Gordon Osinski

Looking for an Epic Adventure

This planetary geology professor has a keen interest in adventure, be it tales of Arctic survival or the experience of raising two kids.


Gordon Osinski is an Associate Professor and the NSERC/MDA/CSA Industrial Research Chair in Planetary Geology in the Departments of Earth Sciences and Physics and Astronomy at Western University. We ask him everything from what historical figure he would like to meet to what’s on his playlist in hopes of giving you a better understanding of what goes on outside the lab for one of the best minds in Canadian research.

What’s on your playlist?
The range is huge! From classical music to rock, to Celtic music to the likes of Coldplay.

What do you read?
Between work and having two young kids, I don’t have much spare time, but when I do get the chance I go back and forth between science fiction and “fantasy” (e.g., Lord of the Rings) and reading about the history of Antarctic and Arctic exploration.

What advice would you give young researchers?
Perseverance. These are challenging times in academia, with reduced budgets and few job opportunities. I hope it will improve and so the best advice I can give is to keep at it and follow your interests.

If you could meet any historical figure who would it be and why?
Ernest Shackleton. To me, he’s one of the greatest explorers and leaders of the past two centuries. His epic voyage on the Endurance and the ultimate survival of his entire crew is simply incredible.

If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Depending on the day, it probably ranges from being a professional photographer, to a climbing bum, to a medical doctor!

What do you like to do for fun?
Rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing.

Want to learn more about Gordon Osinski’s work? Check out his Orange Chair Interview and our blog on the asteroid that may have carried alien life to Earth.