Research Scientist, Mineralogy

Paula Piilonen.

Contact Information

Email: ppiilonen@nature.ca
Tel: 613.566.4285
Fax: 613.364.4027

Twitter: @Paula_Piilonen

Paula Piilonen studies minerals that contain the Earth's rarest elements, such as zirconium, niobium and titanium, all across the globe.

Specialties

  • Speciation and mobilization of high-field strength (HFSE) in alkaline magmatic and hydrothermal fluorine-enriched systems.
  • Mineralogy and crystal chemistry of zircono-, titano- and niobosilicates in alkaline systems.
  • Mineralogy and crystal chemistry of rare-earth element minerals.

Education

  • NSERC Post-doctoral fellowship, Laboratoire des géomatériaux, Université de Marne-la-Vallée (Marne-la-Vallée, France) and Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa. "Structural environment of Nb5+ and Ta5+ in natural compounds and silicate glasses: A combined EXAFS and XANES study", 2002.
  • Ph.D., Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa. Thesis title: "Crystal chemistry, Mössbauer spectroscopy and paragenesis of astrophyllite group minerals from over- and undersaturated alkaline intrusions". NSERC-funded for four years, 2001.
  • B.Sc. (Hon.), Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University, 1997.

Profile

Paula specializes in studying the minerals in alkaline rocks that contain rare-earth elements such as zirconium, niobium and titanium. Her work focuses on understanding how these rare elements form minerals, how they behave in different geochemical environments, and what their presence or absence can tell us about the rocks in which they formed. Her work spans the globe, from Norway all the way over to Southeast Asia.

In southern Norway, Paula is studying the mineralogy and origin of the Larvik alkaline complex, which lies at the centre of the Oslo Rift Valley. The Larvik complex is historic from a geological perspective, and has been designated a UNESCO GeoPark.

Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, she can be found trekking across the Cambodian jungle in search of gems including zircon (ZrSiO4), topaz and beryl. Examining the chemistry of the zircon crystals will help shed light on the geological evolution of Cambodia.

Main Research Project

Professional Services

  • Chief Judge, Canada-Wide Science Fair (2021, 2024).
  • Member, National Judging Committee, Youth Science Canada.
  • President, Mineralogical Association of Canada (2018–2019).
  • Vice-President, Mineralogical Association of Canada (2016–2018).
  • Chair, Canada-Wide Science Fair 2018 Host Committee.
  • Chair, Canada-Wide Science Fair 2008 Host Committee.
  • Member, Mineralogical Association of Canada (1995 – present).
  • Adjunct Professor, Laurentian University Department of Earth Science (2013–2017).
  • Adjunct Professor and Sessional Lecturer, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa (1999–2010).
  • New Minerals Editor, American Mineralogist (Mineralogical Society of America, 2005–2011).
  • Councillor, Mineralogical Association of Canada (2005–2006).
  • Canadian representative, Minerals and Museums Commission, International Mineralogical Association (2010–2017).
  • President, Canadian Museum of Nature PIPS Union Executive (2010–2013).
  • Member, Canadian Science Writers' Association.

Students

  • Pam Iraheta-Muniz.

Links

Mineralogical Association of Canada
http://​http://www.mineralogicalassociation.ca

Youth Science Canada
https://www.youthscience.ca

University of Ottawa, Faculty of Science
https://www.science.uottawa.ca

Publications

Refereed Publications

Piilonen, P.C., A.M. McDonald and A.E. Lalonde. 1998. The crystal chemistry of aegirine from Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec. The Canadian Mineralogist 36: 779-791.

Piilonen, P.C., A.E. Lalonde, A.M. McDonald and R.A. Gault. 2000. Niobokupletskite, a new astrophyllite-group mineral from Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada: description and crystal structure. The Canadian Mineralogist 38: 627-639.

Piilonen, P.C. 2001 Crystal chemistry, Mossbauer spectroscopy and paragenesis of astrophyllite group minerals from over- and undersaturated alkaline rocks. In Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Piilonen, P.C., A.M. McDonald and A.E. Lalonde. 2001. Kupletskite polytypes from the Lovozero massif, Kola peninsula, Russia: kupletskite-1A and kupletskite-Ma2b2c. European Journal of Mineralogy 13: 973-984.

