Prof Allan Pring

Honourary Research Associate Earth Sciences

+61 8 8207 7449


With an academic background in Chemistry rather than Geology, Allan was appointed to the post of Curator of Minerals at the South Australian Museum in 1984.


Position at Other Organisation

  • Research Professor, Chemistry and Physics of Minerals, University of Adelaide


Research Interests

The formation of minerals by hydrothermal processes, particularly as it relates to the formation of ore deposits such as Olympic Dam.  Development of neutron and x-ray diffraction techniques to study mineral formation processes at high temperature and pressure hydrothermal conditions. Biomineralization processes and structure as it relates to the colour of shells and pearls.


Current Research Projects

Experimental studies on hydrothermal reaction processes at the molecular level: the role of mineral replacement reactions in ore formation.  A. Pring and J. Brugger.  2010–2014, ARC Discovery program, $590,000.


Awards & Achievements

  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, University of Hamburg (1993)

  • Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America (1995)

  • Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1998)

  • Visiting Fellow Commoner, Trinity College, Cambridge (1999–2000)

  • JE Johnson Medal, Mineralogical Society of South Australia (2000)

  • John Sanders Medal, Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Society (2004)

  • Sir Joseph Verco Medal, Royal Society of South Australia (2005)


Professional Associations

  • Member, Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Society

  • Member, Mineralogical Association of Canada

  • Member, Mineralogical Society of America

  • Member, Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

  • Member, Royal Society of South Australia

  • Member, Society of Crystallographers in Australia and New Zealand     



  • BSc (Hons), Monash University (1980)

  • PhD, University of Cambridge (1983)

  • ScD, University of Cambridge (2006)


Current Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate courses at the University of Adelaide:

  • ‘Heavy Metal Chemistry’ in Environmental Chemistry III


Supervision of PhD students at the University of Adelaide:

  • Mr Kan Li.  Project: Uranium transport and deposition in Iron Oxide Copper Gold Deposits (IOCGs): An experimental approach

  • Ms Yuan Mei.  Project: Molecular dynamics simulation of metal complexation in ore forming fluids



  1. Zhao, J., Brugger, J. Xia, F., Nogthai, Y., Chen, G., and Pring, A. (2013).  Dissolution-reprecipitation versus solid state diffusion: mechanism of mineral transformations in sylvanite, (AuAg)2Te4, under hydrothermal conditions.  American Mineralogist 98: 19–32.

  2. Qian, G., Brugger, J., Skinner, W. M., Testemale, D. and Pring, A. (2013).  Formation of As(II)-pyrite during experimental replacement of magnetite under hydrothermal conditions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta  100: 1–10.

  3. Xia, F., Brugger, J., Qian, G., Nogthai, Y., O’Neill, B., Zhao, J., Pullen, S., Olsen, S., and Pring A. (2012).  Single pass flow through cell for high temperature and high pressure in situ neutron diffraction studies of hydrothermal crystallization.  Journal of Applied Crystallography 45: 166–173. 

  1. Xia, F., Pring, A., and Brugger, J. (2012).  Understanding the mechanism and kinetics of pentlandite oxidation in extractive pyrometallurgy of nickel.  Mineral Engineering 27-28: 11–19.

  2.  Brugger, J., Etschmann, B. E., Grundler, P. V., Lui, W., Testemale, D., and Pring, A.  (2012).  XAS evidence for the stability of polytellurides in hydrothermal fluids up to 590 °C, 800 bars.  American Mineralogist 97: 1519–1522.

  3. Qian, G., Xia, F., Brugger, J., Skinner, W. M., Bei, J., Chen, G., and Pring, A. (2011).  Replacement of pyrrhotite by pyrite and marcasite under hydrothermal conditions up to 220 °C: An experimental study of reaction textures and mechanisms.  American Mineralogist 96: 1878–1893.

  4. Brugger, J., Meisser, N .,  Etschmann, B .,  Ansermet, S., and Pring, A. (2011).  Paulscherrerite from the Number 2 Workings, Mount Painter Inlier, Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia: "Dehydrated schoepite" is a mineral after all.  American Mineralogist 96:  229–240.

  5.  Ciobanu, C. L., Cook, N. J., Utsunomiya, S., Pring, A., and  Green., L. (2011).  Focused ion beam–transmission electron microscopy application in ore mineralogy: bridging micron and nanoscale observations.  Ore Geology Reviews 32: 6–31.

  6.  Xia, F. O’Neill, B, Ngothai, Y., Peak, J., Tenailleau, C., Etschmann, B, Qian, G., Brugger, J., Struder, A., Olsen, S., and Pring, A. (2010).  A thermosyphon driven hydrothermal flow-through cell from in situ and time-resolved neutron diffraction studies.  Journal of Applied Crystallography 43: 511–519.

  7. Brugger, J., McFadden, A., Lenehan, C. E., Etschmann, B., Xia, F., Zhao, J., and Pring, A. (2010).  A novel route for mesoporous materials synthesis by coupled dissolution-repreciptation reactions: Mimicking hydrothermal mineral formation. Chima 64: 693–699.