Marc St-Onge - Geologist, Oxford Research Professor

Marc St-Onge

Geologist, Oxford Research Professor

Dr. Marc St-Onge is an accomplished geologist and petrologist keenly interested in documenting the evolution of continents and the growth of mountains throughout Earth history.

Marc graduated in 1981 from Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, with a PhD in Earth Sciences. For over 37 years, he was an Officer and Project Leader at the Geological Survey of Canada, leading field science expeditions to study unknown or little-known destinations and phenomena in remote parts of the world, from the Coppermine River area in the Canadian Arctic (where he and colleagues discovered the oldest rocks in the world) to Banks Island, the Keewatin, northern Quebec, south-eastern, south-western, central and northern Baffin Island, western Greenland, northwest Scotland, the Himalaya of Pakistan, India and Nepal and the Tibetan Plateau in China. His documented contributions to scientific exploration and geological field research are evidenced by the publication of over 125 peer-reviewed scientific papers in international journals (including Nature) and technical reports, 119 geological maps (a record at the Geological Survey of Canada), and 145 conference abstracts.

Associated with Adventure Canada since 2004, he has transited the Northwest Passage several times and explored the east coast of Baffin Island, the west coast of Greenland and the north coast of Arctic Quebec as “geologist on board”.

He was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford in 2004, Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2010, Vice-President (North America) of the Commission for the Geological Map of the World in 2012, Visiting Senior Scholar at Cambridge in 2019, and Visiting Professor at Oxford in 2019. His passion and knowledge of Arctic geology served as inspiration for a short story by Margaret Atwood (“Stone Mattress”), and his innovative work led to the publication of the circumpolar “Geological Map of the Arctic” in 2011, the “Tectonic Map of Arctic Canada” in 2015, the Geological Survey of Canada’s first-ever geological maps in Inuktitut in 2015 and 2016, the “Tectonic Map of the Arctic” in 2019, and release of the forthcoming Canada-3D App in 2020.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society recognized Marc as one of Canada’s “top 100 modern-day explorers” in 2015. He received the Geologic Mapping Award in Honour of Florence Bascom from the Geological Society of America and the Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2016.

Marc lives in Ottawa, ON, with his wife Dr. Janet King and is presently Senior Emeritus Scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada.