Maya Kopylova


Junior Norman Keevil Chair in Mineral Exploration

EOS-South 160
(604) 822-0865
Accepting students

Establishing the composition and thermal structure of the mantle underlying the oldest portions of the earth (cratons) is one of the greatest challenges to earth sciences. Cratonic mantle down to depths of 200 km can only be studied directly as xenoliths sampled by rare and exotic kimberlite magmas. Information on the mantle at greater depths can only be derived from studies of diamonds and their inclusions.

In contrast to cratons with well-explored kimberlitic provinces, the stratigraphy and thermal state of the Slave craton as a whole is poorly known. However, the coincidence of abundant and widely distributed kimberlite bodies and a strong exploration and exploitation program for diamond has provided scientists with a unique opportunity to study the deep mantle of northern Canada.

I study all kinds of geological samples that become available as a result of diamond exploration, i.e. kimberlites, diamonds and mantle xenoliths. I am interested in petrology and volcanology of kimberlites, in characterization of diamonds and their mineral inclusions, as well as in petrology of mantle xenoliths. See the Diamond Exploration Laboratory page for current info on research projects.

M.Sc. Lomonosov Moscow State University, USSR

Ph.D. Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Moscow, USSR

Visiting Researcher, Macquary University, Sydney, Australia 

NRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Cape Town, Republic of South Africa

PDF and Research Associate, UBC, Vancouver, Canada

NSERC University Faculty Award, UBC; 2000-2006;

Visiting researcher, Hebrew University, Israel, 2007

Royal Society Visiting Researcher Grant, UK, Durham, 2007

Guest professor, ETH, Switzerland, 2014

Professor, UBC ( 2013 - present) 

PDFs and RAs

Postdoctoral Fellow

Graduate Students

MSc Geological Sciences
MSc Geological Sciences
MSc Geological Sciences


Newton DE, Kopylova MG, Burgess J, Strand P. 2016. Peridotite and pyroxenite xenoliths from the Muskox kimberlite, northern Slave craton, Canada. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES. 53:41–58.

Kopylova MG, Beausoleil Y, Goncharov A, Burgess J, Strand P. 2016. Spatial distribution of eclogite in the Slave cratonic mantle: The role of subduction. TECTONOPHYSICS. 672:87–103.


Smith EM, Kopylova MG, Frezzotti MLuce, Afanasiev VP. 2015. Fluid inclusions in Ebelyakh diamonds: Evidence of CO2 liberation in eclogite and the effect of H2O on diamond habit. LITHOS. 216:106–117.


Smith EM, Kopylova MG. 2014. Implications of metallic iron for diamonds and nitrogen in the sublithospheric mantle. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES. 51:510–516.

Smith EM, Kopylova MG, Frezzotti MLuce, Afanasiev VP. 2014. N-rich fluid inclusions in octahedrally-grown diamond. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS. 393:39–48.

Hilchie L, Fedortchouk Y, Matveev S, Kopylova MG. 2014. The origin of high hydrogen content in kimberlitic olivine: Evidence from hydroxyl zonation in olivine from kimberlites and mantle xenoliths. LITHOS. 202:429–441.


van Straaten BI, Kopylova MG. 2013. Pyroclastic kimberlite deposits from the Victor Northwest pipe (Ontario, Canada): the transition from phreatomagmatic to magmatic explosivity. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES. 50:1059–1068.

Kopylova MG, Kostrovitsky S.I, Egorov K.N. 2013. Salts in southern Yakutian kimberlites and the problem of primary alkali kimberlite melts. EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS. 119:1–16.


Miller CE, Kopylova MG, Ryder J. 2012. Vanished diamondiferous cratonic root beneath the Southern Superior province: evidence from diamond inclusions in the Wawa metaconglomerate. CONTRIBUTIONS TO MINERALOGY AND PETROLOGY. 164:697–714.

Smith EM, Kopylova MG, Nowell GM, D. Pearson G, Ryder J. 2012. Archean mantle fluids preserved in fibrous diamonds from Wawa, Superior craton. GEOLOGY. 40:1071–1074.