Ryan McKenzie

Sedimentary Geology & Earth Systems Evolution Group

WELCOME! Hopefully this website will make some sense of the scatterbrained activities we are involved in that attempt to use the geologic record to better understand the evolution of Earth's surface environment.

Prospective Students: We are always on the lookout for eager, self-motivated individuals. Please skim these pages to get an idea of our wide-ranging research endeavors. If these projects interest you, or you have independent ideas to discuss, please contact me via email: ryan00@hku.hk

NOTE: Competitive Hong Kong PhD Fellowships (HKPFs) have salaries of ~$39,700 USD per year! For more info: https://www.gradsch.hku.hk/gradsch/prospective-students/scholarship-funding-and-fees

"Sometimes science is more art than science... a lot of people don't get that" —R.S

—November 2016: Michalski hooked-up Thanksgiving dinner in Hong Kong. Oh, and the family finally made it!

—October 2016:  Moved the dog to Hong Kong!  Will try for the rest of the family later..

Milam Valley, India


Gangolihat Fm. India


—June 2017: See new paper, Lee et al., in International Geology Review:


—May-June 2017: Field Camp in Montana, USA

—April 2017: Congratulations to the Final Year Project (FYP) students who successfully presented their research!

—March 2017: Sedimentary Environments field trip to Brides Pool

—Jan-Feb 2017: Teaching...

—December 2016: Colleps survived a successful field campaign in eastern Myanmar.

—July 2017: Meetings & Fieldwork in Thailand & Indonesia

—August 2017: Hangyu, Cody, and Martha dominated Thailand rivers during monsoon.

— September–October 2017: Teaching... GSA... New Haven... New U-Pb data...

— November 2017: Check out new papers on

Argentina thrust belt & foreland river systems, Capaldi et al., in EPSL:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X1730496X

And Indian Proterozoic microfossils, Tang et al., in Palaeontology: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pala.12323/full

— December 2017: AGU

— January 2018

New papers

Himalayan thrust belt & thermochronometry, Colleps et al., in G-cubed:


Detrital zircon trace element data from India in Geology:


Fieldwork in central India with Mukund Sharma, Colleps, and Tim Gibson

— February—March 2018


—Seed Fund  $95,190 HKD

—Equipment Grant with Dr. Christelle Not for new Q-ICPMS = $1,024,422 HKD.

And of course, Teaching... teaching... teaching...

—May-June 2018

Another year of Field Camp!

—April 2018

FYP students successfully present their research!

Plus, some other distractions...

—July 2018

New RGC-GRF grant funded for $505,298 HKD!

Determining how to allocate funds to the students...

—Aug-Sept 2018

Deep Carbon Observatory Workshop

in Iceland


—October-November 2018

US East-coast visits to New York, New Haven, State College, and Indianapolis.  

Students successfully presented at GSA

—November-December 2018

Fieldwork with Hangyu & Cody and the IGCP 668 meeting in Thailand.

—February–March 2019

Teaching, trip to the US, more teaching, and a Seed Grant for $66,570 HKD!

—January 2019

New grants: Two Hung Hing Ying Physical Sciences Research Fund Awards, One to Colleps for $15,000 HKD and one to McKenzie for  $30,000 HKD

Fieldwork with Venkatraman Hegde, Asim Pratihary, Diksha Karapurker, & Devon Cole,   around Hubli-Dharwad southern India.

—April 2019

Visit to the Korean Polar Research Institute

—May 2019

Southern Java (Ijen) & Bali w/ Hangyu & Sean Crowe!

Measuring Methane in Hong Kong

w/ Planavsky (mass spec in a backpack)...

—June 2019

New RGC-GRF Grant for HKD $558,272 !

New paper in Tectonics (Colleps et al.) on Himalayan Kinematics & Exhumation

NAPC 2019 at UC Riverside

And another awesome Field Camp in Montana!

—July-August 2019

$10.5 million HKD awarded for ICPMS facilities upgrades!!!

Everyone presented at Goldschmidt !

Visiting Student Chris Cheung (St. Andrews) here sampling local streams

Q-ICPMS is finally generating data

—September-October 2019


Congratulations to Cody Colleps for winning the "Excellent Teaching Assistant Award 2019-2019!!!"  **Only two awards were given within the entire faculty of science!**

—November 2019

Colleps and Patrick fieldwork in Uttarakhand Himalaya, India

McKenzie, Liu, Luk, and Baur fieldwork in Marianas Islands

Workshop in Okinawa Japan




—December 2019

New paper in Elements.

—January 2020

Fieldwork & IGCP-668 meeting in Myanmar... trilobites & ashes!

Colleps et al., EPSL paper dropped.

—February - May 2020

Covid-19... a lucky day for a field-trip with select students, but otherwise, just teaching online while patiently waiting for the world to work again...

—SeptemberNovember 2020

New semester with some face-to-face teaching...

BIG CONGRATS to DR. Cody  Colleps for having his dissertation confirmed!

—June–August - May 2020

Covid-19... locking down... social distancing... etc, etc.

Ran our "virtual field-camp"...

CO-PI on newly funded GRF w/ Lead PI-S. Crowe

—June 2021- August 2021

COVID keeps going and going...

Welcome postdoctoral fellow Dr. Qing Tang to the group!

New papers in Geology (Bauer et al.,) & EPSL (Colleps et al.,)

—February 2021- May 2021

COVID still going strong and stopping the world from working...

New papers in Precambrian Research (Colleps et al.,) & Geosphere (Capaldi et al)

Even snuck in some local fieldwork...

—December 2020-January 2021

I start Sabbatical end of the month... can't go anywhere though... ugh...

Cody  Colleps off to German for new Postdoc at University of Potsdam!

New papers in Tectonics (Capaldi et al) and Biogeochemical Cycels (Isson et al.), P-cubed (LeRoy et al)

I was lucky to receive and Outstanding Young Researcher Award at HKU.

—December 2021

Hanygu's paper on zircon trace elements & subduction dynamics (Liu et al., 2022) out in EPSL:


—November 2021

Happy to announce that both Hangyu Liu (PhD) and Spencer Patrick (MPhil) successfully defended their theses — congrats to both!!!

—September 2021–October 2021

Just teaching and not traveling...

—January-April 2022

5th wave covid lockdowns, work from home/teaching online, etc... BUT some tidal flats...