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Alison Ord

Honorary Fellow

School of Earth Sciences - Centre for Exploration Targeting

Contact details

Physics Building, Rm 559
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)
The University of Western Australia (M006)
35 Stirling Highway

+618 6488 2642


BSc Geology First Class Honours University of Edinburgh 1977
PhD Geology University of California at Los Angeles 1981

Research Interests
I apply the tools of non-linear dynamics to improving our understanding of structural geology, deforming metamorphic rocks and mineralising systems. My interests are in the integration of the best and most up-to-date physics, chemistry and mathematics in providing solutions, particularly through computational modelling, to critical issues in geology.

I came to Australia as a post-doctoral research fellow to work on the effects of point defect chemistry on the strength of quartz at Monash University after completing my a PhD involving transmission electron microscopy of deformed quartz. I joined the CSIRO Division of Geomechanics in 1984 where I learnt about bifurcations, instabilities and localisation of deformation; fragmentation and jointing; computational modelling of coupled deformation-fluid flow-heat transport-chemical reactions; and their application for industry. I joined the University of Western Australia in 2011, being immediately involved in multiscale dynamics and ore deposits.
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
I am a researcher with the Centre for Exploration and Targeting.
I presently lead a Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) project entitled Multiscale Dynamics of Hydrothermal Mineral Systems.
I am Chair of the Minerals Resources Forum of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
I am Chair of TecTask, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) Commission on Tectonics and Structural Geology.

Project Colleagues
Bruce Hobbs CSIRO Research Fellow
Mark Munro Research Associate UWA
Weronika Gorczyk Research Assistant Professor UAW
Jorn Kruhl Professor emeritus, Technical University Munich, Germany
Chongbin Zhao Central South University, Changsha, China

Students Past 5 years
Christopher Gonzalez PhD Towards a better understanding of the origin of CO2 fluids in mineralization and metasomatism in the mantle lithosphere
Leo Liu (PhD completed 2014) Chemo-hydrodynamic patterns and instabilities in giant hydrothermal ore systems
Martin Paesold PhD  Non-linear thermo-mechanics of folding in geomaterials
Cai Jia PhD Visiting scholar from Hefei University of Technology 2D & 3D numerical simulation of the process of deposit formation
Li Xiaohui PhD Visiting scholar from Hefei University of Technology (2014) Three-dimensional mineral prospectivity modelling for concealed mineralization in Zhonggu ore field, Ninwu Basin, China
Douglas Bowden (Honours completed 2014) Multi-scale kinematics of the Albany-Fraser orogen of Western Australia with emphasis on the Mount Barren Group
Xiaohan Wang MSc Understanding vein-hosted mineralization at the Sunrise Dam gold deposit through coupled mechanical-fluid flow modelling

Funding received
Over the past five years, I have received funding (~AUD 1M) from a range of organisations, including the Geological Survey of Western Australia, Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), MRIWA, First Quantum Minerals Ltd., Silver Lake Resources, AngloGold Ashanti, the Group of Eight/German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Australian Research Council.

Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Fellow of the Geological Society of London

Geological Society of Australia
American Geophysical Union
I have no formal teaching duties.
I have recently presented guest lectures for SHPC4001 Principles of Scientific Computation.

Useful links

Researcher ID

Research profile
Research profile and publications


Research Output / Publications

UWA Research Repository