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  • Dr Marco Brenna "Rocks" Peking University with Guest Lectures

    14/10/2016 - In early October, The New Zealand Centre of Peking University hosted Dr Marco Brenna, who is a NZC Visiting Research Fellow specialising in geology. During his stay at Peking University he worked closely with his host, Professor Xu Cheng of School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University and delivered two lectures.

    Dr Marco Brenna has researched volcanoes extensively both in Korea and Japan. He now lectures in the Department of Geology at the University of Otago. His research and teaching interests are in igneous petrology and geochemistry, volcanology and magma ascent dynamics. In October, Peking University hosted Dr Brenna as a NZC visiting fellow, providing students with guest lectures on his research specialty.

    In the public lecture “From Volcanoes to Mobile phones: The Rare Earth Metals Odyssey”, he grabbed everyone’s attention by stating examples of many current and possible future applications of the Rare Earth metals in technology industries. He also went through the natural formation of the Rare Earth metal deposits – from the supernova explosion to ore deposits of magmas and in hydrothermal solutions. He also introduced some New Zealand volcanoes; Mount Eden, Rangitoto, Tarawera, Taupo, and the Southern Alps. He reminded the audience of a current issue, the shortage in the supply of Rare Earth metals in the international markets and political aspects of it as well.

    Dr Brenna delivers a guest lecture at Peking University.

    Dr Marco Brenna’s lecture explained the natural variation of evolved magmas: phonolite and trachyte. He started his lecture by explaining how different crystallization and storage conditions could model the chemical composition of evolved magmas, and explored the topic further by explaining how those factors do not adequately capture the sudden chemical composition changes of evolved magmas and that a multiple evolutionary path is required to fully explain the naturally occurring variations of the present evolved magmas, at different volcanic sites. Both the students and the faculty members interacted actively with Dr Marco Brenna who found the experience at Peking University very rewarding.

    Dr Brenna prepared his lecture as part of a Visiting Fellowship with the New Zealand Centre. If you are a member of the academic staff from any of our eight partner institutions and you are interested in attending a fellowship at Peking University, get in touch with our liaison officers to learn more about the application process. Visiting fellowships for New Zealand academics are held year-round at Peking University, across a broad range of departments, forming a significant contribution to the advancement of academic exchange between China and New Zealand.

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