​​​Prof. Alexander Kisters

Structural Geology, Tectonics, Economic Geology                               





Research Profile

I am interested in crustal deformation, both on local and regional scales. All of my research is field based. The research focuses on mid- and lower- crustal terrains such as Namaqualand and the Damara belt in southern Africa, but also Archaean terranes in South Africa or Greenland. I am particularly interested in the structural controls of crustal melting, melt migration and the emplacement and assembly of granitic plutons and their effects on crustal deformation and crustal rheologies. More recent research also focuses on accretionary processes in shallower-crustal fold and thrust belts, including Pan-African and older belts in southern Africa.

I enjoy the applied component of geological work and continue to work on the structural controls of mineralization and hydrothermal fluid flow, mainly applied to   lode-gold deposits (more recently in southern Africa, W- and E- Africa) but also base metal mineralisation.

Most of the research involves students at Honours, M- and D-level and I strongly believe in the significance of field-based training for aspiring geologists.


Recent collaborations

Universities of Johannesburg , Cape Town, Aachen, Lausanne

Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland,

Council for Geoscience


Recent and current industry collaborations

AngloGoldAshanti, Navachab Gold Mine, Siguiri Gold Mine, Craton Mining, Swakop Uranium, Pan-African Resources 


NRF B-rating (since 2011)



Supervision of >50 Honours-, 18 MSc-, and 9 PhD studies.

Current students:

  • André Coetzee, PhD candidate – geometry and emplacement mechanisms of Karoo dolerites
  • Caitlin Jones (BSc Hons.)
  • Samantha Dold (BSc Hons.)
  • Carel Burger (BSc Hons.)
  • Luke Carlton (BSc Hons.)
  • Lucas Pintos Cerda (BSc Hons.)

Recently graduated students:

  • ​Jonathan Gloyn-Jones (MSc cum laude, 2018) – works with Tect consultancy (Somerset West) as a structural geologist
  • ​Shawn Kitt (PhD, 2017) – Senior Structural Geologist with SRK, Cardiff (Wales), mineral exploration and mining​
  • Duncan Hall (PhD, 2016) – currently working with IGS (UK) and involved in regional mapping projects throughout Africa and elsewhere
  • Corné Koegelenberg (PhD, 2016) – geological consultant with Tect in Somerset West, specialising in the structural analysis and modelling of ore deposits
  • Tolene Kruger (MSc cum laude, 2016) Exploration and project geologist with RTZ, Namibia and Zambia​


Teaching responsibilities

Geol 244 – Introduction to Structural Geology (semester course)
Geol 272 – West Coast field school (6 days) and mapping techniques (2 days) 
Geol 354 – Plate Tectonics (4 weeks)
Geol 771 – South African Tectonics ​and Stratigraphy (2-week block)
Geol 712 – Applied Structural Geology (2-week block)

Recent publications


Gloyn-Jones, J. and Kisters, A.F.M. (2019). Ore-shoot formation in the Main Reef Complex of the Fairview Mine – multiphase gold mineralization during regional folding, Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa. Mineralium Deposita, accepted for publication. 
​Dziggel, A. and Kisters, A.F.M. (2019). Tectono-metamorphic controls on Archaean gold mineralization in the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa. Submitted to Developments in Precambrian Geology: The Earth’s Oldest Rocks, Elsevier, Chapter 26, 655-673.

Moyen, J.-F., Stevens, G., Kisters, A.F.M., Belcher, R.W., Lemirre, B., Frei. D. (2019).
TTG plutons of the Barberton granitoid-greenstone terrain, South Africa. Developments in Precambrian Geology: The Earth’s Oldest Rocks, Elsevier, Chapter 25, 615-654.


Van Hinsberg, V., Crotty, C., Roozen, S., Szilas, K. and Kisters, A.F.M. (2018). A re-appraisal of the pressure-temperature history of the Archaean Tartoq greenstone belt in southwest Greenland. Geosciences 8, 367, doi:10.3390/geosciences8100367

Coetzee, A. and Kisters, A.F.M. (2018) The elusive feeders of the Karoo Large Igneous Province and their structural controls. Tectonophysics 747-748, 146-162.

Gloyn-Jones, J. and Kisters, A.F.M. (2018) Regional folding, low-angle thrusting and permeability networks: structural controls of gold mineralization in the Hope reef at Fairview Mine, Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa. Ore Geology Reviews 102, 585-603.

Kitt, S.L., Kisters, A.F.M., Buick, I.S., Kramers, J.D. (2018). Structural, geochronological and P-T constraints on subduction-accretion processes in a Pan-African accretionary wedge – the Deep Level Southern Zone of the Damara Belt in Namibia. Precambrian Research 310, 39-62.

Kisters, A.F.M. and Belcher, R.W. (2018). The stratigraphy and structure of the western Saldania Belt, South Africa, and geodynamic implications. In: Geology of SW Gondwana, Regional Spinger Book Series, Chapter 14, 387-410.


