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) 

Researcher, Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Russia (2018-2021)

Graduate Students

  • MSc
  • MSc
  • MSc Geological Sciences

Selected publications in the last 10 years:


Kopylova, M., Sismondo, C., Vanderzee, S., 2024. Serpentine mineral association, texture and composition as keys to serpentine origin in kimberlites, Petrology, 2024, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 258–282


Korolev, N., Kopylova, M., Dubinina, E., Stern, R. 2023. Contrasting oxygen isotopes in garnet from diamondiferous and barren eclogitic parageneses. Geochemical Perspectives Letters, 27, 15–19

Vozniak, A., Kopylova M., Nosova, A., Sazonova L., Peresetskaya, E., 2023. Olivine in lamprophyres of the Kola Alkaline Province and the magmatic evolution of olivine in carbonate melts. Lithos, 448-449, 107149

Vozniak, A., Kopylova M., Nosova, A., Sazonova L., Lebedeva, N., Stifeeva, M. 2023. Compositional evolution of igneous garnets: Calcic garnets from alkaline rocks of the Kola Alkaline Carbonatite Province.  Mineralogy and Petrology, 117, 553-571

Nosova, A., Kopylova, M., Sazonova, L., Lebedeva, N., Larionova, Y., Kargin, A., Sazonova, L., Vozniak, A., Kovach, V., 2023. Melt sources for alkaline carbonate-bearing rocks of the Terskiy Coast (Kola Alkaline Carbonatite Province (N Europe). Chemical Geology v. 617. 121267,


Karaevangelou, M., Kopylova, M., Loudon, P. 2022. Mineral inclusions in Lace diamonds and the mantle beneath the Kroonstad kimberlite cluster in South Africa. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 177:20

Niyazova, S., Kopylova, M.G., Gaudet, M.A., De Stefano, A. 2022. Petrographic and geochemical characteristics associated with felsic xenolith assimilation in kimberlite. Canadian Mineralogist. Vol. 60, pp. 283-307 DOI: 10.3749/canmin.20000107


Kopylova MG, Tso E, Ma F. 2021. Constraining carbonation freezing and petrography of the carbonated cratonic mantle with natural samples Lithos 388–389,

Cone, D., Kopylova, M. 2021. Origin of megacrysts by carbonate-bearing metasomatism: a case study for the Muskox kimberlite, Slave craton, Canada. Journal of the Geological Society.

Nosova, A., Kopylova, M., Sazonova, L., Vozniak, A., Kargin, A., Lebedeva, N., Volkova, G., Peresetskaya, E., 2021. Petrology of lamprophyre dykes in the Kola Alkaline Carbonatite Province (N Europe). Lithos. v. 398 – 399. Oct 2021, 106277,

Niyazova, S., Kopylova, M., Dyck, B., Benisek, A., Dachs, E., De Stefano, A. 2021. The assimilation of felsic xenoliths in kimberlites: insights into temperature and volatiles during kimberlite emplacement.  Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. 176: 84,


Kopylova MG, Tso E, Ma F, Liu, J., Pearson, D. G. 2020. The metasomatized mantle beneath the North Atlantic Craton: Insights from peridotite xenoliths of the Chidliak kimberlite province (NE Canada), J. of Petrology, doi: 10.1093/petrology/egz061 

Pobric, V., Korolev, N., Kopylova, M. 2020. Eclogites of the North Atlantic Craton: insights from the Chidliak eclogite xenoliths (S. Baffin Island, Canada). Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 175:71


Gaudet, M.A., Kopylova, M.G., Zhuk, V. 2018. Geology of the Renard 65 kimberlite pipe, Québec, Canada. Mineralogy and Petrology Special Issue, 

Korolev, N. M., Kopylova, M., Gurney, J., Moore, A.E., Davidson, J. 2018. The origin of Type II diamonds as inferred from Cullinan mineral inclusions, Mineralogy and Petrology Special Issue,

Fulop, A., Kopylova, M., Kurszlaukis, S., Hilchie, L., Ellemers, P., and Squibb, C. 2018. Petrography of Snap Lake kimberlite dyke (Northwest Territories, Canada) and its interaction with country rock granitoids. Journal of Petrology 59, 12, 2493-2518,   5

Nestola, F., Korolev, N., Kopylova, M., Rotiroti, N., Pearson, D. G., Pamato, M. G., Alvaro, M., L. Peruzzo, Gurney, J., Moore, A. E., Davidson J. 2018. Discovery of CaSiO3-perovskite in diamond confirms the deep recycling of oceanic crust into Earth’s lower mantle. Nature, 555, 237; doi:10.1038/nature25972

Korolev, N. M., Kopylova, M., Bussweiler, Y., Pearson, D. G., Gurney, J., Davidson, J. 2018. The uniquely high-temperature character of Cullinan diamonds: A signature of Bushveld mantle plume? Lithos, V. 304–307, 362-373 3


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, CanadaCan. J. Earth Sci. 53: 41–58. 10.1139/cjes-2015-0083

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

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 ML, Afanasiev VP. 2014. N-rich fluid inclusions in octahedrally-grown diamonds. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.. 393:39–48

See links to databases for earlier publications