Tony Kemp

Dr, Associate Professor

  • The University of Western Australia (M004), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • M468
    35 Stirling Highway


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Anthony (Tony) Kemp is a geologist and geochemist based in the School of Earth Sciences at UWA. He completed his PhD at the ANU in Canberra, and held research positions in the UK, Japan and the USA, before moving to UWA in 2011 as an ARC Future Fellow. 

Tony has expertise in the fields of igneous and metamorphic petrology, isotope geochemistry and geochronology. His research is focused on understanding the generation of the continental crust and the evolution of Earth’s crust-mantle system by studying some of the most ancient rock sequences and minerals on Earth. A recent emphasis has been on developing geochemical approaches for tracking the sources of metals and the processes by which these are transported and enriched in the lithosphere - particularly the 'Critical Minerals' and related commodities that are essential for the transition to carbon-free energy sources and for sophisticated technological applications on Earth and in space. In this endeavour, he actively collaborates with a number of industry and government partners.

Tony is an enthusiastic science communicator who strives to impart his passion for the geosciences to colleagues, students, and the community. His current role at UWA is split between research (50%, includes postgraduate supervision), teaching (30%, undergraduate, and at MSc level) and service/engagement (20%).

Previous positions

2011-2015 ARC Future Fellow, School of Earth and Environment, UWA (Australia)

2007-2011 ARC Research Fellow, School of Earth Science, James Cook University, Townsville (Australia)

2009-2010 Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar, School of the Environment, Washington State University (USA)

2005-2006 JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Geology, Niigata University, Niigata (Japan)

2002-2005 NERC Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol (UK)

Roles and responsibilities

Teaching and Research, School of Earth Sciences, UWA

Affiliate, Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis, UWA (ICPMS platform)

Member of SES Executive Committe, SES Research Committee, CET Senior Research Leaders

Associate Editor, Precambrian Research (2019-)

Editorial Advisory Committee, Australian Journal of Earth Sciences (2021-2023)

ARC ERA Steward (Earth Sciences)

Australian-American Fulbright Commission, Discipline Committee (Geology)

Teaching overview

EART1104 Discovering Earth - guest lectures on meteorites and formation of continental crust

EART2231 Earth Materials - igneous petrology component (level 2 Geology Major)

EART3343 Structure and Tectonics - field component in metamorphic and structural geology (level 3 Geology Major)

EART3342 Geochemistry and Petrology  - metamorphic processes and felsic igneous rocks modules (level 3 Geology Major)

GEOS5508 Isotope Geochemistry (Unit co-ordinator; Level 4/5)

GEOS5512 Critical Mineral Resources (Unit co-ordinator; Level 4/5)

I currently have active supervision roles for 8 HDR students (principal and co-ordinating supervisor of 3)

Research interests

My research encompasses a range of geoscience fields including igneous and metamorphic petrology, isotope geochemistry and geochronology, focusing on understanding the generation of the continental crust and the evolution of Earth’s crust-mantle system. My major contributions have stemmed from the design and application of analytical techniques to decipher the chemical and isotopic information contained within minerals. This approach, in tandem with methods to unravel the volatile inventory of mineralising environments, is now being applied to understand formation of Critical Mineral Resources associated with felsic igneous rocks. Such research is focussed on lithium-tantalum-tin rich pegmatites, but includes magmatic systems associated with rare earth element and copper mineralisation. My research involves collaborators from the UK, USA, Sweden, Germany, Brazil, South Africa, China and Japan, and an increasing number of partners from the minerals industry and government agencies.

Current projects

Lifting the veil on the Geological Dark Ages: the chemical and geodynamic evolution of the Hadean to early Archean crust-mantle system (with GSWA, Prof Simon Wilde, Curtin, Prof Vickie Bennett ANU/RSES, Prof Jeff Vervoort, Washington State University, Prof Tim Elliott, Bristol, Prof Martin Whitehouse, Swedish Museum of Natural History). ARC Future Fellowship (2011-2015, research ongoing), ARC Discovery Project DP200103208

Composition and evolution of early Archean seawater and early life environments (with Prof. Martin Van Kranendonk, UNSW, Prof Tim Elliott, Bristol). ARC Discovery Project DP200103208

Genesis of TTG magmas and formation of Eo- to Paleoarchaean crust in southern West Greenland and western Scotland (with Prof Martin Whitehouse, Stockholm, Dr Anders Scherstén, Lund University, Sweden and Dr Tomas Naeraa, GEUS, Copenhagen)

Lithium resources: formation and discovery of giant lithium-cesium tantalum pegmatites (in collaboration with Pilbara Minerals, IGO, GSWA, Australasian Metals, Mineral Resources)

Copper resources: Tracing the magmatic and metallogenic evolution of the Ordovician-Silurian Macquarie Arc, NSW (with Dr Phillip Blevin, NSW Geological Survey).

Copper resources: High grade hypogene copper (BHP)

Differentiation processes in the roots of an island arc: the Hidaka metamorphic belt, Hokkaido, Japan (with Prof Toshiaki Shimura, Yamaguchi University, Japan)

Jurassic Arc? Reconstructing the Lost World of Eastern Australia. With Carl Spandler, Eric Roberts and Bob Henderson (JCU). Funded by ARC DP180102851.


English and Australian

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Geology and Geochemistry, PhD, Australian National University

… → 2002

Geology/Geochemistry, BSc (Hons), La Trobe University

… → 1997

External positions

Associate Editor, Precambrian Research

2019 → …

Adjunct Research Professor, James Cook University (QLD)


Industry keywords

  • Mining and Resources
  • Energy

Research expertise keywords

  • Igneous and metamorphic petrology
  • Isotope geochemistry
  • Geochronology
  • Critical Mineral Resources
  • Lithium tantalum pegmatites
  • Microanalysis
  • Zircon and accessory minerals
  • volcanoes


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