W. S. Fyfe

The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (180)546.47 Total impact

  • Jingtai Han, William S. Fyfe
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    ABSTRACT: In bench-scaled experiments, iron-sulphide minerals, pyrite and pyrrhotite are used as adsorbents for arsenic removal from As-spiked water of As5+ and As3+ species. The adsorption rate, efficiency, As-adsorption stability and the associated pH conditions have been examined. Observations indicate that these iron-sulphide minerals are very efficient to adsorb arsenic from water for both As5+ and As3+ species. Similar to other studies, As3+-adsorption shows a slower rate than As3+. The stability of the adsorbed arsenic seems closety retated to the pH values of the solution. A lower pH levet commonly less than 4.0 is required to protect the adsorbed arsenic from serious oxidation and backward retease. Fining of the mineral powders and shaking of the solution during adsorption enhance the adsorption efficiency and adsorption rate. For practical use of the method presented in this study, the waste produced should be managed with great care to keep it from redistribution over water system. A further study of the protection for the waste from oxidation on real water systems will greatly enhance the application of the strong ability of arsenic adsorption by these minerals, which is observed from this study.
    Chinese Science Bulletin 04/2012; 45(15):1430-1434. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adherent epilithic microorganisms recovered from rocks submerged 10 to 20 cm in two different rivers were examined by electron microscopy and enumerated after dispersion in M-9 salts by viable plate counts. Bacterial cells concentrated in microcolonies were often observed attached to the surface of algae, cyanobacteria, and organic detritus. This structured communal mode of growth was common among epilithic microbial communities of different rock types. However, counts of heterotrophic bacteria from limestone (106 to 107 cfu/cm2) were 10- to 100-fold greater than corresponding values from granite, gabbro, rhyolite, basalt, and quartz. Cyanobacteria and algae were an order of magnitude less abundant compared with their bacterial counterparts. These variations in population densities of epilithic microorganisms present on different rocks were inversely related to mineral substrate hardness.Key words: epilithic microorganisms, mineral hardness.
    Canadian Journal of Microbiology 02/2011; 35(7):744-747. · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: On Ellesmere Island, in the Canadian Arctic, dark-colored biofilms proliferate on moist surfaces, including exposed granodiorite outcrops. Transmission electron microscopy of these biofilms indicates that complex epilithic microbial communities developed, consisting of cyanobacteria and fungi symbiotically associated in a lichen, along with a consortium of free-living algae and gram-negative bacteria. The epilithic cyanobacteria and bacteria were shown to extensively precipitate phosphatic minerals, ranging from relatively large polyphosphate granules (approximately 250 nm in diameter) within their cytoplasmic membranes to smaller iron phosphate grains (generally less than 50 nm in diameter) associated with the periplasmic space and encompassing capsule. Complete encrustation of some bacterial cells by the iron phosphates was observed. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy suggested that these grains are compositionally similar to the mineral strengite (FePO4∙2H2O). This study clearly indicates that the Arctic supports a thriving microbial community that influences the biogeochemical cycling of PO4 in an environment of low nutrient availability. Nutritional requirements by the microorganisms were actively maintained through a relatively closed recycling mechanism, which restricted the immediate loss of phosphorus from the biofilm.
    Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 02/2011; 31(8):1320-1324. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    T. J. Beveridge, W. S. Fyfe
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    ABSTRACT: All biomass contains a significant quantity of metallic constituents, and mineralization in living and dead biodebris may contribute to element transport from the hydrosphere into sediments. The anionic cell walls of bacteria are remarkable in their ability to fix metals and provide sites for nucleation and growth of minerals. Results presented show the types of cell wall polymers that are responsible for metal binding in walls of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
    Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 02/2011; 22(12):1893-1898. · 1.37 Impact Factor
  • William S. Fyfe
    International Geology Review 07/2010; November 1993(Vol. 35):985-986. · 3.36 Impact Factor
  • W.S. Fyfe
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    ABSTRACT: If we are to develop valid models for predicting the future of the global environment, anthropogenic forcing must become the major component of study. The technological developments needed to supply food, water and materials for 10 billion humans will dominate environmental change over thenext decades.
