Menu Close

Chris Yakymchuk

Chris Yakymchuk recipient of Young Scientist award 2020Prof. Chris Yakymchuk, Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo, is an extraordinary young researcher. He is a true, all-around geologist with a broad range of expertise in petrology and tectonics. He has become an internationally recognized leader in the area of accessory mineral petrochronology. Through his novel thermodynamic modelling, his research has provided (a) innovative predictive models to link metamorphic ages from accessory minerals to specific parts of P-T paths in high-temperature metamorphic settings; and (b) the first quantitative framework in which to interpret trace element concentrations in accessory mineral chronometers, including Th/U ratios of metamorphic zircon in aluminous rocks, which is a commonly used but poorly understood ratio for differentiating igneous and metamorphic zircon. His interdisciplinary approach to tectonics research, combining theoretical, experimental, analytical and field-based studies, positions him as a future leader in this area. More recently, he is applying his knowledge in petrology, phase mineral geochronology and tectonics to mineral deposit studies.


Prof. Yakymchuk received his BSc from Dalhousie University (2008), his MSc from Queen’s University (2010) and his PhD from the University of Maryland (2014).  He has travelled extensively to carry out his research (conducting research on every continent) and maintains an active, field-based research program.  He was recognized by the Geological Society of London assa Young Author (2014) and won the the 2020 Jane Lang Excellence in Earth and Environmental Sciences Teaching award.  Prof. Yakymchuk is a prolific and high-impact researcher, having contributed 36 papers with an additional eight submitted for review. His papers have been well-cited with one of his papers from 2014 receiving over a hundred citations and three of his papers on accessory minerals with over 50 citations (Google Scholar).  These are remarkable achievements for an early career scientist just five years after finishing his PhD.


Prof. Yakymchuck’s research is diverse, but includes several themes espoused by the MAC:  the behaviour of open systems that have undergone high-grade metamorphism, fluids in the deep crust and the U-Pb geochronology of accessory minerals, all being firmly rooted in sound field studies.  The MAC is incredibly proud to be able to recognize Prof. Yakymchuck’s research excellence and to support him as his career develops.