Nicole Williamson

PhD student
University of British Columbia

Originally from Nova Scotia, I moved to Ottawa in 2006 to pursue an undergraduate degree in Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa where I studied the genesis of hydrothermal barite in black smokers along the Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. After graduating in 2010, I hopped across town to join the team at Carleton University to start a Master’s Degree. My M.Sc. thesis was focused on the volcanic rocks of the Neoproterozoic Franklin Magmatic Event on Victoria Island, in the western Canadian Arctic, and sought to establish the volcanic stratigraphy and major-element chemostratigraphy of the southern portion of the Natkusiak Formation flood basalts. This study broadened our understanding of the geological processes that helped shape the Canadian Arctic, and provided new information on a region in northern Canada that had not previously been documented, mapped, or described.

After almost two years away from academia working in environmental consulting, I began a doctoral degree in January 2015 at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Drs. Weis and Scoates. My project is a high-precision geochemical study of lavas from the main shield-building stage of volcanism on Kaua’i, Hawaii’s northernmost island. Through systematic sampling, high-precision isotopic analyses, and geochronology of the lavas, this research will be used (1) to test whether lavas demonstrate predominantly Loa- or Kea-like isotopic trends, (2) to determine the timing of the onset of these geochemical signatures, and (3) to resolve whether previously proposed east-west geographical trends are present using a high-precision dataset.