Prof Chris Harris

Emeritus Professor


Interests: Igneous petrology and stable isotope geochemistry

The application of stable isotopes to igneous petrology, hydrology, and economic geology. The Bushveld Complex, the Karoo large igneous province, Mesozoic igneous complexes in Namibia and Madagascar, low δ18O magmas, calcrete and lake sediments as palaeoclimate proxies, Koegel Fontein igneous complex. Breccia pipes, peralkaline granites, O-isotope composition of magmatic garnet, Cape Town precipitation and groundwater, the Phalaborwa Complex.

Selected Publications

More on: Research Gate and Google Scholar

  1. Cortes-Calderon E.A., Ellis B.S., Harris C., Mark D.F., Neukampf J., Wolff J.A., Ulmer P. and Bachmann O. (2022) Generation and field relations of low-d18O silica-undersaturated and mildly saturated alkaline magmas: A case study from the Fataga Group, Gran Canaria. Journal of Petrology 63, 1–22
  2. Chase B., Harris C, de Wit M.J., Kramers J., Doel S., and Stankiewicz J. (2021) South African speleothems reveal influence of high- and 1 low-latitude forcing over the past 113.5 k.y. Geology 49, 1353-1357
  3. Harris, C. and Maboane, L. (2021) The Garies wollastonite deposit, Namaqualand, South Africa: high-temperature metamorphism of a low-d18O skarn? Canadian Mineralogist 59, 495-510

  4.  Masoumipour Z, Jamali H., Harris C., Lentz D.R., Fazilat Yousefi, F. (2023) Origin and evolution of the ore-forming fluids in the southern Abbas Abad iron skarn deposit, NE Isfahan, Central Iran: Insights from geology, fluid inclusions, and C–O isotopes Journal of Geochemical Exploration 248 1071,94.

  5. Harris, C., Eriksson, S., le Roux, P.J., Howarth, G.H. (2023) The relationship between δ18O values and incompatible element and radiogenic isotope enrichment in the Mashikiri nephelinites, of the Karoo LIP, southern Africa. Lithos 454–455, 107278.

  6. Munro, J., Harris, C. (2023) A high-δ18O mantle source for the 2.06 Ga Phalaborwa Igneous Complex, South Africa? Journal of Petrology 64, 1-19.

Graduated Students (last five years)

1. Agnes Odri, PhD, 2018  2. Lisias Negonga, MSc, 2018 
3. Bogdana Radu PhD (co-tutelle with UJM St Etienne) co-supervisor 2018 4. Ben Whitehead, MSc 2018
5. James Lister, MSc (co-supervisor), 2018 6. Harri Geiger PhD (Uppsala University) co-supervisor 2018
7. Ruan de Wet MSc 2018 8. Yemi Ogungbuyi PhD (co-supervisor) 2018
9. Stelvio Vaz Sidre MSc 2019 10. Sabine Henry MSc 2020
11. Connie Sigauke MSc 2021  12. Rosy Finlayson MSc 2022
13. Warrick Daws MSc 2022 14. Joshua Munro MSc 2023
15. Drake Yarian MSc 2023 (co-supervisor) 16. Senate Marakabei MSc 2023



  • MA Oxford University, 1984
  • DPhil Oxford University 1982
  • BA (Hons) Geology, Oxford University 1979


  • Professor, University of Cape Town, 2008-present
  • Head, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town 2006-2010 and 2013-2020
  • Associate Professor, University of Cape Town 2003-2007
  • Professeur, Universite Jean Monet, St-Etienne, France 2000-2003
  • Associate Professor, University of Cape Town 1999-2000
  • Senior Lecturer University of Cape Town, 1994-1999
  • Researcher University of Cape Town 1984-1993
  • Departmental Demonstrator in Mineralogy, Oxford University 1984
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, CRPG, Nancy, France, 1983

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, Geological Society of South Africa
  • Member of Society of Economic Geologists
  • Member of Royal Society of South Africa
  • Editor/Editorial boards: Lithos, Journal of the Brazilian Geological Survey, Geochemistry of Ore Deposits (Iran), Geofluids