PhD position in the area of Archaean geology

Funding is available for a PhD candidacy in the area of Archaean volcanology and sedimentology at the University of Johannesburg. Funding includes bursary (R120 000 per annum) and research funds (R50 000 per annum) for a period of 3 years (2017-2019).

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate to investigate the interplay between early intracratonic volcanism and hydrothermal activity in a Mesoarchaean volcanic province, the Dominion Group. The project will lie on three main axes: 1) early intracratonic explosive-effusive volcanism; 2) caldera formation and development of caldera lakes; 3) development of hydrothermal systems and rock alteration.

The results of this study are expected to clarify the development and evolution of a Mesoarchaean caldera, including the interactions between volcanism, hydrothermal activity and sedimentation. The results have implications for palaeobiological studies and will aid in mineral exploration for epithermal deposits and Archaean placer gold-uranium deposits.

The tasks for the candidate include:

  • Fieldwork (the area is located 4 hours' drive west of Johannesburg): field mapping, interpretation of volcanic and sedimentary facies, core logging, sampling (drivers license required)
  • Lab work (element and stable isotope analyses, microbeam techniques)
  • Interpretation of the volcanic-sedimentary-hydrothermal history of the area
  • Presentation of scientific results at conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.

The Department

The Department of Geology, University of Johannesburg, in partnership with national and international collaborators, explores the geology and mineralisation of the Precambrian record. The Department hosts the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis, a central hub for research and human resource development in mineral and energy resource analysis in Africa. A wide array of equipment is available for research, including XRF, XRD, SEM, EPMA, Raman, LA-ICP-MS, MC-LA-ICP-MS, noble gas MS, paleomagnetic lab with SQUID. For further information on the Department of Geology and CIMERA visit and

Application deadline

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. A driver's license and an interest in undertaking field work is required. For further information, contact Axel Hofmann ( or Andrea Agangi ( To apply email a cover letter stating previous education and research interests, CV, and contact details for 1-2 referees.

published: 20 December 2016     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.