Prof. Dr. Virginia Gail Toy

Academic qualifications

2008                      PhD (Geology), University of Otago

2006                      MPhil (Earth Sciences), Australian National University

2001                      MSc (Hons, Geology), University of Auckland

1999                      BSc (Geology), University of Auckland


Professional positions held

Oct 2019 – present          W2 Professorin für Strukturgeologie und Tektonik, Universität Mainz, Germany;                                                   Honorary Research Associate Professor, Universities of Otago and Auckland, NZ

Dec 2018-Sept 2019        Associate Dean – International, Division of Sciences, University of Otago, NZ.

Feb 2018-Sept 2019        Research Associate Professor, University of Otago, NZ.

Feb 2013-Jan 2018          Senior Lecturer, University of Otago, NZ (‘above the bar’ since February 2017)

June-Sept 2017                Specially Appointed Associate Professor, Graduate School of Sciences, Hokkaido                                             University, Japan

Jan 2009-Jan 2013          Lecturer, University of Otago; confirmed (ie. tenured) Sept 2011.

Aug-Dec 2008                  Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A&M                                                         University, USA.

Jan-July 2008                   Lecturer, University of Otago.

2005-2007                        Teaching Assistant, University of Otago, NZ.

2003                                  Teaching Assistant, Monash University, Australia

2001-2002                         Engineering Geologist, Fraser Thomas Ltd., Auckland, NZ.

1999-2000                         Research Assistant, Engineering Geology Ltd., Auckland, NZ


Research/professional speciality

Structural geology and tectonics: I study localisation in faults and shear zones throughout Earth’s lithosphere; rheology of geological materials; SW Pacific tectonic plate motions; paleoseismology and landscape evolution, and geo-resource sustainability. Methods: I make field observations, undertake microtextural analysis, particularly by electron beam, and synchrotron methods, perform deformation experiments, and validate results by computational models. I lead and participate in continental and oceanic scientific drilling projects, and co-ordinate drilling consortia membership and scientific directions.



Refereed Journal Articles (n = 60; first author n = 11)