Piilonen, P.C., A.E. Lalonde, A.M. McDonald, R.A. Gault and A.O. Larsen. 2003. Insights into astrophyllite-group minerals. I. Nomenclature, composition and development of a standardized general formula. The Canadian Mineralogist 41: 1-26.

Piilonen, P.C., A.M. McDonald and A.E. Lalonde. 2003. Insights into astrophyllite-group minerals. II. Crystal chemistry. The Canadian Mineralogist 41: 27-54.

Piilonen, P.C. 2004. Astrophyllite-group minerals from Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec: A guide to identification for collectors. In Micronews Vol. 38, pp. 4-8, Canadian Micro Mineral Association, Toronto, Ontario.

Piilonen, P., F. Farges, R. Linnen and G. Brown Jr. 2005. Tin and niobium in dry and fluid-rich (H2O, F) silicate glasses. Physica Scripta 2005: 405.

Piilonen, P.C. and T.S. Ercit. 2005. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 90: 1466-1469.

Piilonen, P.C., T.S. Ercit and A. Roberts. 2005. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 90: 768-773.

Piilonen, P.C., T.S. Ercit and A.C. Roberts. 2005. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 90: 768-773.

Piilonen, P.C., E.S. Grew, T.S. Ercit, A. Roberts and J.L. Jambor. 2005. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 90: 1227-1232.

Piilonen, P.C., A.J. Locock and E.S. Grew. 2005. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 90: 1945-1952.

Ercit, T.S., P.C. Piilonen, A.J. Locock, U. Kolitsch and R. Rowe. 2006. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 91: 1201-1209.

Locock, A.J., T.S. Ercit, J. Kjellman and P.C. Piilonen. 2006. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 91: 1945-1954.

Locock, A.J., P.C. Piilonen, T.S. Ercit and R. Rowe. 2006. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 91: 216-224.

Locock, A.J., P.C. Piilonen, T.S. Ercit, R. Rowe and U. Kolitsch. 2006. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 91: 710-715.

Piilonen, P., I. Pekov, M. Back, T. Steede and R. Gault. 2006. Crystal-structure refinement of a Zn-rich kupletskite from Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, with contributions to the geochemistry of zinc in peralkaline environments. Mineralogical Magazine 70: 565-578.

Piilonen, P.C., F. Farges, R.L. Linnen, G.E. Brown Jr., M. Pawlak and A. Pratt. 2006. Structural environment of Nb5+ in dry and fluid-rich (H2O, F) silicate glasses: a combined XANES and EXAFS study. The Canadian Mineralogist 44: 775-794.

Piilonen, P.C., R. Rowe, T.S. Ercit and A.J. Locock. 2006. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 91: 1452-1457.

Ercit, T.S., P.C. Piilonen and R. Rowe. 2007. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 92: 1539-1542.

Piilonen, P.C. 2007. The artist formerly known as scientist. In Science Link Vol. 25, pp. 6-7.

Piilonen, P.C., A.J. Locock and R. Rowe. 2007. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 92: 703-707.

Piilonen, P.C., A.J. Locock, R. Rowe and T.S. Ercit. 2007. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 92: 703-704.

Poirier, G. and P.C. Piilonen. 2007. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 92: 1776-1779.

Piilonen, P.C., G. Poirier and K.T. Tait. 2008. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 93: 1941-1946.

Piilonen, P.C., G. Poirier and K.T. Tait. 2008. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 93: 1686-1691.

Poirier, G., K.T. Tait, T.S. Ercit, R. Rowe and P.C. Piilonen. 2008. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 93: 702-706.

Tait, K.T., G. Poirier, R. Rowe and P.C. Piilonen. 2008. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 93: 252-256.

Ercit, T.S., P.C. Piilonen, G. Poirier and K.T. Tait. 2009. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 94: 1075-1083.

Piilonen, P.C., G. Poirier and K.T. Tait. 2009. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 94: 1495-1501.

Piilonen, P.C., G. Poirier and K.T. Tait. 2009. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 94: 648-652.

Poirier, G., T.S. Ercit, K.T. Tait and P.C. Piilonen. 2009. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 94: 399-408.

