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Helen McFarlane


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Research Associate 
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)

Contact details

Robert Street Building, Rm 211 
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)
The University of Western Australia (M006)
35 Stirling Highway

(+61) 8 9266 


Helen McFarlane currently holds a post-doctoral position as a Research Associate at the Centre for Exploration Targeting at the University of Western Australia. Her research, conducted under the supervision of Professor Mark Jessell and Research Assistant Professor Mark Lindsay, focuses on the crustal architecture and tectonic evolution of Palaeoproterozoic terranes in Ghana, West Africa. Helen is using a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates structural geology, interpretation of geophysical datasets, petrophysics and 3D modelling to provide insight into the crustal geometries at depth and tectonic processes active during the assembly of the West African Craton. 

Helen completed her BEnvSc (Honours) at Monash University in 2011 after which she undertook a six-month position as a student geologist/independent contractor at MMG’s Rosebery Mine in western Tasmania. She returned to her studies in 2013 to commence an ambitious PhD project under a Joint Award (Cotutelle) program between Monash University, Australia and Université Paul Sabatier -Toulouse III (France) under the supervision of Laurent Ailleres (Monash, Australia), Peter Betts (Monash, Australia), Mark Jessell (UWA, Australia/ UPS, France), Jérôme Ganne (GET-UPS, France) and Lenka Baratoux (IFAN, Senegal/UPS, France). The project was entitled “The geodynamic and tectonic evolution of the Palaeoproterozoic Sefwi Greenstone Belt, West African Craton.” The study formed part of the larger West African Exploration Initiative (WAXI). It encompassed a multi-scale and multi-disciplinary approach combining field mapping, structural geology, structural geophysics, metamorphic petrology and P-T modelling, geochemistry and geochronology. The research documented a new structural and metamorphic framework and re-characterised the magmatic history of the Sefwi Greenstone Belt. The results provided fresh insight into the evolution of the Eburnean Orogeny (2150 – 2070 Ma) and into the tectonic and geodynamic processes active during the Palaeoproterozoic.

Key Research

Palaeoproterozoic geology, structural geology, 3D modelling