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Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research at the University of Technology Sydney and Chief Investigator of ARC Centre for Excellence in Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, University of Technology Sydney

I am the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research at UTS and a Professor of Earth System Science. I recently completed an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship at the University of New South Wales. I am an experienced academic and industry leader who brings together transdisciplinary teams to tackle global environmental challenges of societal importance in the Anthropocene. I work with governments, industry, the Third Sector and communities to inform on national and global policy and technology deployment. I am a Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) and is a member of the International radiocarbon Calibration group (IntCal). To do something positive about climate change, I am working with a wonderful group of people at CarbonScape in New Zealand (http://carbonscape.com/), a cleantech carbon-refining company that has developed a patented technology and process to produce graphite for Li-ion batteries from sustainably-sourced biomass.

Communicating science is more critical than ever. As a scientist I believe we need to show why science is such a wonderful tool for understanding the world around us; not just the headline discoveries but how science actually works. I have written several books, the most recent of which is 1912: The Year The World Discovered Antarctica which looked at the dawn of a new age in understanding the natural world, and how we might reawaken the public's excitement for exploration and discovery.

Inspired by the events surrounding 1912 I led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014 (http://www.spiritofmawson.com/), a privately-funded multidisciplinary scientific expedition, that set out to discover the environmental changes taking place in the south. A major part of the AAE 2013-2014 was communicating our scientific findings – from the deep field and in real time.

You can follow my team in the lab and the field under the banner name ‘Intrepid Science’ (www.intrepidscience.com), reporting discoveries when they happen, where they happen.

I'm passionate about research, adventure and leadership. Please feel free to contact me.

Experience

  • 2022–present
    Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research, University of Technology Sydney
  • 2011–2021
    Professor of Climate Change and Earth Science, University of New South Wales

Education

  • 1998 
    University of London, PhD

Grants and Contracts

  • 2017
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2017
    Testing the mechanisms and impacts of abrupt and extreme climate change
    Role:
    Lead Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2014
    Reconstructing changes in atmospheric circulation over the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere during the past 3000 years
    Role:
    Lead Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2010
    Extreme and abrupt climate change in the Australasian region
    Role:
    Laureate Fellowship
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council

Honours

Sir Nicholas Shackleton Award for Most Outstanding Quaternary Scientist (INQUA, 2007); Philip Leverhulme Prize, The Leverhulme Trust (2008); Bigsby Medal, The Geological Society of London (2009); Frederick White Award, The Australian Academy of Sciences (2014)