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Birger Rasmussen

I have undergraduate (BSc, Hons) and postgraduate (PhD) degrees from the University of Western Australia (UWA), Perth, Australia. I worked as a Development Geologist with WAPET before returning to UWA, where I was awarded: i) an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (1997-1999) for research on tracing ancient oil migration; ii) an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship (2000-2005) on the application of phosphate minerals to date major environmental and biological events in the early rock record, and; iii) an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship (2011-2016) to investigate the early history of atmospheric oxygen and the Great Oxidation Event. This work has focussed on tracing the composition of the early hydrosphere and atmosphere through time, and the antiquity and evolution of early life. In 2006, a major research program was initiated, funded by the ARC and industry (BHP, Rio Tinto), on the transformation of banded iron formations to iron ore. Current research is centred on understanding: i) how iron formations were deposited and what they tell us about ancient ocean chemistry; ii) the early history of phosphorus and the co-evolution of life; iii) Precambrian carbon and the origin of ancient fossils; iv) the tectonic and mineralization history of Precambrian cratons and orogenic belts, and; v) the potential role of mineral templates in the development of the first living cells.


  • –present
    Adjunct Professor, University of Western Australia


  • 1993 
    The University of Western Australia, PhD