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Luis Parra-Avila

Research Associate

School of Earth Sciences - Centre for Exploration Targeting

Contact details

Robert Street Building, Rm 210
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)
School of Earth Sciences
The University of Western Australia (M006)
35 Stirling Highway

+618 6488 2771


Personal Profile

Research Output / Publications



Dr Luis A. Parra Avila, from Venezuela, earned his Bachelor degree in 2007 at the University of Central Missouri, then moved to the state of Illinois to work on his Masters’ degree, which he earned in 2010 at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. His Masters’ thesis involved Co-Ni enriched Mississippi Valley-type deposits in southeast Missouri. For the project, he had the support of the “The Doe Run Co.

After concluding his master degree, he decided to continue his education at the Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET), University of Western Australia, where he earned his PhD in 2016. His PhD project at CET focused on establishing the crustal tectonic history of the Paleoproterozoic Domain of the West African Craton across Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Ivory Coast and Guinea and its links to mineral deposits. The project was funded through the ARC linkage program and was part of the AMIRA West Africa Exploration Program (P934A).

In October of 2015, Luis joined the CCFS as a post-doctoral research associated. His research focused on evaluating zircon characteristics and its link to porphyry Cu deposits. The project seeks to develop new pathfinders to assist with the exploration of porphyry Cu deposits and to understand the difference between fertile and unfertile tectonic environments for such deposits.

Current projects


In 2017 Luis started a new project to unravel the geologic history of Northern Thailand. This project focuses on the tectonic history (collision and amalgamation) of continental and arc terranes, including closure of ocean basins across the Sukhothai (arc) terrane, Nan Suture zone and western Indochina terrane.  This project follows and expands on existing work in the Loei-Phetchabun Foldbelt and mid-Triassic intrusive magmatism associated with subduction of Paleotethys seafloor beneath western Indochina. The project is multidisciplinary and will integrate new field-based data collection with state-of-the-art geochronological techniques, as well as geochemical and isotopic fingerprinting, to substantially build on previous petrological and geochemical studies in the region.  The results of this study will provide a geologically ‘young’ example of continental crustal evolution to compare with Archean and Proterozoic examples in Australia and other ancient cratonic regions elsewhere, as well as a context for understanding the formation of particular mineral deposits.

Roles and responsibilities

* Acquisition of spatially constrained radiogenic and stable isotopic datasets in West Africa and southern Tibet, addressing existing knowledge gaps in lithospheric understanding of West African Craton
* Compilation of existing geochemical datasets for mafic rocks in West Africa
* Compilation of whole-rock and in-situ geochemical datasets for porphyry related projects globally, with focus on southern Tibet