A special issue of the International Journal of Earth Sciences is dedicated to Dr. Jaroslav (Jarda) Dostal, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geology. Dr. Dostal is internationally recognized as a scientific leader and a pioneer in lithogeochemistry, the study of the chemical composition of rocks and minerals from the Earth, and its application to ancient tectonic processes, which control the structure and properties of the Earth’s crust and its evolution through time.
The issue is comprised of papers submitted by Dr. Dostal’s colleagues in celebration of his remarkable contribution to the fields of geochemistry and tectonics. It developed from the Montreal 2015 joint assembly of the American Geophysical Union, Canadian Geophysical Union, Geological Association of Canada, and Mineralogical Association of Canada, which included a special session held in Dr. Dostal’s honour.
“I am deeply grateful for this honour. I have been so fortunate over the course of my career to have such an esteemed group of researchers from around the world with whom to collaborate on my research, “says Dr. Dostal. “I am also appreciative of Saint Mary’s University and their continued support over the course of my career that enabled me to pursue the areas of research reflected in this publication.”
A Long and Distinguished Research Career
Dr. Dostal joined the Faculty of Science at Saint Mary’s University in 1975, after completing his undergraduate degree at Charles University in Prague and his Ph.D. at McMaster University. He became Professor Emeritus in 2006.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Dostal contributed to a number of landmark studies that deepened scientists’ understanding of tectonic environments. Early in his career, he was internationally recognized as an expert in both igneous and metamorphic rocks, including the wide variety of petrological processes associated with their creation. Igneous rocks form through the cooling and solidification of hot, molten materials; metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock types, either through heat or pressure.
“Over the past fifty years, Dr. Dostal has made a remarkable contribution to the field of geochemistry and to Saint Mary’s University,” says Dr. Adam Sarty, Associate Vice-President, Research, and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. “The depth and breadth of his scholarship is outstanding.”
As Professor Emeritus, Dr. Dostal maintains an active research practice. His current work is focused on Precambrian complexes in Mexico, granites of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt in Mongolia, and the formation of a rare metal deposit at the Bokan Mountain Complex in Alaska.
A Legacy of Excellence at Saint Mary’s and Beyond
Over the course of his tenure at Saint Mary’s University, Dr. Dostal has made significant contributions to the Department of Geology and the university as a whole. In addition to supervising dozens of undergraduate and graduate research students, he served as Chair of the Department of Geology for twelve years and as a member of the university’s Academic Senate and the Board of Governors. Dr. Dostal was also instrumental in establishing the Regional Analytical Facility (previously known as the Regional Geochemical Centre).
“Dr. Dostal has spent his career addressing fundamental “big picture” questions, and his research has had a far-reaching impact within the global geoscience community,” says Jacob Hanley, Chair of the Department of Geology at Saint Mary’s University. “A widely-recognized authority in his field, Dr. Dostal is also a remarkable mentor to students and a selfless colleague, creating and facilitating research collaborations at SMU and around the world.”