Graduate Students

This page contains links and resources for current Earth Sciences graduate students.

Please download this PDF for the Master of Earth Sciences Graduate Handbook.

Please download this PDF for a list of previous MSc Theses.

The current graduate calendar can be accessed here.

Studentships are periodically available in many of the research areas conducted by the Department. Informal enquiries may be directed to the relevant faculty member. Specifically advertised positions are in 1. Carbonate geochemistry of Bermuda Platform (2 MSc) and 2. Glacial Micromorphology (1 MSc):

Two fully funded M.Sc. research studentships are presently available in carbonate geochemistry (starting 2007-2008). These studentships are:

a) Chemo-ecology of modern brachiopods of the Bermuda Platform and proxies of ancient seawater chemistry.
Articulated brachiopods secrete low-Mg calcite shells that are relatively resistant to diagenetic processes, and thus are some of the best proxies for original paleo-seawater chemistry and temperature. Full characterization of these ecological parameters is still in progress, and the modern brachiopod (Argyrotheca bermudana) from different ecological environments on Bermuda should aid in the characterization chemo-ecological and chemo-oceanographic factors. Brachiopods will be studied (geochemically) in conjunction with their ambient sediment and water to establish parameters for material from open to brackish marine conditions persistent on the carbonate platform.

b) Chemical diagenesis and climate change recorded in the Pleistocene sequence of the Bermuda Platform.
The carbonate sequence of the Bermuda Platform by its differential diagenetic history and thus preservation status records chemical-isotopic changes. These changes in the different carbonate allochems will be related to the changing chemistry of seawater during the last glacial-interglacial interval. In both instances, the student is expected to become familiar and conduct SEM and AAS analyses on material collected on the island and subsequently prepared for laboratory evaluation. Basic chemical and laboratory skills are an asset.

These are two-year M.Sc. research studentships. Training in analytical (AAS and MS) and microscopic (SEM and CL) analyses will be an integral part of the study. Applicants must be able to conduct fieldwork on Bermuda (no visa restrictions).

Deadline: These positions are open until filled by suitable candidates. For further information contact:

Prof. Uwe Brand
Department of Earth Sciences
Brock University
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Tel  905-688-5550 ext. 3529
Fax 905-682-9020

Funded MSc Research Studentships in:
Application Deadline: As soon as possible!

A funded research studentship (MSc) is available in Glacial Micromorphology, starting, 2007.  Glacial Micromorphology is a relatively new subdiscipline within glacial geology/ geomorphology.  Micromorphology is the microscopic examination of the structural components and constituent elements of earth materials. The use of micromorphology within glacigenic sediments has led to a new and innovative understanding of subglacial process and till genesis.  Much remains to be learned and discovered thus making micromorphology a new and exciting field of research.

The research will examine the micromorphology of a new data set of ‘undisturbed’ Pleistocene samples taken, under the auspices of the US SHALDRIL expedition, from the sea-bed off the coast of West Antarctica.  The object of the research is to examine these sediments in detail thus discovering the likely sedimentology of the sediments, the environments and conditions under which they were deposited and the impact of rheological conditions in which deformation, if present, has occurred and affected the sediments both syn- and post-depositionally.  The results of this research have broad implications for our understanding of glacial and non-glacial process occurring off the shore of West Antarctica in the Pleistocene.  In many cases these samples were deposited and/or emplaced beneath an extended Antarctic Ice Sheet within subglacial and/or submarginal environments close to fluctuating grounding lines thus under conditions of major fluctuating rheological stress conditions.   This particular environment is one of very significant interest to our understanding of broader aspects of ice sheet retreat and advancement under variable sea levels, greenhouse / icehouse climatic conditions and basal ice rheological circumstances.

This is a two-year MSc research studentship. Training will be given in all aspects of glacial micromorphology techniques, taxonomy, and analyses.

DEADLINE for completed applications: as soon as possible! Applications should be submitted online by this deadline.  For further information please contact:

Prof. John Menzies
Department of Earth Sciences
Brock University
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Tel  905-688-5550 ext. 3865
Fax 905-682-9020


The Earth Sciences Department at Brock University invites applications for M.Sc. degree programs for students interested in either terrestrial or planetary volcanology/igneous petrology. Two NSERC-supported student research assistantships are available to work on ongoing projects on the history of volcanic fields in Oregon, New Mexico, or on Mars.

Dr. Mariek Schmidt
Department of Earth Sciences
Brock University
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
905 688-5550 x3527