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Vale Bear McPhail

Bear McPhail

D. C. Bear McPhail, foundation ARGA member, passed away suddenly in Canada while on holiday with his beloved wife Maria in March 2017.

Bear had recently retired Emeritus Fellow from teaching at the Australian National University where he was a Reader in Geology (Senior Lecturer) since 2002, appointed as a CRC LEME 2 Key Researcher specialising in low temperature hydrogeochemistry, and CRC LEME 2 Board member. Bear supervised numerous PhD and Honours students throughout the life of CRC LEME 2 and was heavily involved in researching water-rock and water-ore interactions. Bear was also involved in delivering MTEC courses in regolith geoscience at the ANU post-LEME. Most recently Bear led an ARC Linkage grant to research the sedimentology and hydrogeochemistry of Lake George in New South Wales.

Bear graduated with a BSc from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1980, MSc from UBC in 1985 and PhD from Princeton in 1991 before moving to Melbourne to take up a position at Monash University.

Bear was an excellent teacher and strong supporter of regolith geoscience specialising in hydrogeochemistry. His great expertise in the field saw he and his students defining new mineral stability fields, studying gold-fixing bacteria for biogeochemical applications to the minerals industry, defining low temperature mineralisation pathways in gold mineral systems, define mineralisation pathways in inland acid sulfate soil systems, and using hydrogeochemistry in the search for new mineral deposits, to name a few.

Bear was a great mentor and friend to many students and staff at the ANU, and before that Monash University. He had an unshakably sunny disposion. He was a great friend and supporter, an ardent ice hockey player for CBR Pirates Ice Hockey, and, he was embarrassed by his first name.

Our heartfelt condolences go to Bear's family.

He will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.

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