Harquail Family Invests $10M in Earth Sciences

PhD and MSc Research Projects in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology

The Harquail School of Earth Sciences invites exceptional students to apply for admission to our MSc or PhD programs and to become involved in research projects that will expand the boundaries of scientific knowledge in the areas of Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology. We have expanded our faculty considerably over the past several years and now have one of the largest groups in the world doing leading-edge field- and analytical-based research into Precambrian Geology and Mineral Deposits, many of whom are internationally-recognized for their scientific achievements. The Harquail School maintains office and research space on three floors of the Willet Green Miller Mineral and Mining Research Centre and has access to a broad array of state-of-the-art geochemical analytical and experimental research facilities. The WGMC also houses the Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC), the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), the Ontario Geological Survey, and the Ontario Geoscience Laboratories. Through MERC and CEMI, the school interacts closely with the local and international mining industry. As the site of one of the world's largest and best exposed meteorite impact craters, one of the world’s largest mining clusters, and one of very few universities built directly on the Precambrian shield, Laurentian University is an ideal place to do advanced research in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology.

Prospective students should arrange projects and funding with a prospective supervisor before applying for admission. Programs where students are being sought for specific projects are listed below. Prospective students interested in those projects should contact the indicated faculty supervisors, please visit our faculty directory for more information. Prospective students interested in other topics should contact a faculty member with expertise in the area best aligned with their interests, or should contact the Graduate Secretary, Dr. Matthew Leybourne ( for assistance. Applications are made on line at

Canadian applicants may qualify for scholarships provided by NSERC, the Provincial Government, or Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. Non-Canadian applicants may qualify for scholarships provided by their home countries for students to study in Canada or provided under joint agreements between Canada and their home countries. 

We have immediate openings in the following areas for outstanding students who wish to participate in our research efforts:

MSc and PhD Projects: Metal Earth

Eleven MSc and two PhD Metal Earth projects in the Harquail School of Earth Sciences are available, starting in May 2017.  Download the Metal Earth graduate student research opportunities document for full details.

MSc and PhD in Experimental Petrology

Title: MSc and PhD projects in experimental petrology on the behaviour of sulfur, and base and precious metals in magmatic systems. Topics include (but are not limited to): sulfide-sulfate equilibria; sulfur content and sulfur speciation in silicate melts; diffusion of highly siderophile elements (HSE). The projects involve the use of experimental equipment (high temperature furnaces, piston-cylinder apparatus, etc) and sample analysis using SEM, EPMA (microprobe) and LA-ICP-MS.

Background required: Interests in igneous petrology, geochemistry, and chemical thermodynamics.
Supervisor: Dr. Pedro J. Jugo

MSc and PhD projects on the Thermomechanical Erosion and Genesis of Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization in the Sudbury Igneous Complex

Background required: Applicants must have demonstrated strong backgrounds in igneous petrology and igneous geochemistry, and must have demonstrated excellent mathematical, computing, and oral-written communication skills. All living, tuition, and research expenses will be covered; preference will be given to students eligible for NSERC PGS-D scholarships.

Starting Dates Open
Supervisor: Prof. Michael Lesher

MSc or PhD projects: Magnetic or Electromagnetic Prospecting Methods.

Students with an interest in the acquisition, processing and interpretation of electromagnetic or magnetic data collected are encouraged to apply. Mineral explorationists are looking for deeper ore bodies and geophysical tools have to be developed to see deeper. The concept of a multi-transmitter multi-receiver system being studied in this project can help achieve the goal of deeper exploration. The magnetic projects will help in the geological interpretation of magnetic data.

Background required: Geophysics, data acquisition data processing, computer programming.
Supervisor: Dr. Richard Smith