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The Best Place in the World to Study Geology!

The Department of Earth Sciences and Mineral Exploration Research Centre comprise award-winning faculty (including three GAC-MDD Duncan Derry Medal winners) and award-winning students, and presently have the highest level of NSERC and TGI funding in economic geology of any department in Canada.

DES and MERC are housed in the ultra-modern Willet Green Miller Centre, together with the Ontario Geological Survey, the Ontario Geoscience Laboratories (Geo Labs), and the Mining Division of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, overlooking Lake Ramsey, the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area, and the Idlewylde Golf Club. The 310 hectare (965 acre) Laurentian University campus has a private beach on Lake Nepahwin and borders the 970 ha (2400 acre) Lake Laurentian Conservation Area, which has a rugged 23 km trail system for hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.

Located on the southern rim of one of the world's largest, oldest, and best-exposed meteorite impact sites, home to the world's largest mineral exploration and mining cluster, within minutes to hours of some of the world's richest Ni-Cu-PGE, Au, and Cu-Zn-(Au) deposits, and built directly on rocks of the Canadian Shield, we have a setting for field-based teaching and research that cannot be duplicated elsewhere.

The wide range of geological environments, including Archean volcanic/sedimentary belts, a Proterozoic sedimentary/volcanic belt, Grenville metamorphic terrains, and lower to middle Paleozoic sequences, offers unparalleled opportunities for undergraduate and graduate studies in ore deposits, structural geology, mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, sedimentation and stratigraphy, and paleoecology.


Research Themes

DES and MERC researchers are studying fundamental problems in mineral deposits and Precambrian geology all over the world:

Precambrian Geology (Gibson, Jugo, Kontak, Lafrance, Lesher, Leybourne, McDonald, Thurston, Tinkham, Turner)

Magmatic Ni-Cu-(PGE), PGE, and Cr (Gibson, JugoKontak, Lafrance, Lesher, Leybourne, McDonald, Tinkham)

Volcanic-Associated Massive Cu-Zn-Au (Gibson, Kontak, Lafrance, Tinkham)

Orogenic Lode and Disseminated Au (Kontak, LafranceThurston)

Sediment-Hosted Pb-Zn and Cu-Zn (Ielpi, Leybourne, Turner)

Environmental Geochemistry (Leybourne, Spiers)

Environmental Mineralogy (Schindler)

Experimental Petrology (Jugo)

Exploration Geophysics ( Smith )