Add to collection
  • + Create new collection
  • Position: Emeritus Professor, Science and Engineering, University of Waikato
    Field: Geochemistry – mineralogy and chemistry of rocks

    Professor Richard Price, who passed away in March 2024, was a very Australasian research scientist. He first studied at the Australian National University in Canberra and then gained his PhD from Otago University. Before coming to work at the University of Waikato, he was on the staff at La Trobe University in Melbourne.

    Rights: The University of Waikato Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

    Emeritus Professor Richard Price

    Emeritus Professor Richard Price at the University of Waikato studies the mineralogy and chemistry of rocks derived from magmas and how magmas are generated and evolve as they migrate to the Earth’s surface.

    Professor Price was Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Waikato from 1998 until 2010. He was instrumental in the establishment of the School of Engineering and the accreditation of the Bachelor of Engineering programmes.

    Richard’s research involved the study of volcanoes and their products, granites and related rocks and the tectonic history and magmatic systems of the south-west margin of the Pacific plate.

    Rights: The University of Waikato Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

    Collecting evidence

    Professor Richard Price and University of Waikato technical officer Steven Cooke use an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer to analyse the chemical make-up of a rock sample.

    His particular interest was in studying the mineralogy and chemistry of rocks derived from magmas, and he used this information to determine how magmas are generated and how they evolve as they migrate from their mantle and crustal sources to the Earth’s surface.

    Richard was an authority on the geochemistry and the origins of andesite rocks from Ruapehu and Taranaki in the North Island of New Zealand. This research was a collaborative effort with colleagues from University College Cork in Ireland, Melbourne and Macquarie Universities in Australia, and Massey and Auckland Universities. The objectives of the study were to understand how andesite magmas are generated, evolve and erupt and the timescales of the magmatic and volcanic processes involved.

    Rights: The University of Waikato

    New models for volcanoes

    Professor Richard Price describes how New Zealand scientists are rewriting the textbooks on how volcanoes are understood. Studying andesite volcanoes, they have discovered that all volcanoes may not form the same way.

    Professor Price passed away in March 2024.

    Related content

    Exploring magma formation looks at how research by some New Zealand scientists suggests that not all volcanoes have a magma chamber lying underneath. Richard has proposed a new model to explain how andesite volcanoes work.

    In the video Differences in rocks, Richard introduces some of the common types of volcanic rocks and talks about how they are used to study volcanoes.

    This article is based on information current in 2010 and in 2024.

      Published 9 April 2010, Updated 8 March 2024 Referencing Hub articles
          Go to full glossary
          Download all