Computer-based modelling of geochemical data

Pathways to mineral discoveries through computer-based modelling of geochemical data

Degree type


Closing date

24 September 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

Geochemical data from rocks, minerals and fluids contain signals that reflect natural processes and conditions such as tectonic events, formation of ore deposits and past climates (Grunsky and Caritat 2020). However, unmixing multiple overlapping geochemical signal sources requires careful data processing, analysis and modelling. With advances in geochemical data collection and processing (i.e., increased data volume and variety, instrumental sensitivity, and spatial resolution) the opportunity to interpret and gain knowledge of complex geological phenomena is increased (Grunsky and Caritat 2020; Templ, Filzmoser, and Reimann 2008). In conjunction with these rapid developments in data collection and processing, new and existing algorithms for the analysis and modelling of these data need to be developed and evaluated.

This project will utilise pre-existing and generate new geochemical data through the Centre for Ore Deposit and Earth Sciences (CODES) and aims to investigate and evaluate the efficacy and utility of currently existing algorithms for geochemical data analysis and modelling and develop new algorithms for interpretation of geochemical signal in complex environments. Initially, this project will focus on applications in the field of magmatic-hydrothermal ore deposit vectoring and fertility assessment, with the view to extend this to modelling of mineral crystallisation during the emplacement of these ore systems (Danyushevsky and Plechov 2011). The outcomes of this project will include: (1) updated understanding into the advantages and limitations of pre-existing geochemical data analysis and modelling methods for ore deposit studies; and (2) new and innovative algorithms for data-driven geochemical signal analysis tools that complement and enhance knowledge-driven approaches to geochemical modelling.

This project will draw on cross-disciplinary collaborations with the School of Maths and Physics, University of Tasmania, specifically in the fields of algorithm development and evaluation.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Matthew Cracknell


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years;
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000; and
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

Analytical project costs will be supported by an in-kind contribution of $7,000 per annum from CODES.

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • BSc (hons) or equivalent in geology, physics, ICT, or mathematics

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience with numerical modelling and simulations, visualization software development, geochemical data interpretation, and/or data analytics

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Matthew Cracknell, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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