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Recent News

January 17, 2020 - 3rd Annual DERTS Newsletter

Our third DERTS Newsletter is now available! The 2020 Diamond Exploration and Research Training School (DERTS) Newsletter provides information and updates about the DERTS program. This issue includes a summary of our 2019 activities, introduces our new recruits and include updates about upcoming events.

Last year we enrolled of our largest student cohort to date: 14 new students joined the DERTS program. The DERTS students participated in a variety of internships and workshops, presented at national and international conferences, organized and led an international fieldtrip and continued to diligently work on their research projects and publish their results! Details of all our DERTS activities are summarized in our newsletter.

We are greatly indebted to all our internship partners who continue to provide excellent and rewarding internship placements for the DERTS students. The students were excited to share their internship experiences with their colleagues through presentations on DERTS Day. Thank you for your ongoing support!

The DERTS Team continues to make significant contributions to the knowledge about diamonds, kimberlites and the mantle with the publication of over 35 manuscripts in 2019!

Our first international fieldtrip to Guatemala was a huge success! The fieldtrip was organized and run entirely by the student cohort. The group visited two ophiolite terranes and climbed several volcanoes to examine volcanic deposits.

DERTS 2020 Newsletter

December, 2019 - Congratulations David Sasse!

David Sasse successfully defended his MSc. David's thesis is titled: Attrition of mantle cargo during kimberlite ascent: Insights from analogue experiments.

November 18, 2019 - Congratulations Dennelle Smyth!

Dennelle Smyth successfully defended her MSc. Dennelle's thesis is titled: Petrology, chemistry, and geochronology of the Pikoo kimberlites, Saskatchewan.

November 12-15, 2019 - Kimberlite Petrology and Core logging Workshop

Bruce Kjarsgaard from the Geological Survey of Canada returned to teach an updated Kimberlite Petrology and Core Logging Workshop for the DERTS program. The workshop ran between November 12 and 14, 2019 at the University of Alberta. The workshop included lectures by Drs. Kjarsgaard and Pearson covering topics ranging from mantle mineralogy to kimberlite volcanology and core logging techniques. In the laboratory the students had a chance to examine numerous samples of mantle xenoliths and kimberlite both in hand samples and in thin sections. The practical portion of the workshop also included exercises on coarse and detailed line scans, heavy mineral scans and core logging.

November 1, 2019 - DERTS Annual Meeting

Our DERTS annual meeting was held at the University of Alberta. The focus of DERTS Day was to introduce and integrate our 14 new students from U of A and UBC. The day was the perfect occasion for the new cohort of U of A and UBC students to meet and interact with the entire DERTS faculty and the previous student cohorts. The new recruits got a to hear first-hand about the program through presentations by senior students about their internship experiences and research progress.


October, 2019 - Congratulations Marina Karaevangelou!

Marina Karaevangelou successfully defended her MSc. Marina's thesis is titled: A 3D Magnetotelluric study of the Slave Craton Lithosphere, NW Canada. Sean is currently working as a geophysicist with DeBeers.


September 12, 2019 - Congratulations Sean Bettac!

Sean Bettac successfully defended his MSc. Sean's thesis is titled: Diamondiferous mantle beneath the Lace kimberlite in South Africa : evidence from mineral inclusions in diamonds.


April 24- May 2, 2019 DERTS 2020 Fieldtrip to Guatemala

In April 2019 a group of 10 DERTS students along with 2 faculty members participated in a student organized and led fieldtrip to Guatemala. The field trip was split into 2 parts: Part 1 focused on obducted arc assemblages from Cretaceous aged subduction in central Guatemala and Part 2 examined modern arc volcanism in eastern Guatemala. For more information please visit DERTS 2019 Fieldtrip.

DERTS 2020 Fiedltrip pasrticipants at the peak of the Acatenango Volcano.

March, 2019, Congratulations Ben Gruber!

Ben Gruber successfully defended his MSc. Ben's thesis is titled: Temperatures and Heat Production in the Slave Craton Lower Crust: Evidence from Xenoliths in the Diavik A-154 Kimberlite. Be n is currently pursuing his PhD at Scripps Oceanographic Institute.

March 14, 2019 - Indicator Mineral Workshop

Cristiana Mircea from the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) prepared and taught an Indicator Mineral Identification Workshop for the DERTS group in March 2019. The students learned to identify and sort indicator minerals from various size fractions of heavy mineral concentrate. Thank you Cristiana for sharing your valuable knowledge with the students!

