MSc and PhD positions

MSc and PhD positions in

Igneous petrology – geochemistry – basalt petrogenesis

Stellenbosch University


Two NRF-funded postgraduate positions (1 MSc and 1 PhD) are available beginning in 2015 under the supervision of Dr Martin Klausen (Department of Earth Sciences, Stellenbosch University). The research will focus on the petrogenesis and emplacement of giant Precambrian mafic dyke swarms across southern Africa; i.e., partial mantle melting conditions, differentiation processes and fracture mechanisms. If possible to extract baddeleyites (ZrO) from these intrusions, U-Pb dating will provide precise ages for supercontinental plate reconstructions (cf., for details). The candidate will contribute to an international research team effort on such ancient large igneous provinces (cf., and thereby interact with other institutions through the collaboration with other petrologists, geochronologists and palaeomagnetists. This research is not only of academic interest but also useful for the exploration after magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE, chromite and oxide deposits.


Applications are particularly welcomed from students interested in the fields of igneous petrology, geochemistry and basalt petrogenesis, but even students with a background in geochronology, plate tectonics and economic geology may be considered. Each project probably entails field work on Archaean basement blocks inside the Greater Congo Craton, for which enthusiasm and the ability to communicate in French and/or Portuguese is an advantage. In addition to simple structural analysis and thin section petrography, Stellenbosch’s Central Analytical Facility offers the means to determine quality bulk rock XRF major and ICPMS trace element geochemistry, SEM mineral compositions, as well as HR-SF-ICPMS laser ablation U-Pb ages on collected samples. Previous experience with the interpretation of such data is clearly advantageous but not a requirement.


Eligible candidates must hold a BSc honours in Geosciences, and those interested in the PhD position should also hold an MSc in Geosciences. Applicants may submit a cover letter that details their previous research experience and current research interest, a CV, academic transcripts and the names and email addresses of two referees to Dr Martin B Klausen ( by the 15th of November, 2014