Jan Wijbrans appointed professor of Argon Chronometry

Jan Wijbrans, Geochronologist, is appointed as professor of Argon Chronometry at the Faculty of Science, Division of Earth Sciences. It is a full-time appointment as of 1 January 2019.

03/11/2019 | 4:09 PM

Besides teaching, Wijbrans is also involved in the VU BSc Honors education program. Last autumn he organised a course for this with the focus on the Energy Transition. Since 2011 he also has an extraordinary professorship at the Institute for Biology, University of Leiden.

Wijbrans research interests are mainly in the fields of orogenic processes and volcanism. Particularly innovative in his portfolio is the development of a dating method for dating fluid inclusions. He is currently working with colleagues on the processes around deep subduction of rocks along the continental margins of Europe in the Aegean Sea in Greece. Here they are testing this challenging new dating method against other more conventional isotope techniques for dating metamorphic minerals.

In the seventies Wijbrans studied geology and geochemistry at the University of Utrecht. He then left for Australia for a PhD study Geochemistry at the Australian National University. After several years he returned to the Netherlands to build a new argon laser probe dating facility at the NWO Laboratory for Isotope Geochronology. At the time a new development to obtain time scale information from younger and smaller quantities of material. 

In 1990, the NWO Laboratory became part of the Faculty of Earth Sciences at the VU, one of the three faculties that merged subsequently to form the current Faculty of Science. In the period 2013 - 2016, the laboratory was renovated and equipped with two ultramodern new mass spectrometers. Now the argon-geochronology effort of the VU is divided into two areas: Tephrachronology and Calibration studies of the geological time scale (led by Klaudia Kuiper) and the orogenic basement research and volcanism research (led by Jan Wijbrans).