Who's Who

Academic Staff

Name Responsibilities & Research Areas

Professor Phil McManus

Room 435
+61 2 9351 4242

Geosciences Head of School

My current research focuses on sustainable cities, urban forestry and representations of nature in the construction of a range of environmental issues. Within the area of sustainable cities I am researching the potential to develop Industrial Ecology, the use of metrics such as Ecological Footprints and migration issues such as the tree-change phenomenon in Australia.

Associate Professor Derek Wyman

Room 464
+61 2 9351 2924

Geosciences Deputy Head of School
Geosciences Postgraduate Coordinator
Geosciences Deputy Honours Coordinator

Derek Wyman's research includes studies in Western Australia's Yilgarn Craton and similar well-mineralised rocks in Canada. He also supervises Honours and Postgraduate students in studies of granitic rocks, gold deposits, massive sulphides and other types of mineralization in eastern Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Professor Elaine Baker

Room 308
+61 2 9351 3000

Marine Science

Elaine holds the inaugural UNESCO Chair In Marine Science at the University of Sydney.She is also the Director of theGRID-Arendal officeat the University.GRID-Arendal is a centre collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It was established in 1989 by the Government of Norway with a mission to communicate environmental information to policy-makers and facilitate environmental decision-making for change.

Dr Sophie Webber


Associate Professor Kurt Iveson

Room 466
+61 2 9351 3627

Geosciences First Year CoordinatorGeography Coordinator

Kurt is primarily interested in the question of how social justice can be achieved in cities. Within this broad interest, his previous research has focused on two main areas. First, he has examined the significance of the urban public realm for citizenship and democracy. This has included looking at contests over different uses of urban public space, including the politics of protest, graffiti writing, cruising, hanging out, and outdoor advertising. Second, he has explored how urban planning might work better to achieve social justice in cities. In particular, he has considered the ways in which planners should conceptualise, and respond to, different forms of diversity in the city.

Associate Professor Jody Webster

Room 440
+61 2 9036 6538

Geosciences Second Year Coordinator
Geocoastal Research Group

Jody Webster's research in sedimentology and stratigraphy focuses on carbonate sedimentology, climate change, and tectonics and it tends to take him to all the beautiful places in the world (e.g. the Great Barrier Reef, Tahiti, Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles).

Dr Jeffrey Neilson

Room 439
+61 2 9351 4733


[[b||Postgraduate Coordinator for Environmental Science][[b||Environmental Studies Coordinator]Senior Lecturer

Jeff's research focuses on natural resource management and rural economic development in South and Southeast Asia, with specific area expertise on Indonesia.

These interests are explored through two complementary research programs. The first explores the livelihood implications of market engagement for smallholder farmers in the Global South using a value chain framework. The second examines emerging forms of environmental and resource governance arising from the confluence of conventional state structures, civil society organisations and market-driven regulation such as certification schemes and payments for ecosystem services.

Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz

Room 431
+61 2 9351 5192

Senior Lecturer

My current research is focused on the synthesis of large sedimentological and geochemical datasets in order to provide new insights into fundamental processes underpinning the composition of marine sediments, ocean chemistry and resource formation on a global scale through time. I have previously worked on and continue to have a peripheral interest in the formation of sedimentary opal, fluid geochemistry and Precambrian oil inclusions in the context of early life on Earth.

Associate Professor Ana Vila-Concejo

Room 421
+61 2 9351 5190


Senior Lecturer
Australian Future Fellow

I am interested in the contemporary processes and morphodynamics of coastal systems. I started with siliciclastic temperate environments and I am now also interested in the dynamics of carbonate (coral) sand. My present studies on coral sand are mostly based on fieldwork campaigns undertaken in While I am presently dedicating most of my time to carbonate sand I remain insterested in low energy beaches, tidal inlets, overwash, coastal erosion, hazards and coastal management. I am a keen fieldworker and have experience in acquiring and processing hydrodynamic, topographic and bathymetric data. I have also worked with fluorescent tracers for studying sediment transport processes. At present, I am also using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a tool to analyse recent and present data.

Professor Bill Pritchard

Room 450
+61 2 9351 3309

Over the course of his career, Bill's research interests in agriculture, food and rural places have been channeled through a series of research foci and activities.

Global food security.
Bill is a frequent commentator in the media and an invited speaker to public forums on this topic. In May 2013, Bill gave a talk to TEDx Sydney talk at the Sydney Opera House on global food security (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJc0tYNGcWo).

Food security in India.
From 2010-14, Bill has been Chief Investigator of a major international research project undertaking household-scale analyses of food security and livelihoods in rural India.

Global value chains.
Bill has a long-standing research interest in the geographical implications of different ways in which agri-food products are connected to consumers (from paddock to plate) through global value chains.

Regional change in Australia.
He is co-author (with Andrew Beer, Alaric Maude) of Developing Australia's Regions: Theory and Practice (UNSW Press, 2003) and was lead investigator in the four-year project The Aggregation and Fragmentation of Rural Land in Australia(https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/12-038).

