Researcher

Professor David Ronald Cohen

My Expertise

Mineral exploration, environmental geology, creationism-evolution debate.

Fields of Research (FoR)

Exploration Geochemistry, Geology

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Biography

I am President of the UNSW Academic Board 2017 - 2023.  From 2008-2016 I was head of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Deputy President of the Academic Board. My main research interests are in geochemistry with a focus on exploration methods for mineral deposits. I have been involved in research projects in North America, Indonesia, Europe, PNG, Pakistan, Iran and, of course, Australia. I led the Geochemical...view more

I am President of the UNSW Academic Board 2017 - 2023.  From 2008-2016 I was head of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Deputy President of the Academic Board. My main research interests are in geochemistry with a focus on exploration methods for mineral deposits. I have been involved in research projects in North America, Indonesia, Europe, PNG, Pakistan, Iran and, of course, Australia. I led the Geochemical Atlas of Cyprus project. I am currently President of the Australian Geoscience Council.

Education

  • BSc 1983 (Sydney) in Geology
  • MSc 1986 (Queen’s, Canada) in Geochemistry
  • PhD 1990 (UNSW) in Geochemistry
  • FRSN, FAAG, FAIG, MAICD

RESEARCH

My Research Goals

Develop better methods of geochemical exploration, especially in areas containing deep cover.

Investigate the use of biogeochemistry and selective chemical extractions in both exploration and contaminant detection.

Implement regional geochemical mapping programs in various parts of the world.

Evaluate various approaches to processing geochemical data with a view to separating "signals" related to either the effects of mineralisation or contamination from other processes or effects.

My Research in Detail

My research group examines the relationships between the geochemical characteristics of the surficial environment (soils, sediments, vegetation) and parent material, with a focus on the development of geochemical methods suited to mineral exploration in a variety of environments. This extends from mapping and trying to understand geochemical patterns in various sampling media at scales ranging from mineral deposits to entire countries.

Current Student Projects (PhD and Honours)

  • Joe Schifano (PhD candidate) - Biogeochemical mapping of the Cobar Basin (supported by the MineEx CRC)

My Grants

1.              Title:

 Biogeochemistry in Cobar Basin

Chief investigators:

DR Cohen; JA Schifano

Role in Project:

Co-Lead investigator

Source and Scheme:

MinEx CRC, plus direct funding from company consortium of GSNSW, Peel Mining, Aurelia, 3E Steel, Golden Cross Resources and Cleantec

Commencement date:

Jun-19

Duration:

2 years

Total Amount AUD$:

$60,000 from MinEx CRC (cash); ~$60,000 in-kind support for analytical work.  $120,000 direct company support

   

2.              Title:

 Beneficial use of CSG co-produced water salts

Chief investigators:

DR Cohen

Role in Project:

Sole investigator

Source and Scheme:

RGS Environmental Ltd; contract research

Commencement date:

Apr-16

Duration:

2 years

Total Amount AUD$:

$14,820

   

3.           Title:

 Membership of ANZIC (Aust consortium within the International Ocean Discovery Program)

Chief investigators:

R Arculus, MB Clennell, DR Cohen (and CIs from 12 other organisations)

Role in Project:

Chief Investigator

Source and Scheme:

ARC, LIEF (LE160100067)

Commencement date:

Jan-16

Duration:

5 years

Total Amount AUD$:

$10,000,000

   

4.              Title:

 Use of pXRF in assessing coal quality

Chief investigators:

CR Ward (lead), DR Cohen, SJ Kelloway; C Marjo

Role in Project:

Co-chief investigator

Source and Scheme:

ACARP

Commencement date:

Apr-15

Duration:

2 years

Total Amount AUD$:

$157,400

   

5.              Title:

 Student support

Chief investigators:

DR Cohen

Role in Project:

Co-supervisor of students

Source and Scheme:

Society of Economic Geologists Foundation, Graduate Student Fellowship GSF 15-20/ 15-22

Commencement date:

Apr-15

Duration:

2 years

Total Amount AUD$:

$11,320

   

 

6.           Title:

 Project 7.2 of the MinEx CRC 

Chief investigators:

DR Cohen

Role in Project:

UNSW Lead

Source and Scheme:

MinEx CRC

Commencement date:

Jan-22

Duration:

3 years

Total Amount AUD$:

$420,000

 

 

7.              Title:

 Mineral exploration in Laos

Chief investigators:

IT Graham, DR Cohen

Role in Project:

Co-chief investigator

Source and Scheme:

PT Coy Ltd, contract research

Commencement date:

Feb-15

Duration:

1 year

Total Amount AUD$:

$11,470

   

8.           Title:

 Advanced analytical facilities

Chief investigators:

M Aubert, AB Baker, … IT Graham, DR Cohen (and CIs from 15 other organisations)

Role in Project:

Chief Investigator

Source and Scheme:

ARC, LIEF (LE140100023)

Commencement date:

Jan-14

Duration:

1 year

Total Amount AUD$:

$360,000

 

9.           Title:

 Geochemical exploration in areas of thick sedimentary rock and calcrete cover

Chief investigators:

DR Cohen and NF Rutherford

Role in Project:

Chief Investigator

Source and Scheme:

Contract to Hillgrove Resources 

Commencement date:

Jan-21

Duration:

2 years

Total Amount AUD$:

nfp

 

7.           Title:

 Geochemical exploration for Ag in Gautemala

Chief investigators:

DR Cohen and NF Rutherford

Role in Project:

Chief Investigator

Source and Scheme:

Contract to Volcanic Gold Mines

Commencement date:

Oct-21

Duration:

1 year

Total Amount AUD$:

nfp


My Qualifications

BSc (Hons), Sydney University, 1983

MSc, Queen's University in Canada, 1986

PhD, UNSW, 1990


My Awards

Fellow of the Association of Applied Geochemistry (international association), 2000

Fellow of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, 2015

Silver Medal of the Association of Applied Geochemists, 2015

Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 2017


My Research Activities

Biogeochemical methods in mineral exploration and general regional mapping.  Selective extractions in palaeontology. Use of field-portable analytical methods.


My Teaching

I am the main presenter of GEOS3281 - Applied Geochemistry.  I contribute to the introductory geology course GEOS1111, and to the third year GEOS3141 Ore Deposits course.

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Location

Room 202, Chancellery Building

Contact

+61 2 9385 3010