Graham Pearson

Professor and Canada Excellence Research Chair
ESB 1-019 A
Web Site

Canada Excellence Research Chairs:

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GeoTherm calculation and plotting program has been described in Mather et al., Lithos, vol 125, 729-742.

Click here to download GeoTherm program.

Research area
  • Mantle evolution, geochemistry and petrology
  • Radiogenic isotope geochemistry
  • Trace element geochemistry
  • Age and origin of diamonds
  • Tracing diamonds using elemental and isotopic methods
  • Origin of the continental lithosphere, especially cratons
  • PGE geochemistry, Re-Os and Pt-Os isotope geochemistry
  • Origins of alkaline/low melt fraction rocks
  • Application of ICPMS to molecular pharmacology – metallodrugs
Research interest

Graham Pearson is a mantle geochemist whose research interests focus on the origin and evolution of the continental lithospheric mantle and its diamond cargo.  The current region of interest is Arctic Canada and its diamond-bearing roots.  Through the study of mantle xenoliths I try to evaluate how cratons are formed and how they have evolved.  My research group has developed new methods for dating diamonds and analyzing ultra-low level trace element impurities in the diamond lattice.  Current efforts are focused on using such data to try to distinguish a diamond’s place of origin, with application to supporting the Kimberley Process.  I apply radiogenic isotopes (specialising in the Re-Os and Pt-Os systems) to the geochronology and tracing of mantle rocks and mantle-derived magmas such as kimberlites.  I use the systematics of platinum group element geochemistry to investigate a wide range of phenomena ranging from lunar evolution to the interaction between DNA and metallodrugs.

Research opportunity

I am interested in attracting graduate students and post-doctoral researchers to work in the following areas:

  • Constraining the thermal history of cratonic lithosphere through conventional and new approaches to thermobarometry and thermal modelling.
  • Petrology and geochronology of the lithospheric mantle beneath Arctic Canada.
  • The origin of Slave craton diamonds.
  • Use of novel laser-sampling methods to trace the origin of diamonds.
  • Statistical methods for differentiating diamond populations.
  • Laser ablation analytical methods
  • University of Leeds, U.K.
  • Heaman, L.M. and Pearson, D.G. (2010). Nature and Evolution of the Slave Subcontinental Lithospheric Mantle.  In: Lithoprobe - Parameters, Processses and the Evolution of a Continent.  Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 47: 369-388.
  • Malarkey, J., Pearson, D.G., Kjarsgaard, B.A., Davidson, J.P., Nowell, G.M. and Stammer, J. (2010). Earth and Planetary Science Letters. From source to crust: Tracing magmatic evolution in a kimberlite and a melilitite using microsample geochemistry.  Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 299: 80-90.
  • Klein-BenDavid, O., Pearson, D.G., Nowell, G.M., Ottley, C.J., McNeill, J.C.R. and Cartigny, P. (2010). Mixed fluid sources involved in diamond growth constrained by Sr-Nd-Pb-C-N isotopes and trace elements. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 289: 123-133.
  • McNeill, J.C.R., Pearson, D.G., Klein-BenDavid, O., Nowell, G.M., Ottley, C.J. and Chinn, I. (2009). Quantitative trace element analysis of gem quality diamonds. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 21, 364207, 13 pp.
  • Kjarsgaard, B.A., Pearson, D.G., Tappe, S., Nowell, G.M. and Dowall, D.P. (2009). Geochemistry of hypabyssal kimberlites from Lac de Gas, Canada: Comparisons to a global database and applications to the parent magma problem. Lithos, 112, S 1, Pages 236-248.
  • Luguet, A.L., Pearson, D.G., Nowell, G.M., Dreher, S.T., Coggon, J.A., Spetsius, Z.V. and Parman, S.W. (2008). Enriched Pt-Re-Os isotope systematics in plume lavas explained by metasomatic sulfides. Science, 319: 453-456.
  • Pearson, D.G. & Wittig, N. (2008). Formation of Archean continental lithosphere and its diamonds: The root of the problem.  Journal of the Geological Society, London, 165: 1-20.
  • Pearson, D.G., Parman, S.W. & Nowell, G.M. (2007). A link between large mantle melting events and continent growth seen in Osmium isotopes. Nature, 449: 202-205.
  • Day, J.M.D., Pearson, D.G. and Taylor, L.A. 2007. Highly siderophile element constraints on the accretion and differentiation of the Earth-Moon system. Science, 315: 217-219.