Grahame OLIVER


Past Research: I undertook PhD research at Otago University on the lower crustal rocks exposed next to the Alpine Fault in New Zealand (1976). There then followed two years of post-doctoral research: Rb-Sr dating (Cambridge, UK) and basement geology of the Navan Pb-Zn mine (University College Dublin). During 30 years at St Andrews University, Scotland, I researched the European Caledonides looking at regional low grade metamorphism in the UK, faults in the Outer Hebrides, sheeted dykes in the Ballantrae Ophiolite, and the geodynamics of Scottish Caledonian granites. At the same time I researched the zircon geochronology of the Polish Caledonides, geodynamics of the Main Central Thrust and Lesser Himalayas, metamorphic core complexes in Namibia, and river capture in Myanmar during the Himalayan Orogeny.

Developing research interests: Since moving to Singapore in 2008 I have branched out into the feasibility of geothermal power in Singapore, the siting of nuclear power plants in metropolitan areas, evolution of the Indosinian Orogeny and the Malaysian Tin Belt, groundwater potential in Singapore and large storm events and Holocene sea levels in Thailand.

I have made over 100 conference presentations, published over 100 peer reviewed papers, and have an H-Index of 29.


Over the past forty years I have taught a broad range of modules at universities in New Zealand (Otago), England (Cambridge), Ireland (Univ College Dublin), Scotland (St Andrews), Canada (Univ Western Ontario), Australia (Curtin) and Singapore (NUS & NTU).

1st Year Modules: Crystallography, Mineralogy, Metamorphism, Planet Earth.

2nd Year Modules: Optical Mineralogy and Crystallography, Metamorphism, Introduction to Geological Field Mapping, Biophysical Environments of Singapore.

3rd Year Modules: Metamorphism, Environmental Geology, Fundamentals of Petroleum Exploration, Remote Sensing, Geological Map Interpretation.

4th Year Modules: Igneous Petrology, Crustal Geodynamics, Geology of Ore Deposits.

Post-grad Module: Dynamic Environments.

At NTU I am looking forward to teach modules on Solid Earth, Introduction to Geological Mapping, Physical Environments of Singapore and the Petroleum Geology of South East Asia.

I prefer to teach students in the field rather than in the lecture theatre or lab. I have led student excursions in England, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Malaya, Norway, Sarawak, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Wales. In addition I have joined in field trips to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Nepal, Philippines, Sabah, Tobago, USA and Zimbabwe. I plan to lead many more field trips for NTU students, both in Singapore and abroad.

  • 1976 PhD, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • 1970 BSc (Hons), University of Sheffield, UK
Professional Experience:
  • 1970-71 Exploration Geologist, Layton & Associates, New Zealand
  • 1971-75 PhD research, Otago University NZ; Senior Demonstrator in Science
  • 1976-77 Visiting Post-Doc Researcher, Dept of Geodesy & Geophysics, University of Cambridge
  • 1977-78 Tara Mines Post-Doc Research Fellow, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • 1978-95 Lecturer in Geology, St Andrews University, Scotland
  • 1989-90 Visiting Research Fellow, Royal Ontario Museum/University of Western Ontario
  • 1995-00 Senior Lecturer, St Andrews University
  • 2000-08 Reader, St Andrews University
  • 2003 Visiting Research Fellow, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
  • 2005 Royal Society of Edinburgh-Chinese Academy of Sciences Exchange Visitor to Dept of Geology & Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing
  • 2008 Honorary Lecturer, University of St Andrews
  • 2008-11 South East Asian Petroleum Exploration Society (SEAPEX) Visiting Senior Fellow, Dept of Geography, National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • 2010-11 Senior Research Fellow, Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering, NUS
  • 2102-15 Senior Lecturer, Dept of Geography, NUS
  • 2015-present Senior Lecturer, Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Professional Activities:
  • Member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • Member of the South East Asian Petroleum Exploration Society
Courses Taught:
  • ES1003 –  Solid Earth
  • ES2*** –  Singapore Studies: The Physical Environments of Singapore
  • ES2*** –  Introduction to Geological Field Mapping
  • ES3*** –  Petroleum Geology of South East Asia
  • ES3001 –  Futures in Environmental Earth Systems Science
  • ES4003 –  Industrial Attachment
Honours and Awards:
  • 1970 Fearnsides Prize, University of Shefield, UK
  • 2011 Life Long Honorary Member of the South East Asian Petroleum Exploration Society