Dr Chris Yeats

Dr Chris Yeats, Research Program Leader with CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering.

Dr Chris Yeats: discovering the secrets of the seafloor

Dr Chris Yeats is an ore deposit geologist leading a diverse research group developing and researching technologies in exploration geoscience.

  • 23 December 2008 | Updated 21 September 2012

Current activities

Dr Chris Yeats is the Program Leader for CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering's Mineral System Science Program.

His current research focuses on exploration for the geochemistry, mineralogy and petrology of alteration and sulfide mineralisation associated with seafloor hydrothermal systems.

Has played a leading role in 14 research cruises on a range of vessels, the highlights of which include:

  • a manned submersible dive on the PACMANUS hydrothermal field
  • the first attempt to drill an active felsic-hosted hydrothermal system during Ocean Drilling Program Leg 193 (where he led the crucial hydrothermal alteration study)
  • the first commercial exploration drilling for seafloor sulfides on the Kermadec Ridge in December 2005.


Dr Yeats is an ore deposit geologist with almost 20 years experience in base and precious metal exploration and research in terrains ranging from the Archaean Pilbara and Yilgarn Cratons, to modern seafloor hydrothermal systems.

Dr Chris Yeats has almost 20 years experience exploring and researching base and precious metals in diverse terrains from the Archaean Pilbara to modern seafloor systems.

Academic qualifications

Dr Yeats was awarded a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Tasmania, Australia, in 1989. He went on to receive First Class Honours in Geology. 

In 1996 he completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Ore Deposit Geology at The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.


In 2002, as a member of the Seafloor Hydrothermal Systems Team, Dr Yeats received the Chairman’s Medal for Research Excellence.

In 2006 and 2007, he was invited to speak at the:

  • AIG-AMEC Silver Anniversary Conference in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
  • AMEC National Congress in Perth, Western Australia
  • Kalgoorlie 2007 Conference, Western Australia
  • Biennial Australian Earth Sciences Convention in Melbourne, Victoria, as a session proponent and co-convenor.

Dr Yeats is the Executive Chairman of the Geological Society of Australia’s Western Australian Branch and a member of the Minerals and Energy Group of WA Committee.

Read more about Meeting Australia's minerals exploration challenges.