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Experimental melting of the Earth’s mantle in reduced conditions

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  • Full or part time
    Prof S Foley
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Melting of mantle peridotite has been thoroughly studied with high-pressure experiments with and without the volatile components H2O and CO2. In some geodynamic settings, melting may occur in reduced conditions, where carbon is present in solid form or as methane, and water activities are variable but low. This experimentally challenging project will be the first to investigate and closely define melt compositions at a range of pressures and temperatures relevant to melting in the mantle. Experiments will be conducted partly at Macquarie University (Sydney) and partly at the Australian National University (Canberra), using a unique array of experimental apparatuses. The successful candidate will benefit from working with diverse research groups in two excellent laboratories.
Our Department has a newly expanded high-pressure experimental laboratory and a strong tradition in microbeam mineral and rock analysis (EMPA, SEM, Laser-ICP-MS). We emphasize cross-links between geochemistry, petrology and geophysics in mantle and lithosphere studies. We seek outstanding students to actively contribute to a team effort in the Australian Laureate project “Deep Earth Cycles of Carbon, Water and Nitrogen” (

Direct entry into the PhD programme at Macquarie requires completion of a two-year Masters degree with a major research component at Distinction level (75%). For applicants with an Honours or shorter Masters degree, there are also MRES/PhD package scholarships which enable completion of MRES as a training pathway to a Doctoral degree.

International scholarships include living stipend and fees for 3 years. Applications are now open: application deadline is July 31st.

There is also an option for co-tutelle projects with partner universities.

You are encouraged to discuss a research proposal before completing your on-line application. Informal enquiries should be addressed to Prof. Stephen Foley ([Email Address Removed]). We also encourage students to suggest their own research themes. Enquiries about openings further into the future are also welcome.

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