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Research in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences

The School of Earth & Environmental Sciences is committed to excellence in research and teaching in the key areas of geology, geophysics, ecology, evolutionary biology, and landscape science. The School has a world class concentration of scientific expertise and facilities and offers high quality research training at Honours, Masters and Doctorate levels. We host a large, vibrant group of graduate students and aims to prepare graduates for an exciting and diverse range of careers.

The School hosts a number of high-calibre Research Centres and programs including the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology & Biodiversity (ACEBB), Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), Centre for Tectonics, Resources & Exploration (TRaX), the Marine Biology Program, the Global Ecology Group, the Landscape Futures Program, and the Water Research Centre (WRC). These Centres and Programs also fall within one of two key University Research Institutes – the Institute for Mineral & Energy Resources (IMER), and the Environment Institute. The School is also a partner in the Centre for Energy Technology which is part of the latter Institute.

The School is a participant in two Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs)– the recently formed Deep Exploration Technologies CRC and the South Australian Centre for Geothermal Energy Research, and is a key partner in the Arid Recovery ecosystem rehabilitation initiative and Marine Innovations SA (MISA).

The School has a wide range of modern equipment and facilities, including several field stations, some of which are shared with partner organisations.

Research Areas:


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Evolution Systematics and Biodiversity of Insects and Groundwater Invertebrates
Professor Andy Austin

Conservation Genetics, Ancient DNA, Molecular Ecology and Forensics
Dr Jeremy Austin

Evolution, Systematics and Biodiversity of Living and Fossil Reptiles
Associate Professor Michael Lee

Population Dynamics, Biodiversity Modelling, Ecosystem Services
Professor Corey Bradshaw

Ecological and Biodiversity Impacts of Climate Change
Professor Barry Brook

Aquatic Ecology, Trophodynamics
Associate Professor Justin Brookes

Mammal Ecology, Pollination Biology, Conservation Biology
Associate Professor Sue Carthew

Marine Ecology: Climate Change and Human Impacts
Associate Professor Sean Connell

Plant Systematics and Evolutionary Ecology
Dr John Conran

Evolutionary Patterns and Ancient DNA
Professor Alan Cooper

Phylogeography, Speciation, Molecular Ecology
Dr Steve Cooper

Vertebrate Systematics and Evolution, Marine and Terrestrial Population Genetics
Professor Steve Donnellan

Terrestrial Plant Ecology, Ecology of Arid Lands, Ecology of Invasive Plants
Associate Professor Jose Facelli

Ecology of Phytoplankton and Aquatic Plants
Associate Professor George Ganf

Aquatic Ecology, Especially Estuaries, Fish Biology, Otolith Microchemistry
Associate Professor Bronwyn Gillanders

Marine Phycology (Algae): Molecular Systematics and Evolution, Biogeography
Dr Frederico Gurgel

Palaeobotany: Evolution of the Australian flora
Professor Robert Hill

Insect Biology, Biodiversity, Evolution and Systematic
Dr John Jennings

Water Quality, Waste Water Treatment, Biotechnology
Associate Professor Bo Jin

Plant Gene Flow, Biogeography and Rapid Adaptation
Professor Andy Lowe

Ecology and Behaviour of Birds, Plant-Animal Interactions, Fire, Restoration
Associate Professor David Paton

Freshwater Ecology, Ecosystem Modelling, Ecoinformatics
Associate Professor Friedrich Recknagel

Plant Nutrition and Ecotoxicology
Associate Professor Rob Reid

Ecophysiology of Animals and Plants
Professor Roger Seymour

Marsupial Life History, Reproductive Ecology, Population Biology, Disease, Conservation
Dr David Taggart

Sustainable Development: Frameworks and Tools
Associate Professor Jackie Venning

Ecophysiology of Plants
Dr Jenny Watling

Fish Parasite Interactions
Associate Professor Ian Whittington

Visit the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology website for more information about research laboratories.


Geology and Geophysics

Geophysical Approaches to Tectonics, Mineral Exploration and Geothermal Activity
Dr Graham Baines

Crustal Evolution of the Earth as Reflected by Geochemistry and Radiogenic Isotopes
Associate Professor Karin Barovich

Mobility of Metals in the Earth’s Crust and in the Environment
Professor Joël Brugger

Evolution of Soils, Biogeochemistry of Soils in Watersheds, Chemistry and Fate of Nanoparticulates
Professor David Chittleborough

Tectonics, Structural Geology and Geochronology
Dr Alan Collins

Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Mineral Deposits
Associate Professor Nigel Cook

Regolith Geology and Landscape Processes in Relation to Mineral Exploration
Dr Robert Dart

Acid Sulfate Soils and Water Quality, Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensics
Professor Rob Fitzpatrick

Arc Magmatism and Crustal Growth, Petrology, Geochemistry, Isotope Geochemistry and Tectonics
Professor John Foden

Structural Geology, Metamorphic Petrology and Geochronology
Dr Caroline Forbes

Mineral Systems and Magnetics
Professor David Giles

Metamorphic Geology, Tectonics and Geothermal Resources
Professor Martin Hand

Electrical Geophysics and Magnetotellurics for Crustal and Groundwater Studies
Professor Graham Heinson

Regolith and Landscape Evolution
Dr Steve Hill

Metamorphic Geology,Tectonics and Geochronology
Dr David Kelsey

Palaeoclimate, Climate Change and Earth’s Environmental Evolution
Professor Martin Kennedy

Structural Geology, Tectonics and Petroleum Geology
Dr Rosalind King

Economic Mineral Deposits
Professor Ian Plimer

Geomicrobiology and Cycling of Metals in the Environment
Dr Frank Reith

Economic Geology: Analysing and Modelling the Genesis of Mineral Deposits and Their Tectonic Setting
Dr Andreas Schmidt-Mumm

Application of Magnetotellurics to Crustal and Lithospheric Architecture
Dr Kate Selway

Visit the Geology and Geophysics website for more information about research laboratories.


Landscape Science

Environmental Remote Sensing, Spatial and Temporal Analysis for Natural Resource Management
Associate Professor Megan Lewis

Water, Soils, Plants, Air and People– Landscapes for Production and Conservation
Professor Wayne Meyer

Spatial Ecology, Decision Support in Natural Resources Management and GIS
Dr Bertram Ostendorf

Visit the Landscape Science website for more information about research laboratories.

University Institutions and Research Centres with Affiliated Researchers

Institutions with Affiliated Researchers

More Information

Further details are available, please contact the Faculty of Sciences office.

Adelaide Graduate Centre

Level 6
115 Grenfell Street
The University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005


T: +61 8 8313 5882
F: +61 8 8313 5725

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