Dr. William Last

William Last
Non-marine Evaporite & Carbonate Sedimentology
228 Wallace Building
125 Dysart Road
Winnipeg, MB  R3T 2N2
(204) 474-8361


  • Ph.D., University of Manitoba (1980), Thesis title: Sedimentology and postglacial history of Lake Manitoba, Canada
  • M.Sc., University of Manitoba (1974), Thesis title: Clay mineralogy and stratigraphy of offshore Lake Agassiz sediment, southern Manitoba
  • B.Sc., University of Wisconsin (1971), Geology


  • Geolimnology and lacustrine sediments, and salt-lake basins


  • The use of stromatolites and biomediated carbonates to decipher recent water level changes in western Canada, southwestern United States, and southern Australia


  • Environmental and petroleum geology
  • Subsurface formation evaluation
  • Energy and mineral resources
  • Sedimentology


  • Petroleum geochemistry
  • Evaporite sedimentology and geochemistry
  • Clastic sedimentology


Berard, G., Applin, D., Cloutis, E., Stromberg, J., Sharma, R., Mann, P., Grasby, S., Bezys, R. Horgan, B., Londry, K., Rice, M., Last, W. M., Last, F. M., Badiou, P., Goldsborough, G., Bell, J., 2013.  A hypersaline spring analogue for Mars. Icarus, vol. 224, p. 399-412.

Last, F. M., Last, W. M.,  Fayek, M., and Halden, N. M., 2013. Occurrence and significance of a cold-water carbonate pseudomorph in microbialites from a saline lake. Journal of Paleolimnology.

Last, F. M., Last, W. M., and Halden, N. M., 2012. Modern and late Holocene dolomite formation: Manito Lake, Saskatchewan. Sedimentary Geology, vol. 281, p. 222-237.

Last, F. M. and Last, W. M., 2012. An overview of saline lake carbonates, the northern Great Plains of western Canada. Sedimentary Geology, vol 277-278, p. 1-31. (Invited Review Paper; Listed #2 in Top 25 Hottest Articles, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Elsevier).

Cloutis, E., Badoiu, P., Bailey, D., Berard, G., Bezys, R., Craig, M., Goldsborough, G., Grasby, S., Last, W., Last, F, Londry, K., Mann, P., and Stromberg, J., 2011. The East German Creek, Manitoba Hypersaline Springs: Analogue For “Last Refuge” Of Life On Mars. Analogue Sites for Mars Missions: MSL and Beyond. Lunar and Planetary Institute.

Last, F. M., Last, W. M., and Halden, N. M. 2010. Carbonate microbialites and hardgrounds from Manito Lake, an alkaline, hypersaline lake in the northern Great Plains of Canada. Sedimentary Geology 225 (2010), pp. 34-49.

Cloutis, E. A., Grasby, S. E., Last, W. M., Léveillé, R., Osinski, G. and Sherriff,  B., 2010. Spectral reflectance properties of carbonates from terrestrial analogue environments: Implications for Mars. Planetary and Space Science vol. 58, p. 522-537.

Sinnatamby, R. N., Yi Y., Sokal, M. A., Clogg-Wright K. P., Asada T., Vardy, S. R., Karst-Riddoch, T.L., Last, W. M.; Johnston, J. W., Hall, R. I., Wolfe, B. B.; Edwards, T.W., 2010. Historical and paleolimnological evidence for expansion of Lake Athabasca (Canada) during the Little Ice Age. Journal of Paleolimnology vol. 43, p. 705-717.

Last, W. M. and Ginn, F. M., 2009. Water chemistry of saline lakes of the Northern Great Plains, western Canada., Geochemical News Vol. 141.

Michels, A., Stuart, C. T., Wilson, S. E., Laird, K. R., Last, W. M., and Cumming, B. F., 2007 Diatom record of Holocene climate change from Oro Lake, a closed-basin lake on the Canadian prairies. Quaternary Science Reviews, volume 26, p. 3328-2242.

Wolfe, B. B., Hall, R.I., Last, W. M., Edwards, T.W.D., English, M., Karst-Riddoch, T.L. and Palmini, R., 2006. Reconstruction of multi-century flood histories from oxbow lake sediments, Peace-Athabasca Delta, Canada. Hydrological Processes Hydrological Processes 20, 4131-4153.

Last, William M. and Ginn, Fawn M. 2005.Saline Systems of the Great Plains of Western Canada: an Overview of the Limnogeology and Paleolimnology. Saline Systems. 1:10   doi:10.1186/1746-1448-1-10

Bryksina N.A. and Last W.M. 2005. Fractal Analysis of the Gray Scale Intensity Data of Finely-Laminated Sediments from Lake Bainbridge Crater, Galapagos. Mathematical Geology, 37: 327-336.

Bryksina, Natalia A., and Last, W. M., 2004.  Fractal characteristics of Bainbridge Crater Lake sediment gray-scale intensity data documenting the frequency and intensity of Holocene El Niño/Southern Oscillation events, in Novak, M. M. (ed.) Thinking In Patterns: Fractals and Related Phenomena in Nature, World Scientific, New Jersey, p. 313-316.

Last, W. M., and Teller, J. T., 2004. Paleolimnology of Lake Manitoba, Canada: the lithostratigraphic evidence. Geographie physique et Quaternaire, v. 56: 135-154.