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Faculty of Science
UNB Fredericton

Back to Earth Sciences


Our faculty and affiliated adjuncts conduct a wide variety of fundamental earth sciences research.

Our work is supported by comprehensive technical and infrastructure support, maintained by UNB Earth Sciences and other UNB facilities on campus. We also collaborate with provincial and government survey organizations and nearby universities.

Bruce Broster studies applied glacial/quaternary geology through:

  • valuation of geochemical content of urban soils
  • engineering assessment of stratigraphic architecture
  • methods of wetland delineation and assessment
  • bathymetric research in the Bay of Fundy
  • geoarchaeology
  • the geological evolution of the Saint John River and Grand Lake drainage systems
  • differentiation of glacigenic and earthquake deformation
  • research on historical earthquakes and landslide events with emphasis on delineation of processes and potential future occurrences

Aqueous, Environmental and Hydrothermal Geochemistry is completed by Bruce Broster as a component of other fields of research on water (fluid) and their interactions with soil, till and rock that range widely in temperature and pressure from ambient conditions to high temperature systems.

Our facilities include:

  • a geochemistry wet lab
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma - Emission Spectrometry
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry

Our research in Igneous Petrology/Experimental Petrology, led by Cliff Shaw and David Lentz, looks at understanding superheating, assimilation processes, fractionation and links to target geology as source rocks for the melting process.

Chris McFarlane and David Lentz research Metamorphic Petrology/Isotope Geology and aim to reconstruct the evolution of ancient mountain building events by examining the textural, geochemical, crystal-chemical and isotopic systematics of major and accessory minerals. 

Their projects typically involve combinations of field and laboratory investigations supported by micro-analytical measurements to determine paleopressure and paleotemperature conditions as well as fluid chemistry, and assessments of open- and close-system behaviour. 

Audrey Limoges’ research in Micropaleontology/Palynology combines data from different microfossil groups to obtain an integrated retrospective view on the state and change through time of virtually any kind of aquatic ecosystem in order to understand how a system responds to a changing environment. 

UNB’s research of Ore Deposits Geology by Chris McFarlane and David Lentz is focused on the genesis of a variety of mineral deposits-forming systems, including their implications for exploration and resource evaluation.

David Keighley focuses on Petroleum Geology/Sedimentology and the structures (including trace fossils), stratigraphy and inorganic geochemistry of sedimentary rocks.

Jennifer Day seeks to uncover Structural Geology/Microstructure and understand faulting, folding and deformation in seconds, in some cases involving large displacements (kilometers).

Other research areas:

  • Applied Geophysics/Rock Physics (Karl Butler)
  • Biogeology, Paleoclimatology, Paleontology, Ichnology (Audrey Limoges and David Keighley)
  • Engineering Geology, Rock Mechanics (Joseph White, Bruce Broster and Jennifer Day)
  • Experimental Petrology/Geochemistry (Cliff Shaw)
  • Volcanology (Cliff Shaw)