The global tomato!
Between 2000-04, Bill (with David Burch, of the Griffith University) undertook a study which sought to understand the processes of globalisation in the food industry by examining the international restructuring of trade and production arrangements in the processing tomato industry.

Dr Robert Fisher

Room 445
+61 2 9351 2929

Bob Fisher is an anthropologist. His PhD research was a study of human ecology, focusing on strategies for adapting to drought in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. He specialises in social and political ecological aspects of natural resource management, particularly involving community forestry. After working in Nepal with the then Nepal-Australia Forestry Project in the late 1980s, he taught at the University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury, before becoming Deputy Director of the Regional Community Forestry Training Center in Bangkok from 1997 to 2001.

Bob has carried out research or consultancies in a wide variety of countries, including Nepal, India, Mozambique, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Liberia and Ghana. Recent publications include "Linking Conservation and Poverty Reduction: Landscapes, People and Power" (Fisher et al, 2008. Earthscan) and the edited volume "Adaptive Collaborative Management of Community Forests in Asia: Experiences from Nepal, Indonesia and the Philippines" (Fisher et al 2007, CIFOR).

Associate Professor Dale Dominey-Howes

Room 448
+61 2 9351 6641


Dale's research interests include:

Natural hazards: tsunami, storm surges, tropical cyclones, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes & climate change

Disaster & risk management: hazard, risk and vulnerability analysis, (re-) insurance, coastal and urban policy, emergency management planning and principles

Marine and coastal geology / coastal processes: coastal evolution and change, contemporary shoreline processes, sea level change, Quaternary environments / palaeoenvironmental reconstruction

Coupled human-environment systems: interactions between natural environmental processes and socio-economic systems, ecosystem goods and services, sustainable tourism and economics

Climate change, adaptation and policy: with specific focus on the Pacific Islands and in tourism

Dr Daniel Penny

Room 433
+61 2 9351 6464


Dan is an Environmental Geoscientist with an interest in environmental change and its impact on society, and on the Earth System. Major research interests include the history of large-scale environmental processes in the Australasian region (monsoon, ENSO), and the impact of these processes on the terrestrial and near-shore/coastal ecosystems.

Dan is currently producing high-resolution records of abrupt climate events in northeastern Cambodia and off the coast of Vietnam, and considering the interaction between social and natural resilience to climate change.

Professor Dietmar Muller

Room 406
+61 2 9036 6533


Professor of Geophysics and Australian Laureate Fellow, School of Geosciences

His EarthByte research group is known for pursuing open innovation, involving the collaborative development of open-source software as well as global digital data sets made available under a creative commons license. One of the fundamental aims of the EarthByte Group is geodata synthesis through space and time, assimilating the wealth of disparate geological and geophysical data into a four-dimensional Earth model. His research interests include marine geology and geophysics, plate tectonics, geodynamics, continental margin evolution, deep Earth natural resources, paleoclimate and seafloor imaging.

Ms Edwina Tanner

Room 308
+61 2 9036 9245



Associate Lecturer

Edwina's main area of research is in the field of marine science with a focus on climate change. She started her PhD in 2012 titled Blue carbon budget study of the Sydney Harbour estuary using a hydrodynamic model. She has been awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award for this research. Recent research involvement includes the deployment of a hydrodynamic model of the Sydney Harbour Environmental, co-investigator for a beaked whale habitat mapping study and project manager for the Behavioural Response the Australian Humpbacked whales to Seismic Survey (BRAHSS) project.

Dr Eleanor Bruce

Room 458
+61 2 9351 6443

Senior Lecturer

Eleanor Bruce's research interests are in environmental spatial analysis and modelling. More specifically this research has focused on examining processes of habitat loss in urban coastal environments, the use of GIS and remote sensing in vegetation change detection and landscape heritage management, marine zone planning and evaluating the impact of spatial data uncertainty in environmental decision-making. Current research projects include examining coastal wetland response to changes in inter-tidal sedimentation rates in Sydney Harbour and investigating links between spatio-temporal pattern and processes of landscape change to facilitate longer-term vegetation monitoring in Angkor, Cambodia. Eleanor is currently working on collaborative research projects with the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Ku-ring-gai Council, Department of Environment and Climate Change, APSARA and UNESCO.

Professor Geoffrey Clarke

Room 442
+61 2 9351 2919


Prof. Clarke has contributed to all aspects of the textural analysis of high-grade metamorphic rocks. Field-based ARC-funded research on high-P Cretaceous granulites integrates tightly data from structural, petrologic and isotopic studies to study geological processes critical to the formation and modification of continental crust. Other ARC-funded research (with Powell, University of Melbourne) on the application of equilibrium thermodynamics has defined the P-T domains of common blueschist and eclogite facies assemblages, something that could not be done by direct experimentation, and established new approaches to the study of equilibrium during metamorphism. Clarke has also had ASAC-funded field programme examining lower crustal processes that formed high-grade rocks in MacRobertson and Kemp Lands, Australian Antarctic Territory. He is currