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2018 Laureate Profile: Professor Stephen Foley

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Professor Stephen Foley

Professor Stephen Foley

Administering Organisation: Macquarie University

Discipline Area: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Fellowship project summary:

This project aims to understand the roles of carbon, water and nitrogen in the development of plate tectonics as drivers of mantle evolution. Through improved understanding of the impact of melting on the deep earth cycles of carbon, water and nitrogen, this project intends to better understand how key elements are enriched towards economically viable concentrations. This project will generate knowledge of long-term benefit for decision-making in the minerals exploration industry and key government agencies. The project will establish a new generation of Australian scientists with a deep interdisciplinary understanding of earth sciences, and pave the way for eventual unification of plate tectonic with climate systems.

Australian Research Council funding: $3,007,316

About Professor Foley

Professor Stephen Foley is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Macquarie University. He is also a Chief Investigator and Research Coordinator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems.

Professor Foley’s research specialises in igneous and metamorphic petrology and geochemistry—the physics and chemistry of rocks formed in the deep crust and mantle. He is well known for his work on alkaline rocks and the melting process in the mantle that produces them. This group of rocks is rare but also significant as an economic resource—they are the host rocks for diamonds and a variety of metals.

Professor Foley has been leading the build-up of a high-pressure experimental laboratory at Macquarie University’s Earth and Planetary Sciences. Previously, Professor Foley was at the University of Mainz where he was Director of the Earth System Sciences Research Centre. He is the recipient of the Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz Prize (1992) and the Gerhard Hess Award, both from the German Science Foundation (1993), and the V.M. Goldschmidt Prize from the German Mineralogical Society (1995).

Find out more about Professor Foley’s research by visiting his profile page on the Macquarie University website.

For further information about this funding scheme, please visit the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme page on the ARC website.

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