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Dante Canil - Earth and Ocean Sciences

UVic geologist Dante Canil (earth and ocean sciences) was recently elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada for outstanding scholarly and scientific achievement. The distinction is considered Canada’s highest academic honour.

Dante is an international leader in the study of the Earth’s mantle, the layer of rock below the crust that makes up about 65 per cent of the planet’s mass. His pioneering work has greatly expanded our understanding of volcanic rocks that host diamonds, ancient deep regions of the continents, and the evolution of oxygen in the Earth and atmosphere.

“A better understanding of diamond geology aids in the exploration of Canada’s North where diamond deposits are concentrated,” says Canil. “And the evolution of oxygen in the mantle—Earth’s largest chemical reservoir—may be key to the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere over time, which led to the evolution of complex life forms on our planet, and possibly others.”

Dante is from Windsor, Ontario and from there moved to Alberta, to Germany and then to Victoria. As a teen, he initially wanted to work as a producer in a recording studio, but a boyhood love of the outdoors drew him into geology. He initially began his career mapping 3 billion year old rocks in northern Ontario.

Learn more about the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and petrology at UVic.

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Science Matters

Fall 2014


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