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Professor Balz Kamber appointed new Chair of Geology and Mineralogy in Trinity College Dublin

September 2011

Professor Balz S. Kamber (B.Sc. (Bern), M.Sc. (Bern),Ph.D. (Bern)) has been appointed the new Chair of Geology and Mineralogy in Trinity College Dublin. Professor Kamber was the former Canada Research Chair in Precambrian Geology in Laurentian University Ontario Cananda.

Photo of Professor Balz Kamber

Professor Kamber initiated the high precision trace element laboratory at Laurentian University. His aim is to remain creative in finding new ways of exploring the exciting world of chemical elements.

His research involves applying field evidence, absolute chronology, and geochemistry to fundamental open issues of early Earth processes, including mineral deposition.

The Precambrian Era spans more than 85 percent of Earth history and its rock record contains evidence regarding the fundamental steps of planetary evolution, including the establishment of life.

Professor Kamber is a leading expert in applying the technology that can be used to decipher the Precambrian rock record. His work focuses on the interaction between the solid Earth, the hydrosphere, and the biosphere.

Imperceptibly slow processes have led, over billions of years, to changes in the way the Earth's geology works. Professor Kamber explores how the formation of continents has depleted the Earth's mantle in heat-producing elements and how the build-up of free oxygen in the atmosphere has changed the chemistry of seawater.

Once global changes are identified in the rock record, Kamber investigates the extent to which they have governed other aspects of geology, such as the rate at which new ocean floor has formed over time or the distribution - in space and time - of the major types of ore deposits.

Measurement and interpretation of the abundance of trace elements and isotopes in rocks - an area in which Kamber has considerable expertise - are key to the quest for a better understanding of ancient geology.

Kamber's research in Precambrian geology underpins an appreciation that no geological phenomenon - be it an erupting volcano or a diamond-bearing kimberlite - can be understood in isolation. All must be placed in the context of Earth's entire history.

Last updated 2 September 2011