Research scientist, University of Melbourne

Dr. Will Howard is an adjunct research scientist at the University of Melbourne School of Earth Sciences, where he heads up the Sedimentary Basin Management Initiative, and Assistant Director at the Office of the Chief Scientist, Canberra.

He is a visiting fellow at Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences as well as at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania.

He is also the Deputy Chair of the Australian National Committee for Antarctic Research.

Dr. Howard has a Ph.D in Geological Sciences from Brown University in the US. He was a U.S. Department of Energy Global Change Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, a lecturer in oceanography at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole USA, a researcher at the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart until 2010, and Assistant Director, Science, at the Office of the Chief Scientist in Canberra, from 2010 to 2013.

His current work is focused on developing an integrated approach to understanding and managing sedimentary basins and particularly their porespace. The sometimes-competing uses of basins' subsurface spaces are crucial to agricultural productivity, energy, water and waste management, and to maintenance of ecosystems.

He continues to research marine climate change, with particular emphasis on ocean acidification and its impacts on the past, current, and future ocean. He is interested in the ocean carbon cycle and the responses of marine ecosystems to climate change. His work has focused on the insights into climate change that can be inferred from ocean sediment records as a baseline for pre-industrial conditions and as a tool for understanding the impacts of large-magnitude climate changes of the scale anticipated in the coming centuries.


  • 2011–present
    Visiting Fellow, Australian National University
  • 2014–present
    Assistant Director, Office of the Chief Scientist
  • 2014–present
    Adjunct professor, University of Melbourne
  • 2014–present
    Adjunct associate, University of Tasmania
  • 2013–2014
    Associate professor, University of Melbourne
  • 2010–2013
    Assistant Director, Office of the Chief Scientist


  • 1992 
    Brown University, PhD, Geological Sciences

Research Areas

  • Oceanography (0405)
  • Earth Sciences (04)
  • Marine Geoscience (040305)