Professor Marc St-Onge

Image St-Onge, Marc
Senior Emeritus Scientist

Senior Emeritus Scientist in regional geology, bedrock mapping, metamorphic petrology, Canadian Arctic geology and tectonics, and geology, metamorphic petrology and tectonic evolution of the Himalaya.

Current research and/or projects


I have led numerous geological mapping projects in remote parts of the world, from the Coppermine River area in the NWT (where my colleagues and I discovered the oldest rocks in the world) to Banks Island, the Keewatin, northern Quebec (where we discovered and mapped the world's most extensive Paleoproterozoic ophiolite), southern, southwestern, southeastern, south-central, central and northern Baffin Island, western Greenland, Scotland, Greece, the Himalaya of Pakistan, India and Nepal and the Tibetan Plateau in China. I was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford in 2004, Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2010, Senior Scholar at Cambridge University in 2019, and Visiting Professor at Oxford in 2019.  My innovative work led to the publication of the “Geological Map of the Arctic” in 2011, the “Tectonic Map of Arctic Canada” in 2015, the GSC’s first-ever geological maps in Inuktitut, also in 2015 and the "Tectonic Map of the Arctic" in 2019.  Presently I am co-lead on the Canada-3D project, which among other objectives aims to produce an updated, digital, 3-D "Geological Map of Canada", and North American contributor to a 2022 "World Map of Orogens" as part of IGCP project 667.

Research and/or project statements

Research Projects:

  • Geology of Baffin Island, Nunavut
  • Geological and tectonic evolution of the circumpolar Arctic
  • Geological transect of the Meso-Neoproterozoic Grenville orogen in the Georgian Bay area of central Ontario
  • Geology of Tibet, Nepal and NW India
  • Petrology of pelites, eclogites and pelitic migmatites
  • Geological Map of Canada (Canada-3D)
  • World Map of Orogens

Professional activities / interests


  • Fellow, Geological Association of Canada
  • Fellow, Geological Society of America
  • Fellow, Royal Canadian Geographical Society
  • Earth Sciences Resource Person, Adventure Canada
  • Arctic and Antarctic Geoscience (AAG) theme champion, 35th International Geological Congress, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Project Leader, Geomapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) Program, Baffin Island region, Nunavut
  • Project Leader, Open Geoscience Program, Canada-3D
  • Visiting Professor, University of Oxford
  • Senior Scholar, University of Cambridge
  • Vice President (North America), Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW)

Main Colleagues:

  • Mike Searle (University of Oxford)
  • Owen Weller (University of Cambridge)
  • Richard Palin (University of Oxford)
  • Brendan Dyck (University of British Columbia)
  • Randall Orndorff and Tom Moore (USGS)
  • Manuel Pubellier and Philippe Rossi (CGMW)
  • Christopher Harrison, Boyan Brodaric, Nicole Rayner, Dianne Paul (NRCan/GSC)



Education and awards


  • B.Sc. in Geology, University of Ottawa (1977)
  • Ph.D. in Petrology, Queen’s University (1981)


  • Teaching Excellence Award, Engineering Students Society, Queen’s University, 1984
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Queen’s University, 1989
  • Geological Association of Canada Award, 1994
  • Earth Sciences Sector Merit Award, 1998, 2006, and 2008
  • Howard Street Robinson Medal, Geological Association of Canada, 1999
  • Natural Resources Canada Departmental Merit Award, 1999, 2011, 2020
  • Recipient, Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Ottawa, 2002
  • Recipient of the Mine Raglan Prize, PM Arctic tour, 2013
  • Named one of Canada’s Top 100 modern-day explorers, Royal Canadian Geographical Society, 2015
  • Geologic Mapping Award in Honour of Florence Bascom, Geological Society of America, 2016
  • Gold Medal, Royal Canadian Geographic Society, 2016
  • Named one of Canada's 90 Greatest Explorers of All Time (Charting the Unknown), Royal Canadian Geographical Society, 2020

