In September 2014, Dr Matthijs Smit joins the Faculty in the Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences at UBC as Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair Tier II in Applied Geochemistry. Dr Smit obtained his PhD in 2010 from Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany and spent a few years as Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA before becoming Assistant Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark in 2013.
Matthijs investigates the geochemistry and tectonics of crust-mantle interface regions – subduction zones, and root zones of orogens and cratons – to better understand the processes involved in the creation, reworking and destruction of the continental crust. Specific focus is on constraining 1) the timing and rates of petrological processes, 2) the links among fluid flow, mineral reactions and deformation, and 3) the lithosphere-scale effects of physico-chemical interactions at depth. To develop a comprehensive insight, he employs a multi-disciplinary approach combining geochemical and isotope analysis, geochronology (e.g., Lu-Hf, Sm-Nd, U-Pb), petrological analysis, geospeedometry, and micro-structural studies. His current research focuses on fragments of the deep crust and lithospheric mantle exposed in Scandinavia, Canada, and Greenland, and the Hindu Kush-Pamir-High Himalaya orogen.