Dylan Spence

PhD Geological Sciences


I am testing models of open­-system mixing in subduction zone­-derived magmas through a comprehensive study of the Late Triassic (205 Ma) Tulameen Alaskan­-type intrusion in southern British Columbia. The project entails detailed mapping and sampling of the intrusion with an emphasis on the exceptionally exposed Tulameen River section, and microanalysis of the major, minor, and trace element chemistry of olivine, clinopyroxene, and hornblende through electron-probe microanalysis (EPMA) and laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma­-mass spectrometry (LA­-ICP­-MS). The mineral chemistry variations are used to test the predictions of numerical and experimental models for the emplacement and mixing of crystal-­rich magmas. The results of this integrated field and petrochemical study will place new constraints on convergent margin magma evolution and the dynamics of crystal­-rich magma mixing in subduction zone settings. Additionally, this research will aid in refining the mineralization potential of convergent margin ultramafic intrusions within the Canadian Cordillera and globally.


  • PhD (student) in Geological Sciences: University of British Columbia. Supervisors: Dr. James Scoates; 2021-present
  • BSc in Geology: University of British Columbia


  • UBC Four Year Fellowship (2022)
  • NSERC CGS-M (2021)
  • British Columbia Graduate Scholarship (2020)
  • GAC-PDAC Logan Student Prize (2020)
  • Trek Excellence Scholarship for Continuing Students (2019)
  • Economic Geology Memorial Scholarship (2019)
  • Aho-Davis Undergraduate Prize in Geological Sciences (2019)
  • Aaron Craig Nicholls Memorial Award (2019)
  • Shell Mapping Prize for Excellence in Geological Fieldwork (2019)
  • Art Soregaroli Memorial Award (2018)
  • Thomas and Marguerite Mackay Memorial Scholarship (2018)
  • Mineralogical Society of America Undergraduate Prize (2018)
  • Thomas and Marguerite Mackay Memorial Scholarship (2017)

Peer-reviewed Publications

Milidragovic, D., Nixon, G., Scoates. J.S., Nott, J.A., Spence, D.W., (in Prep). Chalcophile element geochemistry of the Polaris Alaskan-type mafic-ultramafic complex, north-central British Columbia. Canadian Mineralogist. (submitted Dec. 2020) 

Conference Publications and Abstracts

Spence, D., Scoates, J.S., Milidragovic, D., Nott, J.A., 2020. Olivine in the Polaris Alaskan-type intrusion of north-central British Columbia: Petrographic variation and preliminary geochemistry. Association of Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference, January 2020. (Abstract and poster presentation)

Milidragovic, D., Nixon, G.T., Scoates, J.S., Nott, J., and Spence, D.W. 2020. Redox controls on Cu-PGE-Au mineralization in the Polaris Alaskan-type intrusion, north-central British Columbia. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol 52, No. 6, 2020. doi: 10.1130/abs/2020AM-357971, Oct 2020. 

Undergraduate Thesis

Spence, D.W., 2020. Olivine in the Polaris Alaskan-type Intrusion of North-central British Columbia: Implications for the Magmatic Evolution of Primitive Arc Magmas and for Convergent Margin Ni-Cu-PGE Ore-forming Systems. University of British Columbia. https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/undergraduateresearch/52966/items/1.0391065