James Mungall was born in Ottawa in 1960, where he lived until he began his studies at the University of Waterloo in 1978. Nine years later, having spent more time dirtbagging, baking bagels, tanning hides, and pumping dirty water than he had in school, he graduated with a B.Sc. in geology and headed for Montreal. There he did his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in igneous petrology under Robert Martin/'s guidance, studying the petrogenesis first of shoshonitic intrusions in the Grenville Province and later of peralkaline ocean island rhyolites in the Azores. Six years of attempting to answer questions about magmatic processes by looking at old rocks convinced him that he should try to understand magma chemistry and physics in the laboratory. After two years of experimental investigations of the transport properties of silicate melts at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Germany, Jim found himself back in Canada in the summer of 1996, looking for nickel deposits and communing with the affectionate mosquitoes of northern Quebec. In 1999, Jim found a place where he could combine a passion for field work with the possibility of doing experimental petrology and teaching at the University of Toronto, where he has remained ever since.
James Brenan is a petrologist and geochemist who simulates rock-forming conditions in the laboratory to understand the processes responsible for element distribution in the Earth and terrestrial planets. James was born in Needham, Massachusetts, in 1963. He entered McGill University on 1981, took Introduction to Geology and became hooked on the subject by the inspired teaching of A.E. "Willy" Williams-Jones. James acquired a severe bias for the "dark-coloured" igneous rocks under the influence of Don Francis, and it was Don who suggested further graduate studies. James received a B.Sc.(Hon.) from McGill University in 1985, then enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY). Under the guidance of Bruce Watson, James conducted experiments to better establish the role of aqueous fluids in trace-element recycling through subduction zones. For this work, he received a Ph.D. in 1990. James was a post-doctoral researcher at the Geophysical Laboratory (1990-1992) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1992-1996) before taking a faculty position at the University of Toronto.