Associate Professor Philip E. Janney

Associate Professor, Head of Department


 Igneous and mantle petrology, cosmochemistry

My research involves the application of elemental, radiogenic isotope and "non-traditional" stable isotope techniques to understand the geochemical evolution of the Earth’s mantle and crust, This is mainly done through the analysis of mantle xenoliths and igneous rocks formed at intraplate settings and mid-ocean ridges. I am also interested in using the above techniques to investigate the environmental conditions and formation history of planets in the early Solar System.  Current research projects include:

  • The use of ultramafic alkaline igneous rocks (kimberlites, olivine melilitites, lamprophyres) and carbonatites to understand the nature of lithosphere-asthenosphere interactions and the geochemical evolution of the continental lithospheric mantle.

  • Investigation of the petrology and geochemistry of southern African off-craton peridotite mantle xenoliths to extend the record of southern African continental evolution into the Proterozoic and to better understand the geochemical differences between Archaean and Proterozoic lithospheric mantle.

  • Studies of the interaction between the continental lithospheric mantle and melts and fluids through the analysis of megacrysts and metasomatic xenoliths in kimberlites.

Selected Publications

More on Research Gate and Google Scolar

  1. Ogungbuyi, P.I., Janney, P. E. and Harris, C. (submitted 2021) Carbonatite, aillikite, melilitite and trachyte from Zandkopsdrift, Namaqualand, South Africa: Constraints on the origin of an unusual lamprophyre-dominated carbonatite complex and the nature and age of its mantle source. Lithos.

  2. Nkere, B. J., Janney, P. E., & Tinguely, C. (2021). Cr-poor and Cr-rich clinopyroxene and garnet megacrysts from southern African Group 1 and Group 2 kimberlites: Clues to megacryst origins and their relationship to kimberlites. Lithos396, 106231.

  3. Lyaya, E. C., Chirikure, S., Janney, P. E., & Rehren, T. (2020). A Technology of Multiple Smelting Furnaces per Termite Mound: Iron Production in Chongwe, Lusaka, Zambia. Journal of African Archaeology18(1), 67-85.

  4. Stenvall, C. A., Fagereng, A., Diener, J. F. A., Harris, C., & Janney, P. E. (2020). Sources and Effects of Fluids in Continental Retrograde Shear Zones: Insights from the Kuckaus Mylonite Zone, Namibia. Geofluids.

  5. Pearson, D. G., Woodhead, J., & Janney, P.E. (2019). Kimberlites as geochemical probes of Earth’s mantle. Elements: An International Magazine of Mineralogy, Geochemistry, and Petrology 15, 387-392

Courses Lectured

  • GEO2001F (Igneous Petrology)

  • GEO3001F (Igneous Petrology)

  • GEO4000W (Igneous Petrology& Geological Tools)

  • GEO2006S (Mineralogy for Engineers)

Graduated Students

1.F. Clark, MSc, 2021   2. I.P. Ogungbuyi, PhD 2020  
3. C.J. Peel, MSc 2020   4.B.J. Nkere, PhD 2019  
5. S. Hashibi, Honours 2019   6. E. Santos, Honours 2019  
7. M. Marageni, MSc 2018   8. T. Nkotsi, Honours 2018  
9. M. Shakhane, Honours 2016   10. E.T. Shiimi, MSc 2017  
11. C.J. Peel, Honours 2017   12. S. Mabaso, Honours 2017  
13. N. Mkhize, Honours 2016   14. J. Bishop, Honours 2015  
15. J. Paul, Honours 2015   16. E. Shiimi, Honours 2014  
17. T. Mputle, Honours 2014  




  • PhD University of California, San Diego-Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1996

  • BSc University of New Hampshire, 1988


  • Head of Department, Department of Geological Sciences, 2021-present

  • Associate Professor, University of Cape Town, Department of Geological Sciences, 2018-present

  • Senior Lecturer, University of Cape Town, Department of Geological Sciences, 2012-2017

  • Associate Research Scientist, Arizona State University, Center for Meteorite Studies, 2006-2012

  • Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory Manager, Field Museum of Natural History, 2000-2006

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Carnegie Institution of Washington-DTM, 1998-2000

  • Postdoctoral Research Geologist, UC-San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1997-1998

  • Postdoctoral Student, University of Cape Town, Department of Geological Sciences, 1996-1997

Professional Associations