Researcher profiles

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Dr Georgy Belyanin

Georgy Belyanin

Dr Georgy Belyanin is a lecturer in the department with expertise in igneous and metamorphic petrology (particularly the high-grade Limpopo Complex) and applications of argon-argon geochronology. Read more

Prof Bruce Cairncross

Bruce Cairncross

Prof Bruce Cairncross is a sedimentologist with a special interest in South Africa’s Permian coal deposits. In addition, his research on southern Africa’s mineral and gemstone occurrences and geoheritage has produced 14 books and over 126 journal articles, and garnered international recognition. Read more

Prof Michiel de Kock


Prof Michiel de Kock is a palaeomagnetist and stratigrapher. His research aims to resolve the interplay between the Earth’s magnetic field, global tectonics, the biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere, and their relation to the origin of large mineral deposits through time. Read more

Prof Marlina Elburg

Marlina Elburg

Prof Marlina Elburg is an igneous petrologist and geochemist. Her research interests include subduction-related magmatism and granite petrogenesis, and radiogenic isotope and trace element analyses using various techniques (TIMS, (MC-)ICPMS,XRF, ICPOES). She has an NRF B-rating and has written more than 120 papers in international journals. Read more

Prof Axel Hofmann

Axel Hofmann

Prof Axel Hofmann is an NRF B-rated scientist whose main interest and expertise is centred on the Archaean geological record of southern Africa. His research combines field work with petrological and geochemical analysis to decipher the geological history of Archaean volcano-sedimentary successions. Read more

Prof Jérémie Lehmann

Jeremie Lehmann

Prof Jérémie Lehmann is a structural geologist whose main research interests and expertise revolve around the thermal and mechanical evolution of Archaean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic orogenic belts. His research combines field structural analysis with remote sensing and microstructural and petrochronological data to decipher the tectonic evolution of deeply eroded mountain belts. Read more

Dr Tebogo Makhubela

Tebogo Makhubela

Dr Tebogo Makhubela is a geochemist and geochronologist with particular interest in landscape change, human evolution and Quaternary science. His specialisation is in the application of cosmogenic nuclides to quantify geomorphic changes and dating based on the uranium-thorium (U/Th), uranium-thorium-helium ((U,Th)-He) and argon-argon (Ar-Ar) methods. Read more

Dr Marvin Moroeng

Marvin Moroeng

Dr Marvin Moroeng is a coal petrologist whose research focuses on the origin of macerals in South African coals, understanding the development and evolution of palaeomires using a combination of geochemistry (stable carbon isotopes and mineralogy) and petrology, and the effects of igneous intrusions on various coal properties. Read more

Prof Hassina Mouri

Hassina Mouri

Prof Hassina Mouri is a metamorphic petrologist whose main fields of expertise are the Archaean High to Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) granulites and radiogenic isotope geology (U-Pb and Sm-Nd). In addition, she is engaged in research in the emerging field of Medical Geology, where her focus is on issues related to the African continent. She is an NRF B-rated scientist. Read more

Dr Trishya Owen-Smith

Trishya Owen-Smith

Dr Trishya Owen-Smith is an igneous petrologist and geochemist whose research largely centres on magma differentiation and emplacement processes, and early Earth evolution and tectonics. Read more

Prof Bertus Smith

Bertus Smith

Prof Bertus Smith is an economic geologist with a focus on sedimentary iron and manganese deposits. His other research interests include Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic sedimentary successions and geometallurgy. He has a Y1 rating from the NRF. Read more

Dr Herman van Niekerk

Herman van Niekerk

Dr Herman van Niekerk‘s research focus is centred around provenance studies, structural evolution, and development of a tectonic model for the geology of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Other more specialised interests include paleoclimatic change in southern Africa, the ages and development of the various African land surfaces, as well as the structural aspects related to cave formation. Read more

Prof Fanus Viljoen

Fanus Viljoen

Prof Fanus Viljoen‘s research focuses on kimberlites, diamonds and mantle xenoliths. He also holds the DSI/NRF Research Chair in Geometallurgy, with the aim to develop and apply geometallurgical methods to quantify the mineralogical and textural characteristics of ore bodies, ores, concentrates and successor products in resource types relevant to the South African minerals industry. He is an NRF B-rated scientist and the author of more than 90 publications in international journals. Read more

Dr Clarisa Vorster


Dr Clarisa Vorster is a geochronologist specialising in detrital zircon age determinations and provenance determination of sedimentary units, in particular those of the Karoo and Barberton Supergroups. Read more

Dr Hervé Wabo

Herve Wabo

Dr Hervé Wabo is an economic geologist and palaeomagnetist. His scientific interest mainly focuses on the paleomagnetic record of Archaean and Precambrian rock units. Read more

Prof Nikki Wagner

Nicola Wagner

Prof Nikki Wagner is an internationally renowned coal petrologist. Her research areas include organic petrology, coal petrography, trace elements and critical raw materials in coal and associated products, coal geology, carbon dioxide capture and storage, coal oxidation, underground coal gasification, coal conversion and ash utilisation. She is an NRF B-rated scientist and has published more than 70 articles in international journals. Read more