The Research Project
Halogens are key elements in hydrothermal systems that play a role in metal transport, and may form a substantial mass of the hydrothermal fluid. During mineral processing, excessive concentrations of fluorine in minerals can present a problem and reduce the value of ore concentrates. Despite their importance, halogens are rarely measured in geochemical studies of hydrothermal ore deposits, and their partitioning and behaviour during hydrothermal alteration is relatively poorly understood.
This PhD study will firstly seek to develop new methods for measuring the concentrations of F, Cl, Br and I to low concentrations in hydrothermally altered rocks and hydrothermal minerals, using a combination of “wet” chemical methods (pyrohydrolysis followed by Ion chromatography and ICPMS) as well as electron beam and laser ablation ICPMS methods. The developed methods will then be applied to samples collected from various ore deposit environments to measure halogen concentrations and understand the deportment of halogens within different minerals. This project would suit a student with a strong background in analytical chemistry and/or analytical geochemistry, with an interest in applying their methodological expertise to solve real world geochemical problems.
The successful candidate will work with world-leading experts on analytical geochemistry and hydrothermal ore deposits in the Centre for Ore Deposit and Earth Sciences (CODES) and be able to access cutting edge UTAS research facilities within CODES Analytical Laboratories, the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science (ACROSS) and the Central Science Laboratory (CSL).
The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:
- The project is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) and to international candidates;
- Research 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;
- Ability to carry out field work and work with government and industry partner facilities and follow appropriate health and safety procedures;
- Other entry requirements can be found at https://www.utas.edu.au/research/degrees/what-is-a-research-degree
Candidates from the following disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:
- Experience with laser ablation ICPMS, EPMA or other microbeam techniques.
- Degree-level undergraduate education in analytical chemistry or geochemistry;
Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Shaun Barker (Shaun.Barker@utas.edu.au), School of Natural Sciences (CODES), for further information.
December 31st, 2019, unless filled earlier.