Hervé Rezeau Joins the Department of Geosciences as Assistant Professor and Lundin Family Endowed Chair in Economic Geology

June 1, 2021


Dr. Rezeau
Photo: Dr. Hervé Rezeau


The Department of Geosciences Welcomes Dr. Hervé Rezeau

Dr. Hervé Rezeau, who is currently a Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, will be joining the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona in spring 2022 as an Assistant Professor and the Lundin Family Endowed Chair of Economic Geology.

Dr. Rezeau’s research focuses on the origin and the evolution of volatiles (H2O, S) and economic metals in the lithosphere addressing a key scientific question in economic geology: Why are some continental arc segments endowed with ore deposits while others are barren? As an economic geologist and igneous petrologist, Dr. Rezeau investigates magmatic processes that dictate the ore-forming potential of magmas and hydrothermal processes that are directly responsible for the formation of economic deposits using a multidisciplinary approach that includes fieldwork, petrology, geochemistry, fluid/melt inclusions, and ore petrography. “I want to improve our understanding of Solid Earth processes to develop new geochemical proxies and strategies to evaluate the ore-forming potential of magmas and hence predict with more accuracy the location of hidden mineralized systems,” says Dr. Rezeau. “Ultimately, this aims to find direct applications in the mining industry to limit the impact of mining exploration and ore extraction on the Earth’s environment and climate.”

Dr. Rezeau discovered his real passion for Earth Sciences after an unexpected trip to Vietnam lead by Vincent Pardieu, a former employee of the Gemology Institute of America (GIA), to look for pearls, rubies, sapphire, and blue spinels. “That experience made me realize that geology combines everything I love the most including traveling to remote places, discovering new cultures, and of course doing Earth sciences,” says Dr. Rezeau. “The fascinating aspect of geology is that you operate as a detective gathering evidence from tiny rock-forming minerals to build theories and unravel Earth processes such as the formation of oceanic floor, continents, and minerals resources. The beauty of economic geology is that it offers opportunities to do fundamental research having direct applications for societal challenges, which in this case is the discovery of new mineral resources.”

A World-Leading Mineral Resources Program

As the Lundin Family Endowed Chair of Economic Geology, Dr. Rezeau hopes to develop a world-leading program in mineral resources and economic petrology to address the scientific challenges related to the ongoing global energy transition. “My vision for research education at the graduate level is two-fold: I want to offer fundamental research opportunities and applied research projects in partnership with the mining industry,” says Dr. Rezeau. “My main goal is to produce well-rounded scientists with diverse backgrounds that are highly competitive for both academic and mining industry employment.”

“The Department of Geosciences is excited to welcome Dr. Hervé Rezeau as a new Assistant Professor and as the Lundin Endowed Chair in Economic Geology,” says Professor and Department Head Barbara Carrapa. The Department of Geosciences is ranked #3 in geology according to US News & World Report and has been home to many renowned economic geologists, including David Lowell and John Guilbert, due to the university’s proximity to world-class copper deposits. Lowell and Guilbert were responsible for developing the alteration model for porphyry copper deposits in the 1970s. “The University of Arizona is surrounded by a vibrant mining industry,” says Dr. Rezeau. “The Lundin Family Endowed Chair in Economic Geology position at the University of Arizona represents an exciting opportunity to develop ambitious research and teaching programs in Economic Geology.”

Dr. Rezeau's Background

After obtaining his DUT in Physics at the University of Maine in Le Mans (France), Dr. Rezeau realized his passion for geology and decided to pursue a degree in Earth Sciences. He joined the University of Nantes (France) where he received his bachelor’s degree in Geology and Geophysics. Dr. Rezeau then moved to Switzerland to pursue his master’s and PhD degrees in Petrology, Geochemistry, and Ore Deposits at the University of Geneva under the supervision of Prof. Robert Moritz. Upon the completion of his PhD in 2017, Dr. Rezeau was the recipient of two successive Swiss National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowships that enabled him to work as a postdoctoral scientist with Prof. Oliver Jagoutz at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Current research projects include:

  • Sulfur and metals cycling in subduction zones from a lower crustal perspective.
  • Temporal and genetic relationships between arc magmatism and porphyry Cu-Mo-Au deposits.
  • Magmatism and metallogeny of the Central Tethyan orogenic belt.

Previous research has focused on the genesis of Archean orogenic gold deposits.

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