Colloquium Series Speakers

Upcoming

Colloquium returns Fall 2021


Past Colloquiums

ES4490E - Final Presentations

Date: Friday, April 9, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

April 2, 2021 - No Colloquium GOOD FRIDAY

2021 SCUGOG Lecture
Johanna Wagstaffe (Johanna WagstaffeOn-air meteorologist, seismologist and scientist for CBC VANCOUVER NEWS and CBC NEWS NETWORK Using science to improve science communication 

Date: Thursday, March 25, 2021
Time: 5:00 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
Science communication has never been more important. The climate crisis, our country's seismic hazards, and of course the current pandemic, demands accountability, engagement with the public, and a spotlight to be shone on the scientists working to solve these issues. This endeavour has never been more challenging or more hopeful. I will talk about my journey from academia to media, and what the newsrooms, and our audiences, are saying when it comes to science journalism. I look forward to sharing the triumphs, along with the obstacles of being a ‘newsroom scientist’ in an ever-changing landscape. 

Dr. Lisa D. White (Director of Education and Outreach, Museum of Paleontology, University of California at Berkeley) Integrating virtual fieldwork, paleontology collections, and visualization tools to enhance geoscience instruction for diverse audiences

Date: Friday, March 19, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
The extensive fossil holdings and significant online resources at the University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) are accessible through educational websites, databases, specimen photographs, and digital archival materials. As the menu of virtual offerings expands and includes virtual field experiences of unique fossil sites supported by digitally integrated gigapixel-resolution images, UCMP has a special opportunity to bring the user to the extraordinary places where geoscientists work. Complementing these efforts is the launch of a new instructional resource, Understanding Global Change, which provides rich visualizations on an interactive canvas that can be used to map and model global change phenomenon. These and other UCMP resources are central to our efforts to foster diversity in geoscience and we target a range of students from pre-college to community college, while widely sharing resources with public audiences. Click here to read more.

Dr. Pritwiraj 'Raj' Moulik (Technical Lead-3D Reference Earth Model Project, Postdoctoral Researcher-Univ. of Maryland College Park) Earth’s bulk structure and heterogeneity from big data and full-spectrum tomography

Date: Friday, March 12, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
Reconciliation of diverse techniques and big data across traditionally siloed disciplines has emerged as a frontier area for Earth exploration. Future challenges include: (1) Leveraging both legacy and evolving community expertise towards harnessing the burgeoning geophysical data, and (2) Modeling physical properties in a way that facilitates self-consistent inferences between geodynamics, geochemistry, seismology and mineral physics. We present progress towards a community three-dimensional reference Earth model (REM3D) and demonstrate their utility for robust inferences on interior structure. Click here to see more. 

Dr. Shun Karato (Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Yale University) Deep mantle melting, global water circulation and its implications for the stability of the ocean mass

Date: Friday, March 5, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
Oceans on Earth are present as a result of dynamic equilibrium between degassing and regassing through the
interaction with Earth’s interior. We review mineral physics, geophysical, and geochemical studies related to the
global water circulation and conclude that the water content has a peak in the mantle transition zone (MTZ) with a
value of 0.1–1 wt% (with large regional variations). When water-rich MTZ materials are transported out of the MTZ,
partial melting occurs. Vertical direction of melt migration is determined by the density contrast between the melts
and coexisting minerals. Because a density change associated with a phase transformation occurs sharply for a solid but more gradually for a melt, melts formed above the phase transformation depth are generally heavier than
solids, whereas melts formed below the transformation depth are lighter than solids. Click here to read more.

Dr. Dashtgard (Applied Research in Ichnology and Sedimentology (ARISE) Group, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University) The Cretaceous Nanaimo Group, B.C.: A Complicated Depositional History on an Active Margin

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
The Nanaimo Group consists of Cretaceous sedimentary strata that infills the Georgia Basin in southwest British Columbia. Exploitation of Nanaimo Group coal deposits drove European colonization of Vancouver Island, and made the region a major port for the global shipping trade in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Historically, the Nanaimo Group was interpreted using a lithostratigraphic framework, which has been revised multiple times over the past 120 years. A robust sequence stratigraphic framework for the lower Nanaimo Group was only recently developed, and reveals a complicated depositional history that existed during the early stages of basin development. Click here to read more.

Insights into the surface of Titan from Cassini VIMS: Why send Dragaonfly to the Dunes?
Dr. Shannon MacKenzie (Planetary Scientist, John Hopkins Univeristy Applied Physics Laboratory) 

Date: Friday, February 12, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
Over the course of its 13 year mission in the Saturn System, the Cassini spacecraft revealed Titan, Saturn's largest moon, to be a world both familiar and bizarre. From the lakes and rivers of the poles to the dune strewn deserts, Titan's geological processes echo those we know here on the Earth. They operate, however, on the cryogenic chemistries of the solar system: liquid methane plays the role of water, water ice the bedrock, and solid organics the sediments. In this talk, I'll highlight how data from Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) shaped our understanding of this tory and how it motivates our return to Titan with the NASA's latest New Frontiers Mission, Dragonfly.

