Paul Spry

Professor - Economic Geology/Mineralogy/Metamorphic petrology


Dept:Geological And Atmospheric Sciences
Office:253 Science
2237 Osborn Dr.
Ames IA


B.S. (with Honors) University of Adelaide, 1977
M.S. University of Adelaide, 1979
Ph.D. University of Toronto, 1984

Dr. Spry's research interests are in economic geology, mineralogy and petrology, and the geochemistry of metallic mineral deposits. He is particularly interested in the petrological, mineralogical, structural, geochronological (Re-Os), light (S, C, O and H) and heavy (Te) stable isotope, and fluid inclusion characteristics of epithermal and mesothermal gold deposits, as well as the effects of metamorphism on massive sulfide deposits. Current research projects include: the origin of metamorphosed Proterozoic base metal-gold deposits (Colorado); stable tellurium isotopes of tellurides in gold-silver telluride deposits; the origin of gold telluride deposits in Greece; the use of trace elements in oxides, silicates, and sulfides as exploration guides to metamorphosed Cu-Pb-Zn-Ag ores in the Kanmantoo Group, South Australia and the Stollberg Pb-Zn-Ag ore field, Sweden; the origin of nodular sillimanite rocks and their genetic relationship to metamorphosed massive sulfide deposits; and the crystallographic characterization of precious metal sulfides and sulfosalts (see new sulfosalt “Spryite” named after Spry).

Research Projects
  1. Trace element chemistry of common silicates (garnet, biotite, staurolite, chlorite), oxides (gahnite, magnetite), and sulfides (pyrite, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, and sphalerite) as guides in the exploration for metamorphosed massive sulfide deposits in the the Bergslagen district (Sweden) and the Kanmantoo Group, South Australia
  2. The mineralogy and geochemistry (fluid inclusions and stable isotopes) of epithermal and mesothermal gold deposits and porphyry style copper and/or molybdenum deposits, Greece (with Panos Voudouris, University of Athens; Vasilios Melfos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
  3. Mineralogy and crystallography of sulfides, sulfosalts, and tellurides (with Luca Bindi, University of Florence)
  4. Stable tellurium isotopes (with Edwin Shauble, UCLA; Simon Jackson, Geological Survey of Canada; Ryan Mathur, Juniata College)

Google Scholar Profile

  • Geol 105 - Gems and Gemstones
  • Geol 316 - Optical Mineralogy
  • Geol 365 - Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • Geol 420/520 - Mineral Resources
  • Geol 507 - Midwestern Geology Field Trip
Detailed Course Descriptions

Recent Refereed Publications

Conn, C.D., Spry, P.G., Matthews, D.-L., Voinot, A., and Koenig, A., 2019, The effects of amphibolite facies metamorphism on the trace element composition of pyrite and pyrrhotite in the Cambrian Nairne Pyrite Member, Kanmantoo Group, South Australia. Ore Geology Reviews, v. 115,

Fornadel, A.P., Spry, P.G., Jackson. S.E., 2019, Geological controls on the stable tellurium isotope variation in tellurides and native tellurium from epithermal and orogenic gold deposits: application to the Emperor gold-telluride deposit, Fiji. Ore Geology Reviews, v. 113,

Forsythe, N.A., Spry, P.G., and Thompson, M.L., 2019, Petrological and mineralogical aspects of epithermal low-sulfidation Au- and porphyry Cu-style mineralization, Navilawa caldera, Fiji. Geosciences, v. 9, (42); doi:10.3390/geosciences9010042.

Frank, K.S., Spry, P.G., Raat, H., Allen, R.L., Jansson, N.F., and Ripa, M., 2019, Variability in the geological, mineralogical, and geochemical characteristics of base metal sulfide deposits in the Stollberg ore field, Bergslagen, Sweden: Economic Geology, v. 114, p. 473-452.

Li, H.-Z., Liang, J., Zhai, M.-G., Zhang, L.-C., Voudouris, P.C., Yang, Z.-J., Zhou, Y.-Z., He, J.-G., and Spry, P.G., 2019, The mineralogy, mineral chemistry, and origin of the Wuyang banded iron formations, North China Craton. Precambrian Research, v. 328, p. 111-128.

Scheffer, C., Tarantola, A., Vanderhaeghe, O., Voudouris, P., Rigaudier, T., Spry, P.G., and Photiades, A., 2019, Magmatic to meteoric fluid reservoirs during exhumation of the Cyclades: the Lavrion Pb-Zn-Fe-Cu-Ag district (Attica, Greece). Economic Geology, v. 114,

Tott, K.A., Spry, P.G., Pollock, M.V., Koenig, A., Both, R.A., and Ogierman, J.A., 2019, Ferromagnesian silicates and oxides as vectors to metamorphosed sediment-hosted Pb-Zn-Ag-(Cu-Au) deposits in the Cambrian Kanmantoo Group, South Australia. Journal of Geochemical Research, v. 200, p. 112-138.

Voudouris. P., Mavrogonatos, C., Spry, P.G., Melfos, V., Klemd, R., Haase, K., Repstock, A., Djiba, A., Bismayer, U., Tarantola, A., Scheffer, C., Moritz, R., Kouzmanov, K., Alfieris, D., Schaarschmidt, A., Galanopoulos, E., Galanos, E., Kołodziejczyk, J., Papavassiliou, K., Stergiou, C., Melfou, M., 2019, Porphyry and epithermal deposits in Greece: an overview, new discoveries, and mineralogical constraints on their genesis. Ore Geology Reviews, v. 107, p. 654-691.

Voudouris, P., Melfos, V., Mavrogonatos, C., Spry, P.G., Alfieris, D., Periferakis, A., Kolodziejczyk, J., Maggans, A., and Soukis, K., 2019, The geology and mineralogy of the Stypsi porphyry Cu-Mo±Au deposit, Lesvos Island, Aegean Sea, Greece. Ore Geology Reviews, v. 112,

Full Publication List