Piilonen, P., A. McDonald, J. Grice, M. Cooper, U. Kolitsch, R. Rowe, R. Gault and G. Poirier. 2010. Arisite-(La), a new REE-fluorcarbonate mineral from the Aris phonolite (Namibia), with descriptions of the crystal structures of arisite-(La) and arisite-(Ce). Mineralogical Magazine 74: 257-268.

Piilonen, P.C., A.M. McDonald, J.D. Grice, R. Rowe, R.A. Gault, G. Poirier, M.A. Cooper, U. Kolitsch, A.C. Roberts and W. Lechner. 2010. Arisite-(Ce), a new rare-earth fluorcarbonate from the Aris phonolite, Namibia, Mont Saint-Hilaire and the Saint-Amable sill, Québec, Canada. The Canadian Mineralogist 48: 661-671.

Piilonen, P.C. and G. Poirier. 2010. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 95: 1357-1361.

Piilonen, P.C. and G. Poirier. 2010. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 95: 204-208.

Piilonen, P.C., G. Poirier, T.S. Ercit and K.T. Tait. 2010. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 95: 1594-1600.

Poirier, G., K.T. Tait and P.C. Piilonen. 2010. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 95: 1121-1124.

Piilonen, P.C., R. Rowe, G. Poirier and K.T. Tait. 2011. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 96: 1654-1661.

Rowe, R., A. Petley-Ragan and P.C. Piilonen. 2011. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 96: 1911-2011.

Piilonen, P., A. McDonald, G. Poirier, R. Rowe and A. Larsen. 2012. The mineralogy and crystal chemistry of alkaline pegmatites in the Larvik Plutonic Complex, Oslo rift valley, Norway. Part 1. Magmatic and secondary zircon: implications for petrogenesis from trace-element geochemistry. Mineralogical Magazine 76: 649-672.

Piilonen, P.C., A.M. McDonald, G. Poirier, R. Rowe and A.O. Larsen. 2013. Mafic minerals of the alkaline pegmatites in the Larvik Plutonic Complex, Oslo rift, Southern Norway. The Canadian Mineralogist 51: 735-770.

Piilonen, P.C., R. Rowe, G. Poirier, J.D. Grice and A.M. McDonald. 2013. Crystal structure determination of a unique Nb-Ti-rich thorite from Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, with comments on 'thorogummite'. The Canadian Mineralogist 51: 597-612.

Piilonen, P.C., G. Poirier, R. Rowe and A.O. Larsen. 2014. Pyrochlore-supergroup minerals from the alkaline pegmatites in the Larvik plutonic complex, southern Norway. Norsk Bergverksmuseums skriftserie 50: 63-81.

Piilonen, P.C., R. Rowe, G. Poirier, J.D. Grice and A.M. McDonald. 2014. Discreditation of thorogummite. The Canadian Mineralogist 52: 769-774.

Sutherland, F.L., P.C. Piilonen, K. Zaw, S. Meffre and J. Thompson. 2015. Sapphire within zircon-rich gem deposits, Bo Loei, Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia: trace elements, inclusions, U–Pb dating and genesis. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 62: 761-773. https://doi.org/10.1080/08120099.2015.1101015

Piilonen, P.C., F.L. Sutherland, M. Danišík, G. Poirier, J.W. Valley and R. Rowe. 2018. Zircon Xenocrysts from Cenozoic Alkaline Basalts of the Ratanakiri Volcanic Province (Cambodia), Southeast Asia—Trace Element Geochemistry, O-Hf Isotopic Composition, U-Pb and (U-Th)/He Geochronology—Revelations into the Underlying Lithospheric Mantle. Minerals 8: 556.

Kirkland, C.L., M. Danišík, R. Marsden, P.C. Piilonen, M. Barham and L. Sutherland. 2020. Dating young zircon: A case study from Southeast Asian megacrysts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 274: 1-19.

Piilonen, P.C., H. Friis, R. Rowe and G. Poirier. 2020 (in press). Crystal structure determination of kosnarite, KZr2(PO4)3, from the Mario Pinto mine, Jenipapo district, Itinga, Brazil. The Canadian Mineralogist.