GeologyDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Supervisors: Dr. Neil Banerjee and Dr. Gordon Southam
Where is “home” for you?
Home for me is now split somewhere between Winnipeg and London. Most of my family is in Winnipeg, however I’ve been in London for over four years now, so it also has aspects of home for me.
Describe your research.
My research is focused on a group of 2.7-billion-year-old rocks from a gold mine in Northern Ontario. I am using geochemistry to better understand the conditions present at the time that they were deposited. Basically I am fingerprinting the chemistry of the hydrothermal fluids that created them, as well as the gold that was deposited. This is important for understanding conditions on early earth with implications for early life, which is what initially drew me to the topic. However presently the bulk of my research is focused on improving efficiency in mineral exploration and processing.
What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive and be successful?
The community and culture within our department, in addition to the opportunities for experiential learning, collaboration and networking. The department of Earth Science is incredibly diverse in terms of research interests, yet collaboration and mentoring with faculty members and even graduate students is commonplace, and encouraged. During my time here I have had the opportunity to participate in multiple experiential learning opportunities in the role of student, teaching assistant, and field trip organizer/leader. As well, I have been able to guide the direction of my own research, and received support to present my work at international conferences.
What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your potential advisor, their students, and other students in the department. It’s important to find a project you’re passionate about, an advisor you can work with, and an environment you will be supported and productive in.
How do you de-stress?
That’s a split between cooking, a cold beer with friends, and being active/exercise, which at this point mostly involves cycling and rock climbing.
What idea, suggestion, or comment would you like to share with the Western graduate community?
I would like stress the importance of the idea that we are indeed one community of researchers, not just researchers from separate departments. So spaces (like the Grad Club) and events that bring us together are integral. I have found that the opportunity to discuss your research beyond your lab group or department to be invaluable and can lead to new perspectives and collaborations.
Program ContactAmy Wickham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Academic Program Coordinator
Department of Earth SciencesWestern University
Biological & Geological Sciences Building Rm 1026
London, Ontario N6A 5B7
t. 519-661-2111 ext. 84523
The objective of the PhD program is to provide the supervision, intellectual environment and resources to permit an aspiring scientist to develop and complete a thesis, involving a significant contribution to knowledge, on a specific project in Geology, or in a collaborative project involving one or more related disciplines. The scope of these research projects represents an enormous range of interests, from purely 'academic' to strongly 'applied' industrial and environmental topics.
The strength and reputation of our PhD program is a result of our internationally renowned faculty, world-class facilities, and the students who thrive in an intellectually stimulating environment. Western is pleased to offer Own Your Future, a unique Doctoral professional development program that supports students in their academic studies and career engagement. Through Own Your Future, students will develop insight into their current and evolving skill set. To learn more, visit www.uwo.ca/ownyourfuture.
- 12 Terms (4 years)
- Full-time study
Applicants (domestic and international) are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships:
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) - PGS and IPS
- Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
- Master's degree or equivalent from a university, college or institute, and provide evidence of research potential.
- Achieved at least a 70% average in the Master's degree. An average of 78% in the Master's degree is necessary to be eligible to receive departmental funding.
- Scans of transcripts from all post-secondary study completed.
- A CV or resume.
- Statement of Intent for graduate study.
- Contact information for three referees, who will be asked to complete confidential letters of reference online.
English Language Proficiency
Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:
- The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum acceptable score is 92 for the internet version with no individual score below 20 and a minimum of 23 in the speaking component. [Western's TOEFL ID is 0984].
- The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). Minimum acceptable score is 6 out of 9 with no individual score falling below 6.
We can offer a waiver of the English proficiency test when the applicant has completed at least one year of study at an accredited university where English is the medium of instruction. Waivers are not guaranteed and are judged on a case-by-case basis.
Domestic and International Applicants:
- Deadline is January 24 for the May 1 or September 1 start date.
Students can be accepted who apply after the January 24 deadline in exceptional circumstances. Please visit the department website for more information.
Fields of Research
- Earth and Planetary Systems
- Earth Evolution: Surface, Life and Climate
- Resource Geoscience
- Tectonic Processes and Crustal Dynamics