    Terra Nova 06/2007; 4(3):284 - 287. · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stable isotope and geochemical data are used here to differentiate between contemporaneous abiotic and microbial processes leading to formation of modern carbonate- (calcite, aragonite and magnesite) and silicate-rich (kerolite) mineralization in basaltic sea caves on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Strontium isotope and Ca/Sr ratios in meteoric water and cave carbonates suggest that the majority of Sr and Ca are derived from rock–water interaction within the host basalts situated above the caves. Oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios and chemical compositions of cave and surface waters indicate that evaporation does not control cave-water composition. However, evaporation of drops and thin films of water in microenvironments can lead to precipitation of some phases. This behaviour is suggested by the covariance in δ18O and δ13C values of some carbonates, especially magnesite, which is considered to be a late-stage evaporative precipitate. Modelling of water evolution suggests that evaporation can be a cause of supersaturation for magnesite, kerolite and some Ca carbonates. However, the highly elevated δ13C values (up to +8.2) of some Ca carbonates, compared to average dissolved inorganic carbon δ13C values (~−12), are best explained as the product of microbial photosynthesis, in particular by cyanobacteria, present in the upper layers of active microbial mats on cave surfaces. The preferential uptake of 12C by cyanobacteria is recorded in the low δ13C values (−29.1 to −22.6) of organic matter in mats and mineralized microbialites. The resulting 13C-enrichment of dissolved inorganic carbon is recorded in the elevated δ13C values of these Ca carbonates. A positive correlation exists between the δ13C values of the carbonates and coexisting organic matter. The large enrichment in 13C of carbonate minerals, relative to dissolved inorganic carbon, and its covariance with the δ13C values of coexisting organic matter are useful for identification of carbonate-rich mineralization resulting from autotrophic microbial activity.
    Geobiology 05/2007; 5(3):235 - 249. · 3.04 Impact Factor
  • H. Mann, S. Mann, W. S. Fyfe
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    ABSTRACT: Intracellular crystals of aragonite have been identified by selected area electron diffraction (SAED) in a species of the freshwater filamentous alga Spirogyra from the Thames River, Ontario, Canada. The crystals are 2 to 24 μm in diameter, and characterized by a unique cross-shaped morphology, in which needle-like, or prismatic outgrowths develop from a common axis. Crystals may be dispersed throughout filaments, but tend to cluster as aggregates towards the centre.
    Journal of Phycology 04/2007; 23(3):506 - 509. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Palaeoclimatic interpretation of the Red Clay in the Chinese Loess Plateau is particularly important for understanding of the East Asian monsoon evolution from Pliocene to the Quaternary. In this study, a N–S transect involving five loess-Red Clay sections across the Loess Plateau was selected for detailed investigation with analyses of grain size and major element geochemistry, in order to address the spatial pattern. Results indicate that the Red Clay contains large amount of coarse (<6ϕ, i.e. >16 μm) fraction and shows a prominent N–S decreasing gradient much similar to that of the overlying loess, suggesting that the dust transport was dominantly by low-level northerly/northwesterly winds. Compared with overlying loess, the Red Clay is markedly fine and rather constant through all the sections, implying a distant and steady dust-source area about 200 km further north during most of the Pliocene time. Pedogenic leaching intensities inferred from geochemical data display a clear decreasing trend from south to north both for the Red Clay and the loess, suggesting that the modern spatial pattern of the East Asian monsoon regime has been maintained at least for the past 5 Ma. The N–S spatial gradient, however, might be smaller during the Pliocene than the Quaternary period. Temporally, two short periods of climatic deterioration implied by marked grain-size coarsening and low weathering intensity occurred at 5.3 and 3.5 Ma, respectively, which divide the Pliocene into two major stages. The 5.3–3.5 Ma stage is characterized by a steady state climate through the entire region, consistent with other records. In the 3.5–2.7 Ma stage, the Red Clay in the Jingbian section shows a noticeable coarsening in grain size than the previous stage, indicating some southward extension of the deserts, in agreement with mass accumulation rate record in the north Pacific. But the eolian dust deposition remained relatively stable in major part of the Loess Plateau until 2.7 Ma. The Red Clay deposition was then terminated by massive and coarse loess deposition in the entire region, suggesting dramatic intensification of the winter monsoon in response to the onset of extensive glaciation of Northern Hemisphere.
    Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 01/2007; 71(16):3990-4004. · 3.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The development process which humanity passed through favored a series of conquests, reflected in the better quality of life and longevity, however, it also provoked upsets and severe transformation in the environment and in the human food security. Such process is driving the ecosystems to be homogeneous, and, therefore, the nutrients' supply, via nourishment. To change this panorama, the present work discusses the gains of incorporating the stonemeal technique as a strategic alternative to give back the essential fertile characteristics to the soils. This technology has the function of facilitating the rejuvenation of the soils and increasing the availability of the necessary nutrients to the full development of the plants which is a basic input for the proliferation of life in all its dimensions.
    Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 01/2007; 78(4):715-20. · 0.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemical and mineral studies were carried out on weathered materials from six profiles developed on granites located in different areas of Brazil.Quartz and K-feldspar are the most abundant minerals overall. Kaolinite is the most common secondary mineral and is principally a feldspar weathering product. Mica breakdown is associated with smectite formation in semi-arid regions. In more humid regions mica weathering products include interlayered mica-vermiculite, vermiculite and kaolinite. Changes in the concentrations of Si, Al and K reflect the weathering behaviour of quartz, kaolinite, K-feldspar respectively, although K mobilities sometimes appear to be governed by processes related to the formation of secondary minerals. Ca and Mg are the first elements to exhibit depletion and their removal rates are very fast relative to K. P is also among the most mobile elements. Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Ba and Pb concentrations were measured. The first row transition metals are the most depleted. Rb and Sr are retained relative to Na, Mg, and Ca, and Ba accumulates as weathering proceeds. Y, Zr, Nb and Pb concentrations show little variation.The conclusion is that the factors controlling deep leaching are complex and the common notion that weathering rates are higher at lower latitudes should be reassessed.
    European Journal of Soil Science 07/2006; 34(4):841 - 851. · 2.65 Impact Factor
  • H. Mann, W. S. Fyfe, R. Kerrich
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    ABSTRACT: Multielement analysis of fresh water algae, including unicellular Euglena sp. and some filamentous Cladophora sp. species, revealed extremely high concentrations of various chemical elements such as Al ∼ 28,000 ppm (mg/L), Sr ∼ 150, Ba ∼ 40, Zn ∼ 150, Pb ∼ 1600, Cu ∼ 200, and Be ∼ 180 ppm. These concentrations are highly variable, and depend on both the algal species and the host environments. Samples were collected from the Elliot Lake (U), Timmins (Au), and Sudbury (Cu, Ni, Pt) mining camps of northern Ontario. These results endorse the premise that microorganisms mediate the transfer of many solutes between hydrosphere and sedimentary regime, and by sequestering toxic metals released from the mine tailings, they are useful in the retardation of metal dispersion into the environment and as a possible mechanism to enhance secondary recovery of precious metals where solute levels are too low for conventional technology.
    Environmental Toxicology and Water Quality 06/2006; 3(1):1 - 16.
  • W.S. Fyfe
    Earth-Science Reviews 12/2004; 68(s 1–2):171. · 7.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ore deposit structural analysis, using a combination of structural geology and geostatistics, has direct application in the mining industry. Its main goal is to integrate structural measurements and assay data to create a method in which structurally controlled deposits are modeled numerically. This provides guidance to grade control and pit optimization during mining, improves prediction of orebody geometry and orientation, and provides more effective exploration strategies for surrounding areas. The method leads to a better understanding of how mineralized fluids percolated and were focused at the Ouro Fino Mine, a shear zone-hosted gold deposit in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. In this mine, gold is distributed along permeability pathways within rock fabrics that were produced or modified during the Brasiliano orogeny, when the Espinhaço–Araçuaı́ sequence was inverted towards the São Francisco craton during a basement-involved fold-and-thrust regime. The resulting permeable zones are conformable with the C surface, within which two other clusters of fabric elements control the large-scale features of the mineralization: (1) a cluster of fabric elements (mineral, stretching and intersection lineations) that plunges SE; and (2) a sub-horizontal cluster along folds and intersection lineations and the strike of the shear zone.
    Journal of Structural Geology 01/2004; 26:1195-1214. · 2.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A comagmatic suite of lamproites, ultramafic lamprophyres, and minettes was intruded at ∼100 Ma into thick siliciclastic sequences deposited in five intracratonic basins which developed during Gondwana rifting in eastern India. Lamproites are dominated by microphenocrysts of Ti-rich phlogopite, and olivine pseudomorphed by serpentine and talc, with variable modal abundances of aegirine, amphibole, apatite, carbonates, Cr-spinel, fluorite, perovskite, priderite, and titanomagnetite. Compositionally, lamproites are characterized by extremely high contents of TiO2 (4.2–10 wt%), K2O, and P2O5, over a range of Mg# from 80 to 75, in keeping with lamproites worldwide. They have high abundances of Ba, Th, U, and REE (1019–5400 ppm), with pronounced fractionation of REE, where La/Smcn=3.5–5.6, and Gd/Ybcn=7.3–18, consistent with residual garnet in the mantle source. Nitrogen isotope compositions range from +1.6 to +8.7‰ with an average of 3.8‰, and N contents average 107 ppm. Mantle δ15N averages −5‰, with a N content of 2 ppm, whereas continental crust varies from 2 to 6‰ with 30–90 ppm N. Atmospheric N2 is sequestered by N-fixing microorganisms, and stored as kerogen with an average δ15N of +3‰ in sedimentary rocks. Some of the organic N is converted to NH4+ which substitutes for K in crustal K-silicates. The 15N-enriched lamproites are interpreted to have formed from partial melting of enriched harzburgitic mantle lithosphere by decompressional melting accompanying extension. Enrichment resulted from subduction–erosion of continental crust, or subduction of sediments, low-degree partial melting, hybridization of the melts with mantle lithosphere and incubation, prior to decompressional melting. Consequently, some crustal N is recycled to the mantle.
