Dr. Richard Ernst is the Project Leader of a Recently Awarded $1.9 Million Russian Mega-Grant

Monday, December 19, 2016

Winter scene at TSU. Main TSU building in the background and block of ice ready for carving in foreground.

Winter scene at TSU. Main TSU building in the background and block of ice
ready for carving in foreground. 

Scientist in Residence Dr. Richard Ernst recently returned from another trip to Russia (November 26 to December 6), again to Tomsk State University (TSU) in Siberia. There were two purposes for this trip:

 

1)      To participate in and give a keynote presentation at the Eighth All-Russian Petrographic Conference hosted by TSU 

2)      To help establish a major analytical laboratory at TSU in collaboration with Drs. Gertner, Tishin, Vrublevski and Krasnova of the Department of Geology and Geography. Dr. Ernst is the Project Leader of a recently awarded Russian Mega-Grant (no. 14.Y26.31.0012), worth 90 million rubles (about $1.9 million Canadian dollars) for the establishment of a LA- ICP-MS (Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) facility, which will be used for U-Pb dating. On this trip, Richard brought with him two international experts: Dr. Kevin Chamberlain (University of Wyoming) and Xia Ying (PhD student, China University of Geosciences Beijing, who was also our guest at Carleton from September 2014 to November 2015). Also visiting TSU and providing expert suggestions were Dr. Gabriel Gutierrez-Alonso and Alicia Lopez-Carmona (University of Salamanca, Spain). In addition, Dr. Paul Sylvester (Texas Tech University), a leading LA-ICP-MS researcher, provided advice by e-mail. The goal is for this new TSU laboratory to become a regional center of LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating in Russia. On this trip, we gave recommendations on the equipment to be purchased and the renovations required for the laboratory complex that will host the equipment. 

 

Block of ice being carved by artists using a chain saw

Butterfly ice sculpture on the TSU campus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: Block of ice being carved by artists using a chain saw
Right: Butterfly ice sculpture on the TSU campus 


It was a very enjoyable time to be in Russia—Richard notes that it was a winter wonderland with ice sculptures and festive displays (see pictures above). During our 10 day visit, temperatures were only -10 to -25 C, but apparently in January and February often reach -40 C. Richard and colleagues will next visit Tomsk in June or July after the renovations are completed, the equipment arrives and is being installed and tested.

 

Meeting with the Rector of TSU, who congratulated us for the Mega-Grant award. Dr. Ernst shaking hands with Dr. Eduard Galajinskiy (Rector TSU). Also present: Dr. Ivan Ivonin (Vice-Rector for Academic Research, far left), Dr. Igor Gertner (Professor, Faculty of Geology and Geography) and Dr. Tatiana Krasnova (Head of Scientific Division and Assistant Professor).

Meeting with the Rector of TSU, who congratulated us for the Mega-Grant award. Dr. Ernst shaking hands with Dr. Eduard Galajinskiy (Rector TSU). Also present: Dr. Ivan Ivonin (Vice-Rector for Academic Research, far left), Dr. Igor Gertner (Professor, Faculty of Geology and Geography) and Dr. Tatiana Krasnova (Head of Scientific Division and Assistant Professor).