Graduate Students

Janina Czas

PhD 2009 B.S. Geology and paleontology, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany

2013 M.Sc. (Diplom) Geology, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
Thesis Title: Geochemistry of Polycrystalline Diamond Aggregates from Venetia (RSA) – The Peridotitic Suite
Research Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Dorrit E. Jacob and Prof. Dr. Stephen F. Foley

For my PhD project I am going to analyze mantle xenoliths (i.e. eclogites, some of which are diamond bearing, peridotites and websterites) from the Fort à la Corne (FALC) Kimberlite Field in Saskatchewan, working with Drs Thomas Stachel and Graham Pearson. I aim to provide a characterization of the subcratonic lithospheric mantle beneath the Canadian Shield in particular beneath the Sask Craton. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding the processes taking place in the Archean diamondiferous root beneath the Sask Craton during the ~1.8Ga Trans Hudson Orogeny (collision of the Superior and Churchill provinces), as such a reworking of the lithosphere is expected to result in the destruction of previously existing diamonds.

Mandy Krebs

PhD 2010 B.Sc. Geosciences, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Thesis title: "Early Crustal Evolution in the Archaean derived from Age Spectra of South African detrital Zircons” Research Supervisors: Dr. Axel Gerdes and Prof. Gerhard Brey

2012 M.Sc. Geosciences/Mineralogy, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Thesis title: "Inclusions in Diamonds from Ultradeep Sources"
Research Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Frank E. Brenker and Prof. D. Graham Pearson

As part of my PhD project I am investigating the relationship between the different diamond size fractions found in micro-diamond samples that were used for the grade evaluation of the Misery Kimberlite Complex, Ekati Mine, NWT, Canada, employing lognormal size frequency distributions. Using carbon isotopic compositions, nitrogen concentrations, and nitrogen aggregation states I am trying to gain a geochemical understanding of this purely statistical exploration tool which is widely used for predicting the macro-diamond grade of new kimberlite discoveries.

Further I will study a suite of zoned fibrous diamonds from Kankan, Guinea, and a suite of gem quality diamonds from the Victor pipe, Ontario, Canada, employing a newly developed “off-line” laser ablation technique followed by mass spectrometry that allows quantitative determination of trace element characteristics and Sr isotope compositions. The main objectives of this research are to place further constraints on the age and origin of diamond-forming fluids as well as the determination of a diamond’s ‘fingerprint’. Successful chemical fingerprinting of diamond would, amongst other things, be useful in distinguishing synthetic from natural diamond, in determining the geographic region of origin of particular diamonds and thus to reliably identify conflict diamonds, and in discriminating physiochemically treated from untreated diamonds as a means to enhance value.

Theetso Motsamai



Research Project: Diamond sources in the lithospheric mantle beneath the
Karowe Mine, Botswana.

In this study, diamonds and their mineral inclusion from the Karowe Mine (on
the Zimbabwe block of the Kalahari Craton) will be examined to assess the
physical and chemical environment of diamond formation and the conditions of
mantle residence. Petrographic and geochemical data generated from
peridotite and eclogite xenoliths and xenocrysts will be evaluated to
determine the nature of the lithospheric upper mantle beneath the Karowe

The project is conducted in collaboration with Lucara Diamonds and Theetso
receives a PhD scholarship through BIUST (Botswana International University
of Science and Technology)

Matthew Hardman


MSc 2012 BSc with Specialization in Geology, University of Alberta, Canada


The focus of my MSc research is the development of new techniques by which diamondiferous deposits may be explored for through the study of eclogitic garnets. Existing techniques involving eclogitic garnets are often deficient, and the development of improved techniques has important economic implications. Under the supervision of Drs Thomas Stachel and Graham Pearson, garnets gathered from the Diavik Mine in the Northwest Territories by Rio Tinto will be analyzed by electron microprobe and inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Trace element data gathered will be compared with existing data and developed into a working set of geochemical discriminants, capable of differentiating between diamondiferous and diamond-barren deposits.