Professor Mike Watkeys


Professor, Academic Leader (Geological Sciences)


BSc (Hons) University of Wales

PhD (University of the Witwatersrand)

Office Block:

Room 126

Block H1

Geological Sciences

Westville Campus




+27 (0) 31 260 2516/9

+27 (0) 31 260 2280


Biographical sketch

Mike Watkeys was born in Malta in 1952, spent his childhood in Ghana and then Germany before attending boarding school in Oxford, England.  He obtained his a BSc (Hons) from the Department of Geology & Oceanography, University College of Swansea, Wales in 1975 and then went to work for the Rhodesian Geological Survey. When field work stopped because of the Bush War, he joined the Department of Geology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg as a postgraduate student in 1978.  After completing his PhD, he joined the Department of Geochemistry, University of Cape Town in 1983 as a post-doctoral researcher.  In 1989 he was appointed to the academic staff of the Department of Geology & Applied Geology at the University of Natal, Durban.  He is currently Professor and Academic Leader in Geological Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville campus, Durban.

Professional Activities

  • Fellow, Geological Society of South Africa
  • Member, American Geophysical Union
  • Editorial Board, Journal of the Geological Society of London

Current Teaching / courses

Level II:                        GEOL220: Brittle Deformation of Rocks

                                   BIOL231: Marine Environment

Level III:                       GEOL303 Ductile Deformation of Rocks

                                   GEOL304: Advanced Field Mapping Skills

                                   GEOL306: Geological Evolution of Southern Africa

Honours:                      GEOL706 Mines Field Class

                                   GEOL710: Structural Geology


Research Interests / areas of specialty

Structural geology and tectonics.  Mechanisms of igneous emplacement.  Break-up of Gondwana. The evolution of the ocean basins around southern Africa.  Economic geology.


Research Projects

Current research is concentrating on four projects:

  1. The origin of sulphide mineralization in felsic schists of the Archaean Nondweni greenstone belt, SE Kaapvaal craton.
  2. Magma flow directions in Karoo dolerite sills during the early stage of Gondwana break-up.
  3. Macro- and microtopography of the ocean floor between SE Africa and Madagascar, and the evolution of the ocean bottom currents
  4. The Earth’s geodynamo during the Archaean and in recent times in southern Africa.

Please click here to view Prof Mike Watkey"s Publications