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


Kopylova, MG., Gaudet, M., Kostrovitsky, S. I., Polozov, A. G., Yakovlev, D. A. 2016. Petrography of the Udachnaya East kimberlite: The effect of emplacement style on the mineralogy of the kimberlite phases and their carbonate and evaporite xenoliths. Journal Volcanology & Geothermal Research 327, 116-134.

Newton DE, Kopylova MG, Burgess J, Strand P. 2016. Peridotite and pyroxenite xenoliths from the Muskox kimberlite, northern Slave craton, Canada. Can. J. Earth Sci. 53: 41–58. Supplementary data

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 Supplementary mineral chemistry data

Kosman, C., Kopylova, M. G., Stern, R., Hagadorn, J. W., Hurlbut, J. F. 2016. Cretaceous mantle of the Congo craton: Evidence from mineral and fluid inclusions in Kasai alluvial diamonds. Lithos, 
265, 42-56. 

Kopylova, M. Hill, P. J. A., Russell, J. K., Cookenboo. H., 2016. Lherzolitic versus harzburgitic garnet trends: sampling of extended depth versus extended composition. Reply to the comment by Ivanic et al. 2015. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 171(19)


Smith EM, Kopylova MG, Frezzotti ML, 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.

Hill, PJA., Kopylova M., Russell, J. K., Cookenboo, H. 2015. Mineralogical controls on garnet composition in the cratonic mantle. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 169, DOI 10.1007/s00410-014-1102-7


Smith EM, Kopylova MG. 2014. Implications of metallic iron for diamonds and nitrogen in the sublithospheric mantle. Can. J. Earth Sci. 51:510–516.

Smith EM, Kopylova MG, Frezzotti MLuce, Afanasiev VP. 2014. N-rich fluid inclusions in octahedrally-grown diamond. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.. 393:39–48.

Miller, C., Kopylova, M. G., Smith, E. M., 2014. Mineral inclusions in fibrous diamonds: Constraints on cratonic mantle refertilization. Mineralogy and Petrology, 108, 317-331


van Straaten BI, Kopylova MG. 2013. Pyroclastic kimberlite deposits from the Victor Northwest pipe (Ontario, Canada): the transition from phreatomagmatic to magmatic explosivity. Can. J. Earth Sci. 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. Contrib Mineral Petrol. 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.


Kopylova, MG., Afanasiev, V. P., Bruce, L. F., Thurston, P., Ryder, J., 2011. Metaconglomerate preserves evidence for kimberlite, diamondiferous root and medium grade terrane of a pre-2.7 Ga Southern Superior protocraton. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 312, 213-225

Smith, E., Kopylova, M., Dubrovinsky, L, Navon, O., Ryder, J.,Tomlinson, E., 2011. Transmission X-ray diffraction as a new tool for diamond fluid inclusions studies. Mineralogical Magazine, 75(5), 2549–2568 

van Straaten, BI, Kopylova, M.G., Russell, J.K., Webb, K.J., Scott Smith. 2011. A rare occurrence of a crater-filling clastogenic extrusive coherent kimberlite, Victor Northwest (Ontario, Canada). Bulletin of Volcanology, V73, N8, 1047-1062

Bruce, L., Kopylova, M., Longo, M., Ryder, J., Dobrzhinetskaya, L., 2011. Luminescence of diamonds from metamorphic rocks. American Mineralogist, 96, 14-22, 2011

Link to the references of 2010 and older