Dr Sharad Master

Dr Sharad Master is a researcher and lecturer based at the Economic Geology Research Institute in the School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand, where he obtained the degrees of BSc (Honours) cum laudeand Ph.D. In 1997/8 he was awarded a Harvard-South Africa Fellowship, and was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University. He has also visited other institutions in Zimbabwe, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, USA, the UK, Morocco, Australia, Russia, China, India, Turkey and Iran. He has worked extensively on stratabound sediment-hosted copper deposits in Zimbabwe, the Central African Copperbelt (Zambia and Congo), and the Kalahari Copperbelt (Namibia and Botswana). He has published extensively on a wide range of research interests, which include the regional geology and metallogeny of Africa, meteorite impact structures, chemo­stratigraphy of Proterozoic carbonate rocks, Neoproterozoic glaciations, palaeo­seismites, palaeotsunamites, aeolianites, and the History of Science. 

Dr Master was a co-leader of IGCP 363 (Palaeoproterozoic of Sub-Equatorial Africa), and has participated in all the meetings of IGCP 485 (The Neoproterozoic margins of the West African Craton). He is a member of the South African National Committee for IUGS and IGCP, and was a voting delegate at several International Geological Congresses. He has been on the editorial board of several earth science journals, and has been a reviewer for a number of international journals. He has also acted as a reviewer for scientific research proposals for the National Research Foundation (South Africa), the South African National Antarctic Program, and the National Science Foundation (USA). He is a member of the Geological Societies of Africa, South Africa, America and Zimbabwe, and the American Geophysical Union; and has participated in many meetings on African Geology, most recently the CAG24 Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2013, and the Roy Miller Symposium in Namibia (August, 2014). He has been on the organising committees of several international conferences. He was a Vice-Chair of the Organising Committee of CAG23 (Johannesburg 2011), and is on the Organising Committee of the 35th International Geological Congress (Cape Town, 2016).

Dr Master has extensive teaching experience, having lectured undergraduate and postgraduate courses in stratigraphic principles, South African geology, African geology and tectonics, surface processes, and mineral resources. He has also given short courses on Stratabound Sediment-hosted Copper Deposits in Johannesburg, Windhoek, Lusaka, Kitwe, Chingola, Perth, and at Rhodes University, Grahamstown (annually from 1992-2012). Prior to his academic career, which started in 1995, he spent 15 years in the copper mining industry in Zimbabwe, where he worked as a mine geologist, exploration geologist, and researcher; he has also been a consultant with the Environment and Remote Sensing Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe. He has consulted widely to industry in the fields of African regional geology and metallogeny, stratabound copper deposits, and natural hazard assessment in Africa. Over the past 10 years, Dr Master has worked in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, USA, Norway, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, Tunisia, Jordan, Brazil, Ethiopia, India and Iran.

Recent refereed publications (last 10 years)

Raveloson, A., Nyblade, A., Fishwick, S., Mangongolo, A. & Master, S. (2014, in press). The upper mantle seismic velocity structure of central Africa and the architecture of Precambrian lithosphere beneath the Congo Basin. In: M.J. de Wit, F. Guillocheau & M.C.J. de Wit (Eds.), The Geology and Resource Potential of the Congo Basin. Springer. 

Master, S. (2014). Imbricated granite boulders on Batu Feringgi beach, north Penang Island, Malaysia- tsunami or storm origin? In: Y. Kontar, V. Santiago-Fandiño and T. Takahashi (Eds.), Tsunami Events and Lessons Learned: Ecological and Societal Significance. Springer- Dordrecht, 225-241. 

Master, S., Bekker, A. & Karhu, J. A. (2013). Palaeoproterozoic high δ13Ccarb marbles from the Ruwenzori Mountains, Uganda: Implications for the age of the Buganda Group. Chemical Geology, 362, 157-164. 

Master, S. (2012). Hertzian fractures in the sub-Dwyka Nooitgedacht striated pavement, and implications for the former thickness of Karoo strata near Kimberley, South Africa. S. Afr. J. Geology115(4), 561-576.

Master, S. (2012). Oldest ‘earthquake’ in South Africa (Robben Island, 7 April 1620) discredited. South African Journal of Science108(9/10), 94-96

Master, S. (2012). Darwin as a geologist in Africa – dispelling the myths and unravelling a confused knot. South African Journal of Science108(7/8), 45-49. 

Master, S. (2012). The first stratigraphic column in South Africa, from Hondius (1652), and its modern correlatives. South African Journal of Science108(1/2), 1-8. 

Master, S. & Wendorff, M. (2011). Neoproterozoic glaciogenic diamictites of the Katanga Supergroup, Central Africa In: Arnaud, E., Halverson, G. P. & Shields-Zhou, G. (Eds.), The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations. Geol. Society (Lond.), Memoirs, 36, 173-184.

Master, S. (2010). Lac Télé structure, Republic of Congo: geological setting of a cryptozoological and biodiversity hotspot, and evidence against an impact origin. J. African Earth Sci., 58, 667-679.

