Department of Earth Sciences
(Petrology, High-temperature Metamorphism, Crustal Melting)
Joined SFU in October 2017
A career of hiking in remote places to study mountains is a dream come true for Dr. Brendan Dyck. He uses thermodynamic modeling and quantitative microstructure analysis to study the evolution of the planetary crust. Current sites of interest include the Coast Plutonic Complex and the Shushwap Metamorphic Complex in British Columbia, as well as Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, and the Austrian Alps.
What early life experiences may have foretold your path into science?
I was always curious about nature and my surroundings. Also, my dad was very mechanical and had me doing all kinds of projects as a kid - I think that helped with my problem-solving abilities. In university I started off in Biology. I took a first-year Earth Sciences course and quickly realized that I could have a career of hiking and exploring remote parts of the world all while studying something tangible like the mountains around us and how they form.
You’ve had quite a bit of field experience. What type of work did you do with the Geological Surveys of Sweden, Denmark and Canada?
I did two types of jobs when I did Survey work. With the Canadian Geological Survey and the Swedish Geological Survey, my project was to map out mineral resources and understand the crust composition and the type of materials available. Part of the work was about sovereignty, especially up in the Arctic, but a large part was to create a geological map showing what type of rock is there; these maps are used by mining companies, land-use planners, and other researchers. In Greenland and Arctic Canada, we did this style of mapping by helicopter, which let us cover a lot of ground (an area of about 200 x 500 km).