Dziggel, A., Kokfelt, T.K., Kolb, J., Kisters, A.F.M., Reifenroether, R. (2017). Tectonic switches and the exhumation of deep-crustal granulites during Neoarchean terrane accretion in the area around Graedefjord, SW Greenland. Precambrian Research 300, 223-245.​​​

Clemens, J.D., Buick, I.S., Kisters, A.F.M., Frei, D. (2017). Petrogenesis of the Donkerhuk batholith in the Damara Belt of Namibia: protracted, syntectonic, short-range magma transfer in the mid-crust. Submitted to Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, DOI 10.1007/s00410-017-1370-0.

Meneghini, F, Fagereng, A., Kisters, A.F.M. (2017). The Matchless Amphibolite of the Damara Belt, Namibia: Unique preservation of a Late-Neoproterozoic ophiolitic suture. Ofioliti 42, 117-133.

Macey, P. and a boatload of co-authors.... (2017).Origin and evolution of the ca. 1.9Ga Richtersveld magmatic arc, SW Africa. Precambrian Research 292, 417-452.

Coetzee, A., and Kisters, A.F.M. (2017). Dyke-sill relationships in Karoo dolerites as indicators of propagation and emplacement processes of mafic magmas in the shallow crust. Journal of Structural Geology 97, 172-188.

Kitt, S.L., Kisters, A.F.M., Vennemann, T., and Steven, N.M. (2017). Ore body geometry, fluid and metal sources of the Omitiomire copper deposit in the Damara belt of Namibia. Mineralium Deposita, DOI 10.1007/s00126-017-0731-y.

Clemens, J.D., Buick, I.S, and Kisters, A.F.M. (2017). The Donkerhuk batholith, Namibia: A giant S-type granite emplaced in the mid crust, in a fore-arc setting. Journal of the Geological Society of London 174, 157-169. 


Kruger, T. and Kisters, A.F.M. (2016). Magma accumulation and segregation during regional-scale folding: the Holland’s dome granite injection complex, Damara belt, Namibia. Journal of Structural Geology 89, 1-18.

Coetzee, A. and Kisters, A.F.M. (2016). The 3D geometry of regional-scale dolerite saucer complexes and their feeders in the Secunda Complex, Karoo Basin. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 317, 66-79.

Koegelenberg, C., Kisters, A.F.M., and Harris, C. (2016). Structural controls of fluid flow and gold mineralization in the easternmost parts of the Karagwe-Ankole Belt of north-western Tanzania. Ore Geology Reviews 77, 332-349.

Hall, D. and Kisters, A.F.M. (2016). Episodic granite accumulation and extraction from the mid-crust. Journal of Metamorphic Geology doi:10.1111/jmg.12190

Kitt, S., Kisters, A.F.M., Steven, N.M., Hartmann, K., Maiden, K. (2016). Shear-zone hosted copper mineralisation of the Omitiomire deposit – structural controls of fluid flow and mineralisation during subduction accretion in the Pan-African Damara Belt of Namibia. Ore Geology Reviews 75, 1-15.

Hall, D., and Kisters, A.F.M. (2016). From steep feeders to tabular plutons – emplacement controls of syntectonic plutons in the Damara Belt, Namibia. Journal of African Earth Sciences 113, 51-64.


Koegelenberg, C., Kisters, A.F.M., Kramers, J.D., Frei D. (2015). U-Pb detrital zircon and 39Ar/40Ar muscovite ages from the eastern parts of the Karagwe-Ankole Belt: Tracking Paleoproterozoic basin formation and Mesoproterozoic amalgamation along the western margin of the Tanzania Craton. Precambrian Research 269, 147-161.

Cutts, K., Stevens, G., Kisters, A.F.M. (2015). Reply to “Paleo- to Measoarchean polymetamorphism in the Barberton granite-greenstone belt, South Africa: Constraints from U-Pb monazite and Lu-Hf garnet geochronology on tectonic processes that shaped the belt: Discussion” by M. Brown. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 127, 1558-1563.

Kisters, A.F.M., Agenbach, C., Frei, D.  (2015). Age and tectonic significance of the volcanic Bloubergstrand Member in the Pan-African Saldania Belt, South Africa. South African Journal of Geology 118, vol. 3, 213-224.

Steven, N., Creaser, R., Wulff, K., Kisters, A.F.M., Eglington, B., Miller, J. (2015). Implications of high-precision Re-Os molybdenite dating of the Navachab orogenic gold deposit, Namibia. Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis, doi: 10.1144/geochem2014-272


Meneghini, F.,  Kisters, A.F.M., Buick, I.S., Fagereng, A. (2014). Fingerprints of Late-Neoproterozoic ridge subduction in the Pan-African Damara Belt, Namibia. Geology 42, 903-906.

Szilas, K., Van Hinsberg, V.J., Creaser, R.A., Kisters, A.F.M. (2014). The geochemical composition of serpentinites in the Mesoarchaean Tartoq Group, SW Greenland: Harzburgitic cumulates or melt-modified mantle? Lithos 198-199, 103-116.

Koegelenberg, C. and Kisters, A.F.M. (2014). Tectonic wedging, back-thrusting and basin development in the frontal parts of the Mesoproterozoic Karagwe-Ankole belt in NW Tanzania. Journal of African Earth Sciences 97, 87-98.

Allen, K.G., v. Backstrom, T.W., Kroger, D.W., Kisters, A.F.M. (2014). Rock bed storage for solar thermal power plants: Rock characteristics, suitability and availability. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 126, 170-183.