  • Schuck, B. Schleicher, A.M., Janssen, C., Toy, V.G.,, Dresen, G. 2020. Fault zone architecture of a large plate-bounding strike-slip fault: a case study from the Alpine Fault, New Zealand. Solid Earth, 11, 95-124, doi: 10.5194/se-11-95-2020.
  • Abdulsamad, F., Revil, A., Ghorbani, A., Toy, V., Kirilova, M., Coperey, A., Duvillard, P.A., Ménard, G., Ravanel, L. in review. Complex conductivity of graphitic schists and sandstones. Journal of Geophysial Research, Solid Earth. 124(8), 8223-8249. doi: 1029/2019JB017628. (2019).
  • Toy, V.G., Manataschal, G., Rosenbaum, G., Miller, M., Carosi, R. Introduction to “Orogenic Cycles: from field observations to global geodynamics. Tectonics, doi: 1029/2018TC005376. (2019).
  • **Kidder, S., Toy, V.G., Prior, D.J., Little, T.A., Macrae, C. Constraints on Alpine Fault (New Zealand) Mylonitization Temperatures and Geothermal Gradient from Ti-in-quartz Thermobarometry. Solid Earth. doi: 5194/se-9-1123-2018. (2018).
  • *Kirilova, M., Toy, V.G., Rooney, J.S., Giorgetti, C., Gordon, K.C., Collettini, C., Takeshita, T. Structural disorder of graphite and implications for graphite thermometry. Solid Earth, 9, 1-9, doi: 5194/se-9-1-2018. (2018).
  • Litchfield, N.J., Villamor, P., Van Dissen, R.J., Nicol, A., Barnes, P.M., Barrell, D.J.A., Pettinga, J.R., Langridge, R.M., Little, T.A., Mountjoy, J.J., Ries, W.F., Rowland J., Fenton, C., Stirling, M.W., Kearse, J., Berryman, K.R., Cochran, U.A., Clark, K.J., Hemphill-Haley, M., Khajavi, N., Jones, K.E., Archibald, G., Upton, P., Asher, C., Benson, A., Cox, S.C., Gasston, C., Hale, D., Hall, B., Hatem, A.E., Heron, D.W., Howarth, J., Kane, T.J., Lamarche, G., Lawson, S., Lukovic, B., McColl, S.T., Madugo, C., Manousakis, J., Noble, D., Pedley, K., Sauer, K., Stahl, T., Strong, D.T., Townsend, D.B., Toy, V., Williams, J., Woelz, S., Zinke, R., Surface Rupture of Multiple Crustal Faults in the Mw 7.8 2016 Kaikōura Earthquake, New Zealand. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 108(3B), 1946-1520. doi: 1785/0120170300 (2018).
  • Massiot, C., Célérier, B., Doan, M.-L., Little, T.A., Townend, J., McNamara, D.D., Williams, J., Schmid, D.R., Toy, V.G., Sutherland, R., Janku-Capova, L., Upton, P., Pezard, P.A. The Alpine Fault hangingwall viewed from within: structural analysis of ultrasonic image logs in the DFDP-2B borehole, New Zealand. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. doi: 1002/ 2017GC007368 (2018).
  • *Schuck, B., Janssen, C., Schleicher, A.M., Toy, V.G., Dresen, G. Microstructures imply cataclasis and authigenic mineral formation control geomechanical properties of New Zealand’s Alpine Fault. Journal of Structural Geology, 110, 172-186, doi: 1016/j.jsg.2018.03.001. (2018) [IF = 3.1, citations = 0].
  • *Boulton, C., Menzies, C.D., Toy, V., Townend, J., Sutherland, R. Geochemical and microstructural evidence for interseismic changes in fault zone permeability and strength, Alpine Fault, New Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 18(1), 238-265 doi: 10.1002/2016GC006588. (2017). [IF = 3.4, citations = 10].
  • *Boulton, C., Yao, L., Faulkner, D.R., Townend, J., Toy, V.G., Ma, S., Shimamoto, T. High-velocity frictional properties of Alpine Fault rocks: Mechanical data, microstructural analysis, and implications for rupture propagation. Journal of Structural Geology 97, 71-92, doi: 1016/j.jsg.2017.02.003 (2017).
  • Chamberlain, C.J., Boese, C.M., Eccles, J.D., Savage, M.K., Baratin, L.-M., Towend, J., Geology, A.K., Jacobs, K.M., Benson, A., Taylor-Offord, S., Thurber, C., Guo, B., Okada, T., Takagi, R., Yoshida, K., Sutherland, R., Toy, V.G., Real time earthquake monitoring at the Deep Fault Drilling Project. Seismological Research Letters, 88(6), 1443-1454. doi: 1785/0220170095 (2017).
