I´m Dr. Holger Sommer and I am currently employed as a Senior Lecturer at the University of the South Pacific at the School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment since the 1st of February 2013.
I have by now 26 peer reviewed articles and 45 conference abstracts. My h-index is 10 and my work has been citated by now 452 times.
Furthermore, I have by now supervised 36 BsC, Honnors, Diplom and MsC students during my stay in Botswana, South Africa and Fiji.
One of my MsC student received in 2011 three medals for her outstanding results.
I´m teaching right now about 80 students per semester and I´m supervising now 2 MsC and 1 PhD students here in Fiji.
I undertake research within the areas of petrology, mineralogy and geochemistry. My work on metamorphic, igneous petrology and mantle petrology deals with the formation and recycling of continental and oceanic crust from the microscale to the macroscale. This work employs analytical facilities including SHRIMP, EPMA and LA-ICPMS, and software such as PerPleX and TWQ. Fluid rock interaction is another part of my petrological investigations, here I´m studying several hot springs in the South Pacific to in respect to geothermal energy. My mineralogical work assesses components of the planetary volatile cycle, including water and carbon dioxide. I´m using Synchrotron Based FTIR with a micrometre-scale resolution to determine the distribution of volatiles in Nominally Anhydrous Minerals. My geochemical interests lie in understanding the distribution of REE, LREE and HREE in the granulite-eclogite facies transition zone. My research activities are around the globe, but especially in the USA, Greenland, Germany, Morocco, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, Antarctica and Fiji.
I have a teaching experience of about 10 years. Within this 10 years I taught all aspects in Mineralogy and Petrology, but mainly metamorphic, igneous and mantle petrology. Due to the fact that my main research interests are in the same scientific area as my lectures, it was/is always possible to connect the topic of the classes with ongoing research projects for the students on a BsC, Honnor, MsC and PhD level.
I´m using very classical teaching methods like chalc and the blackboard, but also highly suffisticated computer based modelling programs as PERPLEX etc. In the past I offered additionally to the existing classes a voluntarily lunch time seminar. That was a seminar series offered to the students attending my classes. Every week another student gave a small and briefly presentation on the topic of a international peer reviewed publication and a following discussion about the context of the publication was made within the group. The goal was to animate students to follow up the newest scientific literature and therein the importance to study it.
Different teaching concepts can be applied depending on the number of students in a course. From my experience a course with up to 15 students is ideal. That is, because I can personally interact and discuss certain topics with the students directly in the course. Another advantage is that I know the students by name and I´m able to recognize very fast if somebody is struggling with the context of the lecture. Up to 30 students in a course is still fine, because I will also remember them by name and face, but an powerfull direct face to face interaction becomes more difficult. Classes with more than 30 students has to be teached in a completely different way, because personal direct interaction is not longer possible, because I´m dealing than with a group and not longer with single individuals. Due to these circumstances I have to decide by myself how I have to teach certain classes depending on the number of students.
Another very important teaching aspect for mineralogy and petrology students is the field work, which also depends strongly on the number of students attending the class. Here, I would like to visit high grade metamorphic terrains and active volcanoes. But industry excursions, like cement factories will also be on the timetable.
In summary: My goal is to produce practical and field orientated students, which should be able to use classical and advanced mineralogical and petrological methods to create healthy scientific work on the one hand, but on the second hand they should also be able to use their mineralogical and petrological skills obtained in my courses in applied geology as well as in the industry.
(magna cum laude) Metamorphic petrology and zircon geochronology of high-grade rocks from the central Mozambique Belt of Tanzania: Crustal recycling of Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic material during the Pan-African orogeny. Johannes-Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Germany, Institute for Geology, Mineralogy and Paleontology.