The Geochemistry Research Area undertakes diverse, fundamental research to understand the evolution of Earth, its resources, and its life. We have several research groups and laboratories including Argon Geochronology, Biogeochemistry, Experimental Petrology, Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe (SHRIMP), Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) and infrared spectroscopy.

Current major research directions include investigations of (1) the genesis of critical metal deposits such as rare earth elements, niobium and others, and (2) the nature and composition of Earth’s crust, including its earliest crust, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere to understand the early evolution of Earth and its life.

We welcome enquiries about research projects from potential higher degree research students. Visit the RSES Project Finder or contact Professor Greg Yaxley (Head of the Research Area – or any of the other academic staff in the area.


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Professor of Experimental Petrology
Head of the Geochemistry Research Area


Academic staff


Emeritus academic

Professional staff

Visitor and affiliate


Project Status
Biomarkers and Genomics Current
Changes to Chemistry and Mineralogy in the Environment Potential
Coral geochemistry in a changing Ocean Current
Cosmogenic nuclide production rates Current
Critical metals in tin deposits Potential
Deep Sea Corals as climate archives Current
Deep-sea chemistry and atmospheric CO2 Current
Developing ultra-green hydrogen technologies Potential
Early Earth formation and evolution Current
Experimental Petrology Potential
Geochronology of volcanic landscapes Current
Geothermometry of regional alteration assemblages from the greater McArthur Basin Potential
Glacial geology and climate change Current
Hadean zircon mining Current
Heat sources for Barrovian-type metamorphism, Grampian Highlands, Scotland Current
High-temperature gases in the crust and near the surface of planetary bodies Potential
How do carbonatites form deposits of niobium? Potential
Iron and its role in regulating Southern Ocean phytoplankton growth Potential
Lunar soil analysis Current
Molecular fossils and early life on Earth Current
Novel Uses of Radiocarbon in Environmental Studies Current
Ore geology Potential
Origins of organisms, organic-rich rocks and oils: mapping the evolution of algal and cyanobacterial communities in Australian onshore sedimentary basins Potential
Past global carbon cycle on various timescales Potential, Current
Precambrian sedimentary rocks in northern Australia: a window into the early history of life on Earth Potential
Refractory Inclusions Current
Stardust Current
The age and tectonic setting of basaltic intrusions of the south coast of NSW Potential
The biogeochemistry of a Salt Lake Current
The geochemistry of the platinum group element in ore bearing and barren granitoid suites. Current
The timing of extreme metamorphism Current
Trace element and volatile recycling in subduction zones Current
Water in the mantle Current
Were oceans in Earth's middle age anoxic, sulfidic and toxic? Current
Zircon and monazite in granites Potential
Zircon and monazite trace element partitioning Current