January 25, 2019 - 2nd Annual DERTS Newsletter

Our second DERTS newsletter is now available! The 2019 Diamond Exploration and Research Training School (DERTS) Newsletter provides information and updates about the DERTS program. This issue includes a summary of our 2018 activities, introduces our new recruits and include updates about upcoming events.

Download the newsletter for more information!

December 11, 2018 - Congratulations Theetso Motsamai!

Theetso Motsamai successfully defended his PhD.! As a Motswana Theetso's thesis topic was close to his heart. He studied diamonds and their inclusions from the Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana. He was fortunate to present at the 11IKC in Gaborone, Botswana in Sept 2017 and had his first paper: "Mineral inclusions in diamonds from Karowe Mine, Botswana: super-deep sources fro super-sized diamonds?" published in the 11th International Kimberlite Conference Proceedings. Great job Theetso!


December 10, 2018 - WISEST summer intern Hamdi Ali makes interesting discovery

Grade 11 student Hamdi Ali spent her summer conducting research under the mentorship of DERTS student Margo Regier. Hamdi was part of a number of interns at the University of Alberta sponsored through Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science, and Technology (WISEST) Summer Research Program. Hamdi's research returned unexpected results: samples processed through the Selfrag, a new instrument hosted in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, can better liberate diamonds than traditional mechanical separation methods. Hamdi presented her findings at the Yellowknife Geoscience Forum in November 2018. Her discovery garnered significant media attention for the budding scientist. You can read more about Hamdi's work on her poster or visit the full feature length story here.

November 5, 2018 - DERTS Day 2018

Our DERTS annual meeting was held at the University of Alberta. The day included a half day workshop with lectures that covered topics ranging from regulation in the geosciences (APEGA), working with the statistical software "R" (Matt Hardman) and systematic processing of FTIR data (Dan Howell). Our industry guest, Mike Seller from DeBeers Canada gave lecture on using cluster analysis as a tool in kimberlite exploration! The afternoon was filled with student presentations on their internship experiences and research projects. Great work everyone.

September 14, 2018 - Congratulations Janina Czas!

Janina successfully defended her PhD.. Janina's thesis entitled: The Quandry of the Sask Craton: Origin and evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Sask Craton provides the first information about diamondiferous and barren mantle xenoliths from the FALC kimberlite field.

September 7, 2018 - Congratulations Mei Yan Lai and Xia Xinchen!


June 29, 2018 - Congratulations Stephane Poitras!

Stephane Poitras successfully defended his M.Sc.! Stephane's thesis entitled Kimberlite Indicator Minerals from the Central Mackenzie Valley, Northwest Territories, Canada: a Reconnaissance Geochemistry Survey examined the provenance of kimberlite indicator minerals found on the Horn Plateau.

Congratulations Stephane!


May 30, 2018 - Congratulations Garrett Harris!

Garrett Harris successfully defended his M.Sc. Garrett is the first student to graduate from the Diamond Exploration and Research Training School (DERTS) program. Garrett's thesis was on the Mantle composition, age and geotherm beneath the Darby kimberlite field, west central Rae Craton.

Congratulations Garrett!

Garrett Harris M.Sc. defense

May 15, 2018 - Kimberlite Core Logging Workshop 2018

The DERTS Trainees and Associates completed a 1 week long Kimberlite Core Logging Workshop led by Bruce Kjarsgaard Research Scientist at the Geological Sruvey of Canada. A large part of the workshop was spent in the core facility at the University of Alberta where the students got to look at kimberlite core from across Canada along with some international examples.They learned the basics of core logging including how to do detail line scans, coarse line scans and mineral line scans as well as preliminary and detailed core logging.To see mor eimages from the workshop check out our flickr gallery:

DERTS Kimberlite Core Logging Workshop 2018

January 24, 2018 - Inaugural Newsletter

We are very excited to launch the Diamond Exploration and Research Training School (DERTS) Newsletter which will provide information and updates about the program on a regular basis. In our inaugural issue, we provide information about our program, a summary of our 2016/2017 activities, introduce our students and include updates about upcoming events.

The DERTS program is off to a great start. We have 12 students registered in the program that are fully funded through the program and an additional 7 students participating in the program that are funded through other grants. Throughout the past 18 months the students have presented at numerous conferences including the International Diamond School 2016 and 11th International Kimberlite Conference, attended fieldtrips to visit diamond mines in Canada and abroad, and completed internship placements. We are grateful for the support we have received from industry and government partners that have made these activities possible.

For more information please download our DERTS Newsletter!

If you are interested in receiving future communications about the DERTS program please subscribe to our distribution list.


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