional orogenic belts
  • Development of standards for chemical Th-U-Pb dating of monazite by electron microprobe
  • Petrological, geochemical and geochronological studies in the Cardamom Hills charnockite massif, southern Indian granulite terrane
  • Experimental determination of hydrogen diffusion rates in hydrous minerals
  • Fluid-absent melting of hydrated basalts, basaltic komatiite, and komatiite

Robert Creaser

  • Geochronology of fluid flow in sedimentary basins using Re-Os isotopes.
  • Re-Os geochronology of ore-forming systems using sulfide minerals.
  • Re-Os systematics of oils, oil generation and migration.

Duane Froese

  • Tephrochronology of interior Yukon and Alaska
  • Quaternary Stratigraphy and paleoclimates
  • Cryostratigraphy and permafrost studies

Theresa Garvin

Students are required for a research programme on aging in suburban environments.
 Students with the following qualifications are encouraged to contact Dr. Garvin directly about research opportunities:

  • Excellent academic qualifications (3.4 cumulative GPA or higher)
  • Undergraduate degree(s) in social or health sciences
  • Ability to work independently
  • Skills in quantitative and/or qualitative social data analysis
  • Interest in working in large, team-based research environments.

Murray Gingras

  • Modern sedimentological research on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America

Sarah Gleeson

I am interested in attracting graduate students in the following areas

  • The formation of hydrothermal ore deposits
  • The formation of Ni laterite deposits
  • Halogens and chlorine isotopes in fluid inclusions and minerals

Larry Heaman

  • Relationship between global mafic magmatism, core evolution,
  • supercontinent breakup and climate change
  • Nature of Earth's earliest crust
  • Precambrian tectonics
  • Architecture of Earth's mantle through time

Jeffrey Kavanaugh

I am currently looking for graduate students for the following projects:

  • Investigating basal processes and ice dynamics of cirque glaciers

Kurt Konhauser

MSc or PhD projects are available that combine lab-based experiments focusing on the partitioning of trace metals to iron oxides, silicates and carbonates with the chemical analyses of Precambrian banded iron formations, cherts and carbonates, respectively, in order to ascertain the composition of the ancient oceans and marine biosphere


Long Li

PhD and MSc student positions are currently available to work on the following projects:

  • Characterization of nitrogen isotope fractionations in a variety of geological processes.
  • Constraints of global geological nitrogen cycling.
  • Study of nitrogen and sulfur cycling in the terrestrial deep biosphere.

Tara McGee

I am seeking motivated PhD/MA students to join my research team in September 2013 to work on wildfire evacuation social science research.  In particular, I am looking for students with a strong interest in conducting their research with First Nations communities.


Karlis Muehlenbachs

  • Muehlenbachs is seeking graduate students to participate in an ongoing,
  • industry funded initiative to understand the origin of shallow natural gas
  • in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.
  • Muehlenbachs is seeking a graduate student to determine rates of oxygen
  • diffusion in minerals and melts at high temperature and pressure
  • Muehlenbachs is seeking a graduate student who would elucidate aspects of
  • microbiological attack on volcanic glass

Paul Myers

I am seeking graduate students who would be interested in studying and working in one of the below areas

  • 1) The role of Freshwater in the High-Latitude Oceans
  • 2) Regional Ocean Modelling (Labrador Sea and Subpolar North Atlantic)
  • 3) Links Between the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans
  • 4) Upper Ocean Variability in the Gulf of Alaska
  • 5) Finite Element Methods in Oceanography
  • 6) Paleoceanography
  • 7) Mediterranean Oceanography

Graham Pearson

I am interested in attracting graduate students and post-doctoral researchers to work in the following areas:

  • Constraining the thermal history of cratonic lithosphere through conventional and new approaches to thermobarometry and thermal modelling.
  • Petrology and geochronology of the lithospheric mantle beneath Arctic Canada.
  • The origin of Slave craton diamonds.
  • Use of novel laser-sampling methods to trace the origin of diamonds.
  • Statistical methods for differentiating diamond populations.
  • Laser ablation analytical methods

Benoit Rivard

I am interested in attracting graduate students to work in the following areas:

  • Analysis of visible, swir and thermal hyperspectral data of rock cores towards rock type classification, sulfide abundance, and mineral
    detection and abundance estimation.
  • Examining quantitative relationships between rock geochemistry and spectral metrics
  • Spectral characterization of oil sands
  • Analysis of airborne and spaceborne hyperspectral imagery for geological mapping in northern latitudes
  • Develop spectral analysis to capture textural properties of rock alteration

Martin Sharp

The primary research focus in Martin Sharp's group is quantification and explanation of glacier changes in the Arctic and assessment of their implications for global sea level. Currently there are opportunities for student projects dealing with:

  • large ensemble modeling of the surface mass balance of Arctic ice caps
  • links between synoptic scale climate variability and the mass balance of Arctic ice caps
  • the effect of variable firn densification rates on the interpretation of altimetric measurements of ice cap elevation change
  • Surface melt and snow facies variability on Arctic ice caps from EnviSat ASAR wide swath mode data
  • Downscaling precipitation fields from climate reanalyses to Arctic ice caps using statistical and dynamical approaches
  • Iceberg calving fluxes from Baffin Island tidewater glaciers
  • Iceberg calving processes using high resolution satellite imagery

Applications are encouraged from students with backgrounds in Glaciology, Geomatics, Remote Sensing, Atmospheric Sciences, Physical Geography, and Geophysics. Most projects involve fieldwork in the Arctic as well as remote sensing and/or numerical modeling.


Manish Shirgaokar

I am interested in supervising students who want to understand urban transportation planning and policy. Specifically, for my research projects, I am looking for students who have qualitative and/or quantitative skills. In terms of qualitative skills, motivated and detail-oriented students who have taken research methods classes covering interviewing and focus groups would add value. In terms of quantitative skills, I am looking for students who have taken statistics courses and are comfortable with regression analysis techniques covering OLS, censored/truncated, and logit-probit, plus competence in statistics software R. Current projects:

  • Older adults (65+) and travel options
  • Social equity and transit (focusing on minority groups and low-income households)
  • Sustainable consumption in millennials (born 1980-2000) and seniors (65+) populations: How stable are travel preferences?

Thomas Stachel

PhD and MSc projects are currently available in the following fields

  • Systematic studies on diamonds and their mineral inclusions from mines in Canada and worldwide
  • The evolution of cratonic roots (the origin of cratonic peridotites, eclogites, and pyroxenites).
  • The mineralogy and geochemistry of the deep mantle (asthenosphere, transition zone and lower mantle)

Bruce Sutherland

My research examines the motion of the atmosphere and ocean, particularly as they are influenced by density changes with height as occurs at an atmospheric inversion or an oceanic thermocline.  The research involves laboratory experiments, numerical modelling and/or theory.  Presently I am seeking MSc and PhD students interested in projects involving:

  • the propagation and breaking of large amplitude atmospheric and oceanic waves
  • the dispersion of pollutants arising from flares and plumes
  • the transport of sediments by river plumes and the waves they generate

Applications are encouraged from students with a background in environmental science preferably with experience in introductory physics and in applied mathematics at a level including introductory partial differential equations.


John Wilson

  • Application of the backwards Lagrangian stochastic method ("bLS") to infer gas emission to the atmosphere from agriculture sources
  • Modelling the Martian atmospheric boundary layer
  • Field project on interaction of a dust plumes with windbreaks