Associate Professor in Volcanology and Geochemistry, Macquarie University

Heather Handley obtained a 1st class BSc (Honours) in Geology from Edinburgh University in 2001 and then went on to undertake a PhD on the geochemistry of Indonesian volcanoes at Durham University in the UK.

She was awarded and Ogden Trust Teaching Fellowship in 2005 to work for a year with high school students and their teachers to raise the scientific awareness and aspirations of pupils.

She joined Macquarie University in 2007 as a Post-doctoral Researcher to investigate the timescales of volcanic processes in Vanuatu and the Galapágos Islands.

In 2009, Heather started to work on a new, exciting, yet challenging application of Uranium-series isotopes to constrain sediment weathering and residence timescales within the landscape.

In 2012, Heather received an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to further develop our understanding of the use of Uranium-series isotopes in the determination of the timescales of a range of Earth-system processes. The outcomes of this research will benefit volcanic hazard mitigation policy and also provide crucial knowledge on the rates of the effects of climate change in the landscape.

Recently Heather's research interests have expanded into environmental land and water contamination.


  • 2012–2017
    Senior Lecturer in Volcanology and Geochemistry and ARC Future Fellow, Macquarie University
  • 2009–2012
    Postdoctoral research fellow, Macquarie University
  • 2007–2008
    Postdoctoral research fellow, Macquarie University


  • 2006 
    Durham University, PhD Volcanology and Geochemistry
  • 2001 
    Edinburgh University, BSc Honours (1st Class) Geology