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Luis Parra-Avila

Research Associate
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)

Contact details

Robert Street Building, Rm 210
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)
The University of Western Australia (M006)
35 Stirling Highway

+618 6488 2771

Luis A. Parra-Avila, born in Caracas, Venezuela, has been a Research Associate since October of 2015. Luis is a former UWA PhD student who submitted his thesis for examination in March of 2015. Luis started his geology career in 2004 after leaving Venezuela and moving to Missouri, United States, where he completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Central Missouri in 2007. He then continued his studies at Southern Illinois University, earning a Master of Science in 2010.  His Master thesis examined the Co-Ni enriched Mississippi Valley type deposits of the Viburnum Trend in Southern Missouri. During his Master studies Luis held an internship at the Doe Run Mining Company. Furthermore, Luis was awarded two research grants by the Society of Economic Geology (SEG) and participated in the 2009 student SEG field trip to the Northern Nevada gold deposits. In 2011 Luis joined CET to start his PhD studies. His PhD project focused on the crustal evolution of the Paleoproterozoic domains of the southern West African Craton (WAC). Luis project included the integration of isotope and geochemical data sets in order to elucidate the tectonic history of the southern WAC. For that purpose, Luis had to make extensive use of SHRIMP and LA-ICP-MS as means to determine new U-Pb ages and Hf and O isotopes compositions which integrated with a geochemical data allowed the characterisation of a wide range of felsic intrusions across Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea. Luis’ PhD project was sponsored by the ARC linkage program and is part of the AMIRA West Africa Exploration Program.

As a Research Associate, Luis’ will investigate the nature and setting of key pathways that promote the transfer and exchange of fluids capable of transporting different types of metals by understanding:  1) how the variable nature of these “conduits” affects the composition of the fluids; 2) how the temporal evolution and potential hierarchical self-organisation of these systems promotes focussing; and 3) what type of geological datasets are more appropriate to image and map these pathways. The focus of this study will be on West Africa, by building on the results from his PhD thesis on the lithospheric evolution of the Paleoproterozoic domain of the southern WAC, and 2) on southern Tibet, where the lithosphere plays a key role on the setting of Cu-Mo-Au porphyry systems. In southern Tibet, the study aims at exploring how the underthrusting Indian continental lithosphere may have controlled the location of porphyry systems through plate reconstruction. This study is aligned with the recently funded CCFS pilot study awarded to Lu et al, which looks at the poorly understood origin of world-class post-collisional porphyry Cu deposits in southern Tibet.

Luis’ position fits within the Foundation Project entitled “Multi-scale four-dimensional genesis, transfer and focus of fluids and metals set and founded through the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems (CCFS).

Before leaving the big city and becoming a geologist, Luis participated in the organization of the Caracas International Theatre festival, and spent as much of his free time in the water as possible. He was a lifeguard for the local fire department, gave swimming lessons for local children and participated in a masters swimming team attending several national master swimming meetings.