Geological Science and Engineering

Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering
Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

GRADUATE SPOTLIGHT: RYAN DHILLON

Hometown: Lancaster, California

Graduate Research Focus:

My PhD research is focused on the geochemical evaluation of modern and Holocene brachiopods from the southern Australian shelf. The purpose of this research is to better understand how brachiopod shell chemistry relates to oceanography and to test their applicability for reconstructing paleoceanography and paleoclimate.

Why I chose to do graduate studies:

I chose to continue my education as a graduate student because I found my passion in geology. An undergraduate degree provides just a glimpse of what can be done in the geosciences. Whereas, a M.Sc. or PhD allows you to dive into the science and conduct research on topics that have never been understood.

Why Queen’s?:

I moved from central Texas to attend Queen’s University because I wanted to work with Noel James and Kurt Kyser. Noel and Kurt are very well known around the world for their research contributions and I couldn’t ask for better advisors. Students at Queen’s are very fortunate that they are being taught by some of the most intelligent and influential people in our field.

Student involvement/extracurricular activities I am involved with:

I have been involved in the Queen’s geoscience/geoengineering club for graduate students (Jolliffe Club) since I arrived at Queen’s. I have been Vice President and President of the club and last year I helped found the Queen’s Geoscience Speaker Series.

Outside of school, I enjoy brewing beer and cider, playing softball, slacklining, yoga, and hunting.

The professor(s) or course which has influenced me the most:

My undergraduate advisor, Dan Lehrmann, inspired me to become a geologist and he provided me the opportunity to conduct an undergraduate research project, which is where I found my passion for geologic research.

Noel James has also influenced me and helped me realized the type of scientist I want to become. Noel has established himself as one of the world’s foremost researchers in carbonate sedimentology. His humble and kind-hearted attitude is rarely found in scientists of this caliber. He is an advisor to many graduate students and he customizes his mentoring style for each student. Noel provides guidance but leaves freedom for each student to develop their own writing and research styles. I hope that someday I can be such an effective teacher and researcher.

After I graduate, I plan to:

I would like to continue research in sedimentary basins and I am applying for positions in Canada, US, and Europe—including post-doctoral fellowships, assistant professorships, and research positions at petroleum companies.

One big goal I’d like to accomplish during my lifetime:

I would like to teach geologic field courses around the world.

Back to Student Spotlights