    Earth and Planetary Science Letters 10/2003; · 4.72 Impact Factor
  • J Han, W.S Fyfe, Z Gu
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    ABSTRACT: A continuously accumulated section (the Yanyu section) of Red Clay and loess–palaeosol sequence from the southernmost Chinese Loess Plateau was selected for this study of palaeoclimate of the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene period. Termination of the Red Clay accumulation and onset of loess deposition was coincident with the beginning of extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation at 2.6 Ma. Field observations and compositional analyses suggest an aeolian origin for the Red Clay, much like the processes experienced by the loess–palaeosol sequence. Pedogenic analysis indicates that the late Pliocene Red Clay first experienced complete decalcification and illuviation (mechanical translocation of clays) in all horizons, including the present carbonate precipitation zones, but other chemical alterations have been rather weak and even weaker than experienced by the overlying loess-derived palaeosols. In great contrast to the Pleistocene climate characterised by frequent and large-amplitude fluctuations between cold–dry and warm–wet, a relatively steady warm–dry climate condition is implied for the late Pliocene. Dustfall rate assessment indicates a much lower accumulation rate during the late Pliocene than in the early Pleistocene, in agreement with a notable systematic coarsening from the Red Clay to the overlying loess and palaeosols. Together, these features suggest that the dust transport agent, the northwesterly winds, were weaker over the late Pliocene. The transition from Red Clay to loess possibly marked a significant and rapid shift in the climatic system in east Asia.
    Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 09/2002; 185:355-368. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An experimental study on the phase relationships of three potassium-rich ultramafic rocks from the Damodar Valley, Gondawana basins, has been performed under upper mantle P–T conditions (1.0–2.5 GPa, 700–1200 °C). The Mohanpur lamproite and Satyanarayanpur minette, both from the Raniganj basins, have been investigated with the addition of 15 wt% H2O. No water was added in the experiments done on an olivine minette from the Jarangdih coal mine, Bokaro Basin, which originally contains 15 wt% CO2 and 2.86 wt% H2O. In all cases, olivine is the liquidus phase followed by phlogopite. The subsolidus assemblage for the three rocks is a phlogopite-bearing harzburgite, associated with apatite, Mg-ilmenite and carbonates for the Jarangdih rock; apatite, chromian spinel and carbonates and priderite (only between 1.0 and 1.2 GPa) in the case of the Mohanpur lamproite, and finally apatite, chromian spinel, rutile, and carbonate in the Satyanarayanpur sample. Although orthopyroxene is absent in the natural potassium-rich ultramafic rocks, its presence in the run products of the Jarangdih rock is possibly related to a reaction between olivine and a CO2-bearing fluid phase. The presence of orthopyroxene in the run products of Mohanpur and Satyanarayanpur rocks may be due to a reaction between K-feldspar, olivine and a vapour phase to produce phlogopite and orthopyroxene. On the basis of present experimental investigation and isotopic studies made by previous investigators, it has been suggested that these K-rich rocks have crystallized from melts derived by vein-plus-wall-rock melting of a phlogopite-bearing harzburgite source rock.
    Mineralogy and Petrology 01/2002; 74(2):343-360. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ● NaHCO3 ● 2H2O) with minor thermonatrite (Na 2CO3 ● H2O) are commonly developed on less vegetated portions of the Indo- Gangetic Plains of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Being highly soluble, the presence of trona alone explains the high alkalinity of the soil (pH 10.5). Occa- sional flooding followed by fast evaporation in this extensive flood plain is a possible cause of the formation of this mineral. Carbonate build-up will have a major impact on the Gangetic ecosystem in the future, causing declining bioproductivity.
