Home > People > Academic Staff > Petrus Le Roux

Dr. Petrus Le Roux

Senior Research Officer

Igneous petrology

Laser Ablation (MC) ICP-MS
Room 152
Department of Geological Sciences
​Ph:  +27 (0)21 650 4139 (office)
Ph:  +27 (0)21 650 4806 (lab)
Fax:  +27 (0)21 650 3783

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My research interest is in the use of volatiles (H2O, CO2, S), halogens (Cl, F) and light elements (Li, Be, B) in igneous rocks, especially oceanic basalts, to understand the geochemical cycling of subducted material, as well as the possible shallow-level magma assimilation, contamination and/or degassing systematics beneath mid-ocean ridges.

The development of new MC-ICP-MS isotopic analytical methods and novel applications, especially in situ Sr, Pb, Hf, B or Li isotope analysis using laser ablation or micro-milling.

I’ve got an increasing research interest in the use of Sr isotopes in palaeoanthropological, palaeontological and biological projects to place constraints on origins, landscape use or migration patterns of plants, hominins, early human societies, extinct animals or dinosaurs.

Latest Publications

SR Copeland, M Sponheimer, DJ de Ruiter, JA Lee-Thorp, D Codron, PJ le Roux, V Grimes, MP Richards (2011) Strontium isotope evidence for early hominin landscape use. Nature, 474, 76-79

FGT Radloff, L Mucina, WJ Bond, PJ le Roux (2010) Strontium isotope analyses of large herbivore habitat use in the Cape Fynbos region of South Africa. Oecologia, 164, 567-578

SR Copeland, M Sponheimer, JA Lee-Thorp, DJ de Ruiter, PJ le Roux, V Grimes, D Codron, J Codron, LR Berger, MP Richards (2010) Using strontium isotopes to study site accumulation processes. Journal of Taphonomy, 8, 115-127

PJ le Roux (2010) Lithium isotope analysis of natural and synthetic glass by laser ablation MC-ICP-MS. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 25, 1033-1038

SR Copeland, M Sponheimer, JA Lee-Thorp, PJ le Roux, DJ de Ruiter, MP Richards (2010) Strontium isotope ratios in fossil teeth from South Africa: assessing laser ablation MC-ICP-MS analysis and the extent of diagenesis. Journal of Archaeological Science, 37, 1437-1446

TM Will, H Frimmel, A Zeh, PJ le Roux, E Schmädicke (2010) Geochemical and isotopic constraints on the tectonic and crustal evolution of the Shackleton Range, East Antarctica, and correlation with other Gondwana crustal segments. Precambrian Research, 180, 85-112

SR Copeland, M Sponheimer, PJ le Roux, V Grimes, JA Lee-Thorp, DJ de Ruiter, MP Richards (2008) Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) of tooth enamel: a comparison of solution and laser ablation multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry methods. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 22, 3187-3194

PB Tomascak, CH Langmuir, PJ le Roux, SB Shirey (2008) Lithium isotopes in global mid-ocean ridge basalts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72, 1626-1637

PJ le Roux, SB Shirey, EH Hauri, MR Perfit, J Bender (2006) The effects of variable sources, processes and contaminants on the composition of northern EPR MORB (8-10°N and 12-14°N): Evidence from volatiles (H2O, CO2, S) and halogens (F, Cl). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 251, 209-231

J Chadwick, M Perfit, I Ridley, I Jonasson, G Kamenov, W Chadwick, R Embley, PJ le Roux, M Smith (2005) Magmatic effects of the Cobb hot spot on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, B03101, doi:10.1029/2003JB002767

Electronic only

HJB Dick, JH Natland, DJ Miller, et al. (1999). Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Initial Reports, 176



  • PhD (Geochemistry) University of Cape Town, 2000
  • BSc Honours (Geochemistry) University of Cape Town, 1994
  • BSc (Geology) University of Cape Town, 1993


  • Senior Research Officer, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town, 2011-present
  • Senior Research Officer, AEON EarthLAB, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town, 2008-2011
  • Senior Scientific Officer, AEON EarthLAB, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town, 2006-2008
  • Research Geologist, Danish Lithosphere Centre/Geological Institute, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2003-2005
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC, USA, 2001-2003
  • Contract Researcher, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town, 2000-2001

Professional Associations

  • American Geophysical Union (since 1999)
  • Geochemical Society (since 2002)
  • Geological Society of South Africa (since 2003)
  • South African Heritage Resource Agency, permit committee (meteorites) 2008 - 2011