Chris Spencer receiving an award.

Researcher earns significant honour

Faculty of Arts and Science researcher Christopher Spencer has earned the W.W. Hutchinson Medal from the Geological Association of Canada (GAC). The medal is awarded to a young researcher for recent exceptional advances in Canadian earth science research.

“Receiving the W.W. Hutchison Medal is a significant milestone in my career,” says Dr. Spencer (Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering). “It not only recognizes the hard work and dedication I have put into my research but also highlights the importance of understanding the formation, destruction, and secular evolution of the continental crust. This award provides validation for the contributions I've made to the field of tectonochemistry (the chemistry of plate tectonics through time) and serves as motivation to continue pushing the boundaries of scientific inquiry.”

Dr. Spencer has made significant contributions toward understanding the formation, destruction, and secular evolution of the continental crust and the tectonic processes responsible. His research focuses on using geochemistry to better understand how geologic processes change over billions of years. By conducting fieldwork and analyzing geochemical data, he is aiming to unravel how mountain building and volcanism have changed throughout Earth's history.

By focusing on the behaviour and abundance of stable and radiogenic isotopes, he has become a world leader in the field of tectonochemistry.

“My long-term goals are to deduce the igneous petrology, geochemistry, and geochronology of key rock formations to understand orogenic processes and secular changes in those processes over 4.5 billion years of Earth history.”

Learn more about the award on the Geological Association of Canada webpage.