Toteu, F., Davies, T. & Master, S. (2010). Editorial: Africa and the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE): Promoting earth-sciences based decision-making in Africa. In: Toteu, F., Davies, T., Master, S. (Eds.), International Year of Planet Earth Special Issue. J. African Earth Sci., 58, 605-607.

Master, S. (2010). Plutonism versus Neptunism at the southern tip of Africa: the debate on the origin of granites at the Cape, 1776-1844. Geol. Society of America Special Paper472, 1-13.

Master, S. (2010, for 2009). Plutonism versus Neptunism at the southern tip of Africa: the debate on the origin of granites at the Cape, 1776-1844. Earth Env. Sci. Trans. Royal Society Edinburgh,100, 1-13. 

Hofmann, A., Bekker, A., Rouxel, O., Rumble, D. & Master, S. (2009). Multiple sulphur and iron isotope composition of detrital pyrite in Archaean sedimentary rocks: a new tool for provenance analysis. Earth & Planetary Science Letters286, 436-445. 

Master, S. & Robertson, D.J. (2009). Distinguishing between impact craters and volcanic pipes using ground magnetics: field examples from Zimbabwe. In: Vogt, D. & Fourie, C.J.S. (Eds.), Proc. 11th S. Afr. Geophys. Ass. Conf. & Exhib., Ezulwini, Swaziland, 356-359.

Master, S., Pitts, B. & Wendorff, M. (2009). Jwaneng South Structure, Botswana: a new 1.3 km diameter buried Cenozoic impact crater discovered by airship-mounted gravity gradiometer. In: Vogt, D. & Fourie, C.J.S. (Eds.),Proc. 11th S. Afr. Geophys. Ass. Conf. & Exhib., Ezulwini, Swaziland, 97-100.

Master, S. (2008). Henry Edward Richard Bright: a forgotten pioneer of the geological and palaeontological exploration of Lesotho in the 1870s. Archives of Natural History, Edinburgh35(2), 191-202.

Master, S. & Woldai, T. (2007). Chapter 4: Umm al Binni structure, southern Iraq, as a postulated late Holocene meteorite impact crater. In: Bobrowsky, P. & Rickmann, H. (Eds.), Comet/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 89-103.

Master, S. (2006). Pangaean megalineaments: Geophysical indications for the existence of Laurentian counterparts of the 6000 km Trans-Saharan Tibesti Lineament, and implications for lithospheric tectonics and mineral deposits. S. Afr. J. Geology,109, 503-514.

Wade, S., Master, S., Rudant, J.-P., Lichtenegger, J. & Barbieri, M. (2006). Analyse par télédetection et pétrographie de la structure circulaire de la Vélingara (Casamance, Sénégal). Photo Interprétation, Paris42(1), 34-43, 60-66.

Woldai, T., Pistocchi, A. & Master, S. (2006). Validation and sensitivity analysis of a mineral potential model using favourability functions. Applied GIS, Melbourne2(1), 2.1-2.19. 

Bodiselitch, B., Koeberl, C., Master, S. & Reimold, W.U. (2005). Estimating duration and intensity of Neoproterozoic Snowball Glaciations from Ir anomalies. Science308, 239-242.

Eriksson, K.A., Simpson, E.L., Master, S. & Henry, G. (2005). Neoarchaean (ca. 2.58 Ga) halite casts: implications for palaeoceanic chemistry. Journal of the Geological Society, London162, 789-799.

Master, S., Rainaud, C., Armstrong, R.A., Phillips, D. & Robb, L.J. (2005). Provenance ages of the Neoproterozoic Katanga Super­group (Central African Copperbelt), with implica­tions for basin evolution. J. African Earth Sci.,42(1-5), 41-60.

Rainaud, C., Master, S., Armstrong, R.A., Robb, L.J. (2005). Geochronology and nature of the Palaeoproterozoic basement in the Central African Copperbelt, with regional implications. J. African Earth Sci., 42(1-5), 1-31.

Armstrong, R.A., Master, S. & Robb, L.J. (2005). Geochronology of the Nchanga Granite, and constraints on the maximum age of the Katanga Supergroup, Zambian Copperbelt. J. African Earth Sci., 42(1-5), 32-40.

Rainaud, C., Master, S., Armstrong, R.A., Phillips, D. & Robb, L.J. (2005). Monazite U-Pb dating and 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology of metamorphic events in the Central African Copperbelt during the Pan-African Lufilian orogeny J. African Earth Sci., 42(1-5), 183-199.

Greyling, L.N., Robb, L.J., Master, S., Yao, Y., Boiron, M.C. & Cathelineau, M. (2005). Nature of pre-tectonic fluids of the Chambishi deposit, Zambian Copperbelt: a fluid inclusion study J. African Earth Sci., 42(1-5), 159-172.

Walemba, K.M.A. & Master, S. (2005). Neoproterozoic diamictites from the Itombwe Synclin­orium, Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo: Palaeoclimatic significance and regional correlations. J. African Earth Sci.,42(1-5), 200-210.