  • Stirling, M.W., Litchfield, N.J., Villamor, P., Van Dissen, R.J., Nicol, A., Pettinga, J., Barnes, P., Langridge, R.M., Little, T., Barrell, D.J.A., Mountjoy, J., Ries, W.F., Rowland, J., Fenton, C., Hamling, I., Asher, C., Barrier, A., Benson, A., Bischoff, A., Borella, J., Carne, R., Cochran, U.A., Cockroft, M., Cox, S.C., Duke, G., Fenton, F., Gasston, C., Grimshaw, C., Hale, D., Hall, B., Hao, K.X., Hatem, A., Hemphill-Haley, M., Heron, D.W., Howarth, J., Juniper, Z., Kane, T., Kearse, J., Khajavi, N., Lamarche, G., Lawson, S., Lukovic, B., Madugo, C., Manousakis, I., McColl, S., Noble, D., Pedley, K., Sauer, K., Stahl, T., Strong, D.T., Townsend, D.B., Toy, V., Villeneuve, M., Wandres, A., Williams, J., Woelz, S., Zinke, R. The Mw7.8 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake: Surface fault rupture and seismic hazard context. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 50(2), 73-84 (2017).
  • Sutherland, R., Townend, J., Toy, V.G., Upton, P., DFDP-2 Science Team. Extreme hydrothermal conditions at an active plate-bounding fault. Nature 546, 137-140, doi:1038/nature22355 (2017).
  • Townend, J., Sutherland, R., Toy, V., Doan, M.-L., Célérier, B., Massiot, C., Coussens, J., Jeppson, T., Janku-Capova, L., Remaud, L., Upton, P., Schmitt, D.R., Pézard, P., Williams, J., Allen, M., Baratin, L.-M., Barth, N., Becroft, L., Boese, C., Boulton, C., Broderick, N., Carpenter, B., Chamberlain, C.J., Cooper, A., Coutts, A., Cox, S., Craw, L., Eccles, J.D., Faulkner, D., Grieve, J., Grochowski, J., Gulley, A., Hartog, A., Henry, G., Howarth, J., Jacobs, K., Kato, N., Keys, S., Kirilova, M., Kometani, Y., Langridge, R., Lin, W., Little, T., Lukacs, A., Mallyon, D., Mariani, E., Mathewson, L., Melosh, B., Menzies, C., Moore, J., Morales, L., Mori, H., Niemeijer, A., Nishikawa, O, Nitsch, O., Paris, J., Prior, D., Sauer, K., Savage, M., Schleicher, A., Shigematsu, N., Taylor-Offord, S., Teagle, D., Tobin, H., Valdez, R., Weaver, K., Wiersberg, K., Zimmer, M.,. Petrophysical, geochemical, and hydrological evidence for extensive fracture-mediated fluid and heat transport in the Alpine Fault's hanging-wall damage zone, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, doi: 1002/2017GC007202 (2017).
  • Toy, V.G., Sutherland, R.S., Townend, J., Allen, M., Becroft, L., Boles, A., Boulton, C.J., Carpenter, B. Cooper, A., Cox, S., Daube, C., Faulkner, D., Halfpenny, A., Kato, N., Keys, S., Kirilova, M., Kometani, Y., Little, T., Mariani, E., Melosh, B., Menzies, C., Morales, L., Morgan, C., Mori, H., Niemeijer, A., Norris, R.J., Prior, D.J., Sauer, K., Schleicher, A., Shigematsu, N., Teagle, D.A.H., Tobin, H., Valdez, R., Williams, J., Yeo, S., Baratin, L., Barth, N., Benson, A., Boese, C., Janku-Capova, L., Celerier, B., Chamberlain, C., Conze, R., Coussens, J., Craw, L., Doan, M.-L., Eccles, J., Grieve, J., Grochowski, J., Gulley, A., Howarth, J., Jacobs, K., Jeppson, T., Langridge, R., Mallyon, D., Marx, R., Massiot, C., Mathewson, L., Moore, J., Nishikawa, O., Pooley, B., Pyne, A., Savage, M., Schmitt, D., Taylor-Offord, S., Upton, P., Weaver, K., Wiersberg, T., Zimmer, M. Bedrock Geology of DFDP-2B, Central Alpine Fault, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 60 (4), 497-518, doi: 1080/00288306.2017.1375533 (2017).
  • Toy, V.G., Niemeijer, A.R., Renard, F. Wirth, R., Morales, L. Striation and slickenline development on quartz fault surfaces at crustal conditions: origin and effect on friction. Journal of Geophysical Research, 122(5), 3497-3512. doi: 1002/2016JB013498. (2017). This paper was ‘spotlighted’ in EOS, the weekly magazine of the American Geophysical Union in June 2017:
