CODES – Centre for Ore Deposit and Earth Sciences

PhD - Mineral chemistry for mineral exploration by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS)

The Research Project

Mineral chemistry is an emerging applied science being used in mineral exploration. Current methods rely upon a combination of electron microprobe and laser ablation ICPMS methods, which both require substantial laboratory preparation and time. Emerging analytical technologies such as handheld laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) offer the potential to transfer mineral chemistry from the laboratory to the field.

This PhD project seeks to determine how accurately and precisely LIBS analytical methods can be used to evaluate the major, minor and trace element chemistry of various mineral species. If successful, this project will have a major impact on the way in which the minerals industry is able to approach and use mineral chemistry during routine mineral exploration.

The student will work with leading scientists on mineral chemistry and mineral exploration at the University of Tasmania, and will interact with mineral industry and instrument manufacturing partners.


The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and international candidates;
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis;
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector;
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • a background in some of the following subject areas: geochemistry, analytical chemistry, computer science, data analytics and machine learning

More Information

Applicants requiring more information, or who are interested in this specific project, should firstly contact Assoc. Prof. Shaun Barker (

Closing Date

Contact the nominated staff member as soon as possible to discuss an application for a 2018 start date.

Published on: 30 Jul 2018 3:19pm