Nichole Moerhuis

PhD Geological Sciences

EOS-South 364

Magmatic differentiation is the process by which a single melt produces a range of igneous rock types, and is vital for the formation of Layered Intrusions- however the timescales that magmatic differentiation occurs upon are poorly constrained. My research at UBC seeks to apply high resolution U-Th-Pb, U-Th/He and Ar-Ar dating methods to the Paleocene Skaergaard Intrusion in East Greenland- a classic testing ground for basic magmatic differentiation- to resolve timescales and develop a complete thermochronologic study from emplacement to crystallization using accessory minerals (eg., zircon, apatite and rutile). Resolving magmatic timescales to tens of thousands of years enables high resolution correlation with regional events such as the continental breakup of the North Atlantic and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). 

Teaching Assistant at the University of British Columbia (2015-Present)

Structural Geology II (EOSC 422) 2015

Mineral Deposits (EOSC 331) 2016, 2017, 2018

Advanced Mineral Deposits (EOSC 424) 2015, 2017


Teaching Assistant at the University of Otago (2012-2014)

Igneous Petrology and Volcanology (GEOL 264/364), 'Dynamic Earth: A New Zealand Perspective' (GEOL 112), Metamorphism and Metamorphic Processes (GEOL 274/374), Field Studies and New Zealand Geology (GEOL 252), and Earth and Ocean Science (EOAS 111).  


2015-Present. Ph.D. Geological Sciences, University of British Columbia

Ph.D Thesis: 'Skaergaard Intrusion: resolving timescales of magmatic processes and cooling in young Mafic Layered Intrusions.' Supervisors: James Scoates and Dominique Weis  

2013-2014. M.Sc. Geology, University of Otago

M.Sc. Thesis: 'Metamorphism, Mineralization and Deposition of the Onekaka Schist, northwest Nelson.' Supervisors: James Scott and Mike Palin   2010-2012.

B.Sc. Geology, University of Otago and Haskoli Island (IS)  



Moerhuis, M., Scott, J., Palin, M. (2014). Metamorphism controlled development of Cu-Fe-S veins in the Onekaka Schist, northwest Nelson. Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy New Zealand Conference. Poster, oral and paper.    

Moerhuis, M., Scott, J., Palin, M. (2014). Deposition and Metamorphism of the Onekaka Schist, northwest Nelson. Geoscience Society of New Zealand Conference. Oral. 

Moerhuis, M., Scott, J., Palin, M. (2013). Metamorphism and Mineralization of the Onekaka Schist. Geoscience Society of New Zealand Conference. Oral.  



MAGNET Scholarship and University of British Columbia International Tuition Award (2015-Present).  

James Park Scholarship in Geology (2014) for M.Sc research in developing mineral resources in New Zealand.  

Awarded best MSc Student Presentation of a conference paper, poster and speech presented at the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy New Zealand conference (2014).  

Jock Braithwaite Mineral Scholarship (2013) Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy scholarship for research into mineralization discovered during M.Sc. fieldwork.  

Geological and Nuclear Science New Zealand Haastie Scholarship (2013) for research in 1st year masters.   

Analytical Experience

Experienced in sample preparation for thin sectioning and mineral separation for geochronology. Undergoing Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (ID-TIMS) training through the Pacific Center for Isotope and Geochemical Research (PCIGR) at the University of British Columbia. Sample preparation and experience in use of Electron Microprobe (EMP) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (LA-ICP-MS) for zircon geochronology studies.  


Field Experience

New Zealand, Takaka Terrane Metasedimentary Belt (2013-2014): Field mapping and collecting Onekaka Schist metamorphic rock samples for my M.Sc. project from Anatoki River to Parapara Inlet in the northwest Nelson area.  

Iceland (2012): Field study of geothermal systems at Fluðúr, seismic activity along a microplate juncture at Hengill, large scale volcanic structures in the Fjállabák (Éldgjá and Laki) and 'bookshelf' faulting across the southern lowlands.  

New Zealand (2011-2013): Field mapping and sample collection through the University of Otago includes field-mapping of the Waiau Basin, determining the structure and lithological associations of the Southern Syncline in the Caitlins, quaternary landscape processes apparent in Arthurs Pass, sedimentary basin development in South Canterbury and mapped metamorphic isograds between Brighton and Dunedin.   



Geological Society of America (GSA), Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) and the Geoscience Society of New Zealand (GSNZ)