  • *Williams, J.N., Toy, V.G., Massiot, C., McNamara, D., Smith, S.A.F., Mills, S. Controls on fault zone structure and brittle fracturing in the foliated hanging-wall of the Alpine Fault. Solid Earth 9 (2), doi: 5194/se-2017-112. (2017).
  • *Williams, J.N., Toy, V.G., Smith, S.A., Boulton, C.J. Fracturing, fluid-rock interaction and mineralisation during the seismic cycle along the Alpine Fault. Journal of Structural Geology 103, 151-166. doi: 1016/j.jsg.2017.09.011 (2017).
  • *Williams, J.N, Bevitt, J., Toy, V.G. A comparison of the use of X-ray and neutron tomographic core scanning techniques for drilling projects: insights from scanning core recovered during the Alpine Fault Deep Fault Drilling Project. Scientific Drilling 5, 1-8, doi: 5194/sd-5-1-2017. (2017).
  • *Czertowicz, T.A., Toy, V.G., Scott, J.M., Recrystallization, phase-mixing and strain localization in peridotite during rapid extrusion of sub-arc mantle lithosphere. Journal of Structural Geology 88, 1-9, doi: 1016/j.jsg.2016.04.011 (2016).
  • Little, T.A., Prior, D.J., Toy, V.G., Are quartz LPOs predictably oriented with respect to the shear zone boundary?: A test from the Alpine Fault mylonites, New Zealand. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 17(3), doi: 1002/2015GC006145. (2016).
  • Mitchell, T., Toy, V.G., Di Toro, G., Renner, J., Sibson, R.H. Fault welding by pseudotachylyte formation. Geology, doi: 1130/G38373.1. (2016).
  • Niemeijer, A., Boulton, C., Toy, V.G., Townend, J., Sutherland, R., Large-displacement, hydrothermal frictional properties of DFDP-1 fault rocks, Alpine Fault, New Zealand: Implications for deep rupture propagation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 121(2), 624-647 doi: 1002/2015JB012593 (2016).
  • *Williams, J., Toy, V.G., Massiot, C., McNamara, D., Wang, T. Damaged beyond repair? Characterising the damage zone of a fault late in its interseismic cycle, the Alpine Fault, New Zealand. Journal of Structural Geology 90, 76-94, doi:1016/j.jsg.2016.07.006 (2016).
  • Boese S., Saha, P., Mori, J.J., Rowe, C., Ujiie, K., Chester, F.M., Conin, M., Regalla, C., Kameda, J., Kirkpatrick, J., Remitti, F., Moore, J.C., Wolfson-Schwehr, M., Nakamura, Y., Gupta, A. Deformatino structures in the frontal prism near the Japan Trench: Insights from sandbox models. Journal of Geodynamics 89, 29-38. doi: 1016/j.jog.2015.06.002. (2016).
  • Kirkpatrick, J.D., Rowe, C.D., Ujiie, K., Moore, J.C., Regalla, C., Remitti, F., Toy, V.G., Wolfson-Schwehr, M., Kameda, J., Bose, S., Chester, F.M. Structure and lithology of the Japan Trench subduction plate boundary fault. Tectonics 34(1), 53-69. doi: 1002/2014TC003695 (2015).
  • Little, T.A., Prior, D.J, Toy, V.G., Lindroos, Z.R. The link between strength of lattice preferred orientation, second phase content and grain boundary migration: A case study from the Alpine Fault zone, New Zealand. Journal of Structural Geology 81, 59-77. doi: 1016/j.jsg.2015.09.004. (2105).
  • Schleicher, A.J., Sutherland, R., Townend, J., Toy, V.G., van der Pluijm, B. Clay mineral formation and fabric development in the DFDP-1B borehole, central Alpine Fault, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics doi: 1080/00288306.2014.979841 (2015).
  • Toy, V.G., Mitchell, T.M., Druiventak, A., Wirth, R. Crystallographic preferred orientations may develop in nanocrystalline materials on fault planes due to surface energy interactions. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 16 doi: 1002/2015GC005857 (2015).
  • Toy, V.G., Boulton, C.J., Sutherland, R., Townend, J., Norris, R.J., Little, T.A., Prior, D.J., Mariani, E., Faulkner, D., Menzies, C.D., Scott, H., Carpenter, B.M. Fault rock lithologies and architecture of the central Alpine Fault, New Zealand, revealed by DFDP-1 drilling. Lithosphere 7(5), 152-173, doi: 1130/L395.1 (2015).