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    ABSTRACT: The occurrence of kerolite in association with various secondary Ca-Mg carbonate mineral deposits (speleothems) was identified in basaltic sea caves on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Kerolite is the dominant clay mineral in the deposits. X-ray diffraction (XRD) peaks of the kerolite are characteristically broadened indicating its extremely poor crystallinity. Few changes were observed in the XRD patterns of this kerolite when it was subjected to various humidity, temperature and ethylene-glycol treatments. The crystals appear as flaky masses with irregular or jagged edges in scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Electron probe and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) microanalysis show that the clay material is dominated by Mg-Si-O, with minor amounts of Al and Ca in some samples. The chemical composition, thermal analysis and TEM observations suggest that smaller amounts of an amorphous serpentine-like phase are mixed with the kerolite. Kerolite is often the only mineral associated with poorly mineralized, actively-growing microbial mats in these caves and it is common in completely lithified microbial mats. The latter commonly have microstromatolitic structures with kerolite as a dominant phase. These features suggest that kerolite formation is at least in part a result of microbial activity. The abundant extracellular polymers of the mat-forming bacteria bind and concentrate ions (Mg2+, silica) from solution and serve as nucleation sites for kerolite precipitation. Conditions within the mats also probably lead to formation of Mg-Si-gels, amorphous Mg-silicate precursors and ultimately kerolite. Evaporation of the cave solutions may also contribute to kerolite formation.
    Clays and Clay Minerals 01/2002; 50(4):514-524. · 1.11 Impact Factor
  • Jiaqi Liu, Jingtai Han, William S. Fyfe
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    ABSTRACT: Cenozoic volcanic rocks in northeast China comprise part of the volcanic belt of the western circum-Pacific rim and represent one of the presently active tectono-magmatic regions of the world. Over 590 volcanoes with erupted basalts covering an area of ∼50,000km2 are exposed in the Songliao graben and particularly on its flanks. K–Ar dating of the volcanic rocks sampled from a selection of eruption sites over the region reveals that the volcanism occurred episodically through the entire Cenozoic corresponding to the tectono-magmatic interactions particularly between the India, Eurasia and Pacific Plates. The volcanism initiated in the Songliao graben in late Cretaceous (∼86Ma) and migrated flankward since ∼28Ma. The magmatic propagation shows three major stages intimately associated with the evolution of Japan Sea and related to the geodynamic forcing of the India–Eurasia collision. Prior to Japan Sea rifting, volcanic eruptions were restricted to the Songliao basin. During Japan Sea opening, volcanism migrated into the lateral belts. After cessation of Japan Sea opening at ∼15Ma, volcanism with greatest intensity occurred on both flanks particularly along the Yi–Yi fault system around 14–13Ma and subsequently the Fu–Mi fault between 11 and 7Ma. Continuing this trend of migration, eruptions scattered further away from the Songliao basin in the last 4.5Ma. We suggest that the Cenozoic volcanic belt in northeast China and the Japan Sea backarc basin are competitive parts in the eastern-marginal magmatic system of the Eurasian Plate. The early stage of the volcanism in the Songliao basin may have resulted from mantle upwelling beneath the Songliao–Bohai basin belt. Rifting of the NE faults and relatively weak intensity of volcanism in northeast China during Japan Sea opening could be attributable to the lithospheric breakup in the Japan Sea and spreading of Japan Sea. The subsequent strong volcanism in northeast China after cessation of the Japan Sea opening implicates the easiest pathway for the melts of the magmatic system in the plate margin. The diversified volcanism in scattered localities during the Quaternary may indicate localized melting processes or notable modifications in smaller sized individual domains and possibly, a magmatically waning phase of the limited source in eastern China.
    Tectonophysics 01/2001; 339(3):385-401. · 2.68 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
546.47 Total Impact Points


  • 1973–2012
    • The University of Western Ontario
      • • Department of Earth Sciences
      • • Faculty of Science
      London, Ontario, Canada
  • 1997
    • University of Leeds
      Leeds, England, United Kingdom
  • 1992
    • University of Saskatchewan
      • Department of Geological Sciences
      Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 1989–1992
    • Shimane University
      Matsu, Shimane Prefecture, Japan
    • University of Guelph
      Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • 1983
    • University of Lisbon
      Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 1981
    • King Abdulaziz University
      Djidda, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
  • 1979
    • Government of Ontario, Canada
      Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • 1966–1971
    • The University of Manchester
      Manchester, England, United Kingdom
  • 1965–1967
    • University of California, Berkeley
      Berkeley, California, United States