Dr Shaun Barker

Senior Lecturer (Earth Sciences)

Qualifications: BSc(Hons) Otago, PhD Australian National University

Personal Website:

Research Interests

For more information about my research, click here.

My research is focused on understanding controls on hydrothermal fluid flow in the crust. In particularly, I am interested in determining how fluid flow pathways change in geometry and connectivity over time, with implications for understanding precious metal mineralization in ore-forming hydrothermal systems, as well as active hydrothermal systems.

For my research I use field-based observations of hydrothermal veins and other products of hydrothermal fluid flow (e.g. mineralization and alteration). I have carried out field work in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Europe, and have worked on mineral deposits from throughout North and South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

I use various laboratory based geochemistry approaches, coupled to field observations, to determine how hydrothermal fluid chemistry and fluid-rock reaction might change with time and space, and I have experience with:

  1. scanning electron microscopy
  2. electron microprobe
  3. x-ray diffraction
  4. laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry
  5. isotope ratio mass spectrometry

I also work with collaborators locally and around the world in order to determine the absolute and relative timing, and time-scales of hydrothermal fluid flow.

Recently, I have become involved with the development and application of new analytical tools for light stable isotope analysis which are based on infrared absorption, to allow faster and less expensive carbon and oxygen isotope analysis. These tools are being developed in order to allow us to unravel fluid-rock reaction in far more detail, as well as to develop new mineral exploration approaches in collaboration with the mineral exploration industry.

Research Supervised


  • Andrew, Benjamin (in progress). Isotopic and geochemical footprint of the giant Mt. Isa Copper Ore Body, Northern Queensland, Australia.
  • Hughes, Rosie (in progress). Identifying vectors towards epithermal gold deposits, New Zealand.
  • Mering, John (in progress). Utilizing stable isotopes at ore bodies and modern geothermal analogs to evaluate alteration and fluid flow pathways.

MSc (Research)

  • Eames, Anna (in progress). The variations in sulfide minerals at Waihi, a low sulfur epithermal system.
  • Lee, Ryan (2016). Carbonate alteration at the Sam's Creek Gold Deposit
  • Mauriohooho, Kate (2015). Alteration mineralogy and whole rock geochemistry of the Tauhara geothermal field.


  • Singh, Ravinder (2015). Identifying mineralogical and geochemical vectors towards the epithermal Au-Ag Correnso Mine, Waihi.

Teaching Commitments


Environmental Chemistry; Environmental Science and Technology; Geochemical Environment; Geology

Recent Publications

  • Prentice, M. L., Pittari, A., Barker, S. L. L., & Moon, V. G. (2019). Volcanogenic processes and petrogenesis of the early Pleistocene andesitic-dacitic Maungatautari composite cone, Central Waikato, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics. doi:10.1080/00288306.2019.1656259

  • Dimabayao, J. J. T., Rowe, M. C., & Barker, S. (2019). Stable isotope systematics of fluids and epidote in the Bacon-Manito Geothermal Field, Philippines: Indicators of fluid origin and evolution. Geothermics, 80, 31-43. doi:10.1016/j.geothermics.2019.02.009

  • Barker, S. L. L., Hood, S., Hughes, R. M., & Richards, S. (2019). The lithogeochemical signatures of hydrothermal alteration in the Waihi epithermal district, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 62(4), 513-530. doi:10.1080/00288306.2019.1651345

  • Hamilton, A. R., Campbell, K. A., Rowland, J. V., Barker, S., & Guido, D. (2018). Characteristics and variations of sinters in the Coromandel Volcanic Zone: application to epithermal exploration. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics. doi:10.1080/00288306.2018.1519514

View All research publications by Shaun Barker

Contact Details

Room: E.F.1.04
Phone: +64 7 838 4514