Mitchell Kerr was born in 1987 in Brampton, Ontario. He completed his H.B.Sc degree (honours) in chemistry at the University of Toronto in 2010, graduating with high distinction and on the Dean’s Honour List. Although Mitchell’s H.B.Sc degree was highly chemistry focused, acquiring 2 publications in the Journal of Inorganic Chemistry as a result of his undergraduate chemistry thesis work under a NSERC USRA, he also studied geology quite intensively and performed an undergraduate geology thesis with Dr. Daniel Schulze investigating the mineral chemistry of clinopyroxene in kimberlite in order to determine whether this factor could be used as a potential geochemical diamond exploration tool. He began work on his MSc at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with Dr. Jacob Hanley, employing novel in-line rock crushing gas chromatographic techniques to investigate the volatile chemistry and mechanisms of formation of reduced carbonic fluids (i.e. hydrocarbons) associated with various geological environments including ore-bearing environments. The presence of abiogenic hydrocarbons within fluid inclusions has been shown to be far more ubiquitous than previously believed, with a myriad of mineralogically and texturally different crystalline rocks from various environments around the world having been shown to contain detectible, and often significant quantities of hydrocarbon species.
Mitchell’s MSc project is working towards developing an improved set of exploration criteria for metal sulfide ore bodies (particularly for those associated with the Sudbury Igneous Complex) via the investigation of how the speciation and abundance of various hydrocarbons present in the these carbonic fluids differ between barren and mineralized environments.