Ms Louise Koornneef

Ms Louise Koornneef

Research Fellow

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)


PhD Research Student - 'The sheeted dyke-gabbro transition zone: the key to unravelling the paleomagnetic record of the Oman ophiolite'

Supervisory team: Tony Morris, Michelle Harris, Luca Menegon (Plymouth University), Chris MacLeod (Cardiff University)

Study location: Ophiolite of Oman



PhD in paleomagnetism and geochemistry (2016-present) - Plymouth University
Thesis: The sheeted dyke-gabbro transition zone: the key to unravelling the paleomagnetic record of the Oman ophiolite.

MSc Earth, Structure, and Dynamics (2014-2016) - University of Utrecht
Thesis: Paleolatitude and paleospreading directions recovered from the Oman ophiolite.
Guided Research:  Inclination shallowing of the pre-ophiolitic radiolarian cherts of Oman.

BSc Earth Sciences, majoring in Geology (2010-2014) - University of Utrecht
Thesis: Paleospreading directions and oceanic core complexes recovered from Yarlung-Zangbo suture zone ophiolites.

Field experience

2016 - Torbay, UK. UNESCO GeoParks Conference Fieldwork* (1 day)
2016 - Bovisand, UK. Fundamentals of Geoscience fieldwork* (1 day)
2016 - Dartmoor, UK. Fundamentals of Geoscience fieldwork* (1 day)
2016 - Ophiolite of Oman. PhD fieldwork (3 weeks)
2015 - Ophiolite of Oman. Master thesis fieldwork (3 weeks)
2014 - Ardennes, Belgium. Introduction fieldwork for Earth Scientist students* (3 days)
2014 - Betics, Southern Spain. Master's fieldwork (4 weeks)
2013 - Ardennes, Belgium. Introduction fieldwork for Earth Scientist students* (3 days)
2013 - Pyrenees, Spain. Bachelor's fieldwork (6 weeks)
2011 - French Alps, France. Bachelor's fieldwork (4 weeks)
2010 - Ardennes, Belgium. Fieldwork Introduction (3 days)

*fieldwork assistant

Professional membership

Member of the Mineralogical Society of America

Fellow of the Geological Society of London

Teaching interests


GLY007 - Fundamentals of Geoscience (14h)

  • Stage 3
GEOL3003 - Geophysics (12h)

Research interests

I currently work as a PhD student at Plymouth University on a project on the remagnetisation and alteration of the Oman ophiolite. While the Oman ophiolite has been studied for ages, a big remagnetisation event in the southern part, likely caused by obduction, has been causing much confusion on how to interpret the paleomagnetic record. 

We believe however to have found a way to decipher the paleomagnetic record, where we distinguish between early obtained magnetisations and overprinted magnetisations. In order to do this, we need to thoroughly analyse samples from the oceanic lower-crustal gabbros to the upper-crustal sheeted-dyke transition zone. In addition, we also need to fully understand the nature of the fluid-related alteration that is the cause for the remagnetisation. 

I use both paleomagnetic and geochemical methods to investigate and decipher the paleomagnetic record of the Oman ophiolite.

Conferences organised

CRES Research Conference 2016 - Showcasing Earth Sciences at Plymouth University (November 2016)

Conference fieldtrips

Fieldwork Ambassador and guide for the 7th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks (September 2016)

Grants & contracts

Plymouth Doctoral Training Centre for Earth and Environmental Sciences - £200 obtained to attend the Magnetic Interactions Conference in the UK, January 2017

Creative practice & artistic projects

In my free time, I am both an artist and writer under a pseudonym. Currently I am working on a book/graphic novel that has our future Earth in the spotlights, complete with all the drama of global warming, exhausted fossil fuel reservoirs, and a whole new battle between humans and nature.

Paper publications

Marco Maffione, Douwe J.J. van Hinsbergen, Louise M.T. Koornneef, Carl Guilmette, Kip Hodges, Nathaniel Borneman, Wentao Huang, Lin Ding, Paul Kapp, 2015. Forearc hyperextension dismembered the south Tibetan ophiolites. GEOLOGY v. 43, pp. 475-478, doi: 10.1130/G36472.1

Conference publications

Maffione, M., Van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Huang, W., Koornneef, L., Guilmette, C., Borneman, N., Hodges, K.V., Kapp, P.A., Lin, D., 2014. Forearc hyperextension by detachment faulting and ophiolite dismemberment: examples from the Yarlung Tsangpo Suture Zone (Southern Tibet). American Geophysical Union, abstract #V53C-4882.

Douwe J.J. van Hinsbergen, Marco Maffione, Louise Koornneef, Carl Guilmette, 2016. Plume-induced subduction initiation at the Cretaceous India-Arabia transform plate boundary: paleomagnetic constraints from the Semail ophiolite, Oman. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting abstract.