International experience and/or work

Arctic Canada, Greenland, Scotland, Greece, India, Pakistan, Nepal, China

Key publications


  1. Harrison, J.C., and St-Onge, M.R., 2022.  Geological history and supercontinent cycles of the Arctic.  Geological Society of America Bulletin, submitted.
  2. Skipton, D.R., St-Onge, M.R., Kellet, D.A., Joyce, N.J., and Smith, S., 2022.  Rapid post-orogenic cooling of the Paleoproterozoic Cape Smith foreland thrust-fold belt and footwall Archean basement, Trans-Hudson Orogen, Canada.  Geological Society of America, Memoir 857, in press.  
  3. Whyte, A.J., Weller, O.M., Copley, A.C., St-Onge, M.R., 2021.  Quantifying water diffusivity and metamorphic reaction rates within mountain belts, and their implications for the rheology of cratons.  Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 22, e2021GC009988.
  4. Weller, O., Mottram, C., St-Onge, M.R., Moller, C., Strachan, R., Rivers, T., Copley, A., 2021.  The metamorphic and magmatic record of collisional orogens.  Nature Reviews Earth and Environment, 19 p., 
  5. Francois, C., Pubellier, M., Robert, C., Bulois, C., Fathiyah Jamaludin, S.N., Oberhansli, R., Faure, M., St-Onge, M.R., and the IGCP 667 Team, 2021.  Temporal and spatial evolution of orogens: a guide for geological mapping.  Episodes, 19 p., 
  6. St-Onge, M.R., Scott, D.J., Rayner, N., Sanborn-Barrie, M., Skipton, D.R., Saumur, B.M., Wodicka, N., and Weller, O.M., 2020.  Archean and Paleoproterozoic Cratonic Rocks of Baffin Island.  In “Baffin Island and the Labrador-Baffin Seaway Geological Synthesis”, (ed.) L.T. Dafoe and N. Bingham-Koslowski. Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin, 608, p. 01–29.
  7. Weller, O.M., Jackson, S., Miller, W.G.R., St-Onge, M.R., and Rayner, N., 2020. Quantitative elemental mapping of granulite‐facies monazite: Textural insights and implications for petrochronology; Journal of Metamorphic Geology, v. 38, p. 853 – 880.
  8. Dyck, B., Waters, D.J., St-Onge, M.R., and Searle, M.P., 2019.  Muscovite dehydration melting; reaction mechanisms, microstructures, and implications for anatexis.  Journal of Metamorphic Geology.  DOI: 10.1111/jmg.12511.
  9. St-Onge, M.R. and Davis, W.J., 2018.  Wopmay orogen revisited: Phase equilibria modeling, detrital zircon geochronology, and U-Pb monazite dating of a regional Buchan-type metamorphic sequence.  Geological Society of America Bulletin, 130, 678-704,
  10. Weller, O.M. and St-Onge, M.R., 2017.  Record of modern-style plate tectonics in the Palaeoproterozoic Trans-Hudson orogen.  Nature Geoscience, 10, 305-311, doi: 10.1038/NGEO2904.
  11. St-Onge, M.R., Harrison, J.C., Paul, D., Tella, S., Brent, T., Jauer, C. and Maclean, B., 2015. Tectonic Map of Arctic Canada (TeMAC). Geological Survey of Canada, Canadian Geoscience Map 187, (ed. prelim.), 1:4 000 000 scale. doi:10.4095/295945.
  12. St-Onge, M.R., Rayner, N., Palin, R.M., Searle, M.P., and Waters, D.J., 2013. Integrated pressure-temperature-time constraints for the Tso Morari dome (Northwest India): Implications for the burial and exhumation path of UHP units in the western Himalaya. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, doi: 10.1111/jmg.12030.
  13. Weller, O.M., St-Onge, M.R., Waters, D.J., Rayner, N., Searle, M.P., S.-L. Chung, Palin, R.M., Y.-H. Lee and X. Xu, 2013. Quantifying Barrovian metamorphism in the Danba Structural Culmination of eastern Tibet. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, doi: 10.111/jmg.12050.
  14. Harrison, J.C., St-Onge, M.R., Petrov, O., Strelnikov, S., Lopatin, B., Wilson, F., Tella, S., Paul, D., Lynds, T., Shokalsky, S., Hults, C., Bergman, S., Jepsen, H.F., and Solli, A., 2011. Geological map of the Arctic. Geological Survey of Canada, Map 2159A, 1:5 000 000 scale, DVD with user guide. doi:10.4095/287868.
  15. St-Onge, M.R., van Gool, J.A.M., Garde, A.A., and Scott, D.J., 2009. Correlation of Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic units between northeastern Canada and western Greenland: constraining the pre-collisional upper plate accretionary history of the Trans-Hudson orogen. Geological Society, Special Publication, 318, 193-235, doi: 10.1144/SP318.7.
  16. St-Onge, M.R., Searle, M.P., and Wodicka, N., 2006.  Trans-Hudson Orogen of North America and Himalaya-Karakoram-Tibetan Orogen of Asia: Structural and thermal characteristics of the lower and upper plates.  Tectonics, 25, 22 p., doi: 10.1029/2005TC001907.

Research facility

601 Booth St.
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G1


  • Senior Emeritus Research Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada (Ottawa)
  • Visiting Professor, University of Oxford (UK)
  • Senior Scholar, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • Adjunct Professor, Queen’s University (ON)
  • Vice President (North America), Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW)