Prof. Dr. Virginia Gail Toy

Research/professional speciality

My holistic goal is to enhance knowledge and understanding of the nature of Earth resources, energy transitions, and natural hazards.

My specialist field is structural geology and tectonics: My awesome working group at the University of Mainz and I explore the mechanics of fractures, faults and shear zones throughout Earth’s lithosphere. We currently apply this expertise to (i) study of fractured geothermal reservoirs and induced seismicity, (ii) the electrical properties of typical fault and shear zone rocks and fluids, aiming to ensure these properties can be better used for remote geophysical imaging, and (iii) understanding earthquake hazard and promoting societal resilience. I also have experience in paleoseismology and landscape evolution, engineering geology, subduction zone structure, and deformation of ultramafic rocks.

Methods: I am principally a field geologist, but I also undertake microtextural analysis, particularly by electron beam and synchrotron methods, perform deformation experiments, and validate results by simple computational models. I am an active member of the global continental and oceanic scientific drilling consortia, and have interests in scientific data management and science communication/outreach.

Academic qualifications

2008                      PhD (Geology), University of Otago

2006                      MPhil (Earth Sciences), Australian National University

2001                      MSc (Hons, Geology), University of Auckland

1999                      BSc (Geology), University of Auckland

Professional positions held

Oct 2019 – present          W2 Professorin für Strukturgeologie und Tektonik, Universität Mainz, Germany;                                                   Honorary Research Associate Professor, University of Otago, NZ

Dec 2018-Sept 2019        Associate Dean – International, Division of Sciences, University of Otago, NZ.

Feb 2018-Sept 2019        Research Associate Professor, University of Otago, NZ.

Feb 2013-Jan 2018          Senior Lecturer, University of Otago, NZ (‘above the bar’ since February 2017)

June-Sept 2017                Specially Appointed Associate Professor, Graduate School of Sciences, Hokkaido                                             University, Japan

Jan 2009-Jan 2013          Lecturer, University of Otago; confirmed (ie. tenured) Sept 2011.

Aug-Dec 2008                  Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A&M                                                         University, USA.

Jan-July 2008                   Lecturer, University of Otago.

2005-2007                        Teaching Assistant, University of Otago, NZ.

2003                                  Teaching Assistant, Monash University, Australia

2001-2002                         Engineering Geologist, Fraser Thomas Ltd., Auckland, NZ.

1999-2000                         Research Assistant, Engineering Geology Ltd., Auckland, NZ

List of Publications (link)

ORC-ID 0000-0002-7621-2064