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The petrological and geochemical behaviour of nitrogen during subduction

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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

Although nitrogen is well known as the most abundant gas species in the atmosphere, more than half the Earth’s nitrogen is sequestered in the solid Earth. The evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere and climate depends on the ability of the subduction process to recycle nitrogen from the surface back into the mantle relative to the degassing rates of nitrogen through volcanoes.
This analytical and experimental project will assess the transport of nitrogen during subduction, focussing on the minerals and reactions involved in that transport. The early stages of subduction may be especially important in determining how much nitrogen is released from the subducting slab and how much progresses to deep levels in subduction zones and so to magma source regions.
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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