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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

PhD students win awards at key research conferences

Published: 12 January 2011

Three PhD students from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, University of Southampton, have been recognised for the quality of their research work at two key conferences this month.

Casey Nixon, a second year PhD student in the Geology and Geophysics group, was presented with two awards for his research into Topology, Kinematics and Strain Variation within strike-slip fault networks, at the Tectonic Studies Group Annual Meeting in Durham.
Although the characteristics of individual faults and populations of such faults are well understood, their arrangement (topology) and resulting distribution of deformation within networks are less clear. Casey, who is supervised by Professor Jon Bull and Professor David Sanderson, research to investigate strike-slip fault networks at Westward Ho! (north Devon coast) and offshore Hartland Point, with the objective of determining their geometry, kinematics, and network topology.

Having presented his research at the annual event, Casey, who holds a NERC CASE studentship in collaboration with BP, was awarded the Mike Coward Prize for Best Postgraduate Talk and The Shell Prize for Best Postgraduate Presentation. Casey says: "I found the conference an extremely useful experience, and was able to make some really good contacts".

Steven Hollis and James Nowecki were also recognised for their work at the Mineral Deposits Studies Group Conference, held at the Natural History Museum London between January 5th- 7th.

James, a second year PhD student in the Geochemistry Group, won the award (provided by Anglo American) for Best Student Poster Presentation for his work on sedimentary copper mineralisation in the Yozgat-Delice-Yerkoy basin, Middle Anatolia, Turkey. This was based on a week's field work spent in Turkey alongside a group of fourth year master's students, in conjunction with the company Stratex, who have close ties with the University and provided support for the trip. This formed a side project to James' main PhD, which is supervised by Dr Stephen Roberts, and examines similar deposits in Zambia in central Africa. James says: "The deposits in Turkey are much more recent than those in Zambia, and were very useful to investigate as a comparator, as they show far less of a metamorphic overprint."

Steven Hollis, who is in the third year of his PhD and is also supervised by Dr Stephen Roberts, was judged runner-up for his talk entitled: "A multidisciplinary approach to VMS exploration in ancient collision zones: the Ireland - Newfoundland connection". This focussed on mineral exploration (zinc, copper, lead, gold) within the Tyrone Complex of Northern Ireland, and the way in which these rocks correlate with a succession in Newfoundland, Canada, which hosts a world class metal mining district.

Professor Tim Minshull, Head of the School of Ocean and Earth Science, comments: "I congratulate Casey, Steven and James on these well-deserved achievements. The awards they have been presented reflect their hard work and the high calibre of research that is being undertaken by postgraduate students at the University.”

Winner of the Mike Coward Prize for Best Postgraduate Talk and The Shell Prize for Best Postgraduate Presentation
Casey Nixon
Best Student Poster Presentation winner
James Nowecki
Award winner
Steven Hollis
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