Melissa Anderson

Assistant Professor
ES 3123, Department of Earth Sciences, 22 Ursula Franklin St, Toronto, ON, M5S 3B1


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

My group focuses on understanding the tectonic and volcanic controls on hydrothermal ore formation on the modern seafloor, and ancient analog VMS deposits on land. We integrate a wide range of geophysical processes that control the size, distribution, and composition of hydrothermal ore deposits. We use a multi-scaled approach, from regional studies of entire subduction zones, to local studies of individual deposits, to microscopic studies of volcanic rocks and hydrothermal precipitates. These studies will help us understand the factors that govern the formation of hydrothermal ore deposits, and will help us to develop and refine genetic and exploration methods for deposits on the modern seafloor and on land.


Melissa (she/her) grew up in the western Canada prairies. After finishing a B.Sc. (Hon) degree in geology at Brandon University, she obtained a M.Sc. in Geology at the University of New Brunswick, where her research focused on Li-Nb-Ta resources in Canada's far north. From there, she began working in modern oceanic environments studying the formation of metal-rich hot springs in the deep sea (AKA seafloor massive sulfide deposits or black smoker chimneys). She completed her PhD in Geology at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and spent time at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany. She does marine fieldwork in remote waters in the western Pacific (Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Guam, Fiji, Tonga), which involves going to sea on research expeditions and sending autonomous and remotely-operated vehicles to the seafloor to collect samples, geophysical data, and imagery. She joined the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Toronto in August 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Economic Geology.


PhD Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa
MSc Geology, University of New Brunswick
BSc Geology, Brandon University