Dr. Jenine McCutcheon (Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo) Microbe-mineral-fluid interactions: Small-scale processes with large-scale impacts

Date: Friday, February 5, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
Microbial processes influence geochemical reaction pathways in a range of natural and engineered environments. These processes often result in the precipitation or dissolution of mineral phases, thereby altering the chemistry of the surrounding fluid. By characterizing the structure and chemistry of biomineralization products, it becomes possible to use these processes to understand and solve environmental challenges. This will be demonstrated through three case studies highlighting the biogeochemistry of three very different environments. The first study will examine the role of cyanobacteria in beach sand cementation and microbialite formation in carbonate beachrock (Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia). The outcomes of this research have applications to reef island stabilization in a changing climate. In the second study, cyanobacteria were used to mediate carbonate precipitation reactions in ultramafic mine tailings during laboratory and mine site experiments (Woodsreef Asbestos Mine, NSW, Australia). Microbial carbonation reactions have potential to aid carbon storage in mine waste materials while also stabilizing the tailings. Finally, the potential for microbe-mineral interactions to impact global biogeochemical processes will be explored in the third case study, which will examine the role of glacier ice algae and mineral dust in darkening the Greenland Ice Sheet. Pigmented glacier algae ‘bloom’ during the summer melt season, thereby lowering ice sheet albedo and accelerating melting on the landscape-scale. Together, these case studies from natural and industrial systems demonstrate the complexity of microbe-mineral interactions and some of the ways in which these processes impact the environment.  

Dr. Peter Lightfoot (PGeo. Adjunct Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario) Chemostratigraphy of Continental Flood basalts: architecture, duration, and sulfur budget

Date: Friday, January 29, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
The diversity in scale, duration, and petrology of continental flood basalts is discussed in the context of the chemostratigraphic record of conformable sequences of flows. These data support an understanding of temporal and spatial changes in the style of volcanic activity and the depocenters of accumulation. The 66 Ma Deccan Trap of India comprises >1 million km3 of bimodal picritic and tholeiitic lavas erupted in <1Ma which progressively young from north to south as the Indian plate migrated over the Reunion hotspot (and approximately antipodal to the Chicxulub impact event). The flow tops are often weathered, but erosion and sedimentation are exceptionally rare, and the chemostratigraphic signals provide a remarkable record of variations due to source geochemistry, differentiation, and sulfide saturation history. The details help to compare the S budget of the erupted rocks with that of comagmatic intrusions, and this in-turn anchors estimates of volatile flux into the atmosphere. The 250Ma Siberian Trap in the Noril’sk Region is part of a >3.8 million km3 large igneous province. It also records a progression from picritic basalts through to tholeiites over <1Ma with few examples of erosion or sedimentation between successive flows. Click here to read more.

The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Federal Minister of Natural Resouces

To view Minister O'Regan's talk on YouTube by click here.

Date: Friday, January 22, 2021
Time: 3:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar.

Climate change and the post COVID-19 recovery
As the world looks toward a post COVID-19 recovery Canada is taking action to build a clean growth future for our natural resource sector, create jobs, invigorate local economies, and address systemic inequalities all while fighting climate change. How do we address these issues and how do we do so in a way that is smart, thoughtful, and thorough? Join the Federal Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan for a discussion on this and more! The minister will be speaking then answering questions so please send in your questions in advance to ensure your question is answered. The minister will also be answering questions from the floor.

Dr. Marilyn L. Fogel (Emerita Distinguished Professor of the Graduate Division and Equity Advisor for College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California Riverside) Geoecology through the lens of stable isotope biogeochemist

Date: Friday, December 4, 2020
Time: 3:30 pm

Please register in advance for for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
Stable isotope biogeochemistry started in earnest in the 1960s with isotope ratio mass spectrometers hand made in physicists’ laboratories. I began my career at the time when people were realising that the biosphere was important in shaping the geosphere. Bringing sophisticated chemical instrumentation to study the relationships between living organisms and their environment, in particular in fossils over geological time, was exploding in the 1970s and 1980s. Follow along on insights gained over a nearly 50-year career.

Dr. Ingrid Daubar (Senior Research Associate, Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University) New Craters on Mars

Date: Friday, November 20, 2020
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
Planets are constantly being bombarded with meteoroids, even in the present day. On Mars, we use before- and after-images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to discover the resulting new impact craters. We currently know of more than 1,100 new impact sites, each with formation date constraints from orbital imaging. On planetary scales, these craters are tiny, ranging from meter-scale to just 58 m in diameter. Slightly over half are primary clusters, where the impactor fragmented in the thin Martian atmosphere to create multiple craters near-simultaneously. These discoveries allow us to investigate not only impact cratering processes, but also atmospheric fragmentation processes, high energy atmosphere-surface interactions, and the population of impacting bodies at Mars. I will discuss how we have used these new craters to measure the current impact rate and calibrate Martian chronology systems, study the morphology of fresh simple craters, survey characteristics of clusters, examine the nature of surficial dust, and explore exposed subsurface ice and mafic materials. The InSight mission has recently placed the first seismometer on the surface of Mars, and I will present our plans to detect one of these new impact events seismically.

Dr. Daniel Gibson (Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University) Tectonic Evolution of the Canadian Cordillera and the Record of a Continental Bulldozer – Evidence and Implications

Date: Friday, November 13, 2020
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
The Canadian Cordillera is considered an “archetypal” accretionary orogen that has evolved along a convergent margin throughout latest Paleozoic to present. Although terrane accretion is recognized as a fundamental process during the development of the Canadian Cordillera, in this talk I will examine evidence that suggests that the westerly trajectory of the North American craton for the past 220 Myr was the primary driver of Cordilleran orogenesis. I will first examine the evidence in support of this hypothesis, and then will discuss the far-reaching implications this has for Cordilleran orogenesis and plate tectonics in general. Click here to see more.

Dr. Paul Bauman (Paul Bauman Geophysics) Good Geoscience in Dire Places: Searching for Water in Humanitarian Crises

Date: Friday, November 6, 2020
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
The number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), worldwide, is about 80 million. Most refugees are fleeing water-stressed and conflict-torn countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, and Syria. Generally, the host countries for refugee populations are also arid or semi-arid, such as Kenya, Chad, and Jordan. In the marginal landscapes where refugee camps are usually sited, groundwater is often the only practical source of water for drinking, cooking, and sanitation. A lack of access to adequate water supplies is directly tied to increasing occurrences of cholera, dysentery, hepatitis, trachoma, and other diseases. Today, with Covid-19 outbreaks already occurring in overcrowded refugee camps, improving hygiene is critical. A well-targeted geophysical exploration program can make the difference between a successful water supply program and one doomed to failure. Click here to read more.

Dr. Diego Melgar (Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon) Earthquake early warning for large earthquakes with Global Navigation Satellite System data and machine learning

Date: Friday, October 30, 2020
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. We are now using the webinar platform so some functionality may be different for attendees. More information is available here: https://support.zoom.us/ 

Abstract
Although infrequent, large magnitude earthquakes (Mw8+) can be extremely damaging and occur on subduction and intraplate faults worldwide. Earthquake early warning (EEW) systems aim to provide advanced warning before strong shaking occurs. However, EEW systems have limited ability to characterize large earthquakes and often underpredict magnitude. In this talk we will discuss why this occurs and propose an approach that leverages the power of deep learning to characterize crustal deformation patterns in real time. We will show how to generate thousands of realistic rupture scenarios and use these to train a model that directly predicts current and final earthquake magnitude from measured ground displacements. We will also demonstrate the performance on five historical large earthquakes in the Chilean Subduction Zone. The resulting model reliably predicts final magnitude well before earthquake completion and significantly outperforms currently operating EEW algorithms.

Dr. Matthew Izawa (Assistant Professor, Division of Astrobiology, Institute of Planetary Materials - Okayama University) Asteroid and Meteorite Science in the Age of Sample Return

Click here to register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Date: Friday, October 16, 2020
Time: 9:30 am

Abstract
We stand just days from successful sampling of asteroid Bennu by OSIRIS-REx and some months from seeing the first samples from Ryugu brought back by Hayabusa-2 – if all goes well, this is after all the year 2020. These asteroid sample returns are some eagerly anticipated materials, and should soon revolutionize our understanding of the dark, volatile-rich, organic-bearing asteroids. The OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa-2 sample returns may also revolutionize our understanding of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, which they are presumably related to. While presumably I am about to learn that everything I thought I knew is wrong, it is still a reasonable time to explore and review what (we think) we know about dark asteroids, carbonaceous chondrites, and their potential relationships.
In this talk, I will briefly describe some of the key pre-sampling observations from Bennu leading to the selection of the sampling location. The possible insights offered by meteorite studies will then be reviewed, and finally we will explore some of the big questions that we hope will be answered by the returned samples.

Dr. Stephen Piercey (Professor and NSERC-Altius Industrial Research Chair in Mineral Deposits) Zn-Rich VMS deposits: Genesis, temporal distribution, and controlling factors

Date: Friday, October 1, 2020
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this meeting by clicking here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. This talk is part of the extremely popular Ore Deposits Hub speaker series. Steve will be live to answer questions after the pre-recorded talk.
This talk will overview Zn-rich volcanogenic massive sulfides including the classification of VMS, the grade-tonnage, and definition of Zn-enrichment in VMS deposits (i.e., Zn-rich, zinciferous, anomalous) and how Zn-enrichment occurs as a function of VMS deposits sub-class and secular variations in the Earth. The second part of the lecture focuses on the controls on Zn-enrichment in VMS deposits, including the importance of tectonics and magmatism, calderas and basin architecture, crustal substrate, anoxia/cap rocks, and zone refining, and magmatic fluids/vapours.

Everyone is welcome! 

First Departmental Colloquium – Friday, September 18, 2020

Please join us for our first departmental colloquium event today at 3:30 pm. Click here to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. As this is our first departmental colloquium, we will hear from Club reps (Outcrop, GGS, SEG, SEGx, Space Grad Council) who will provide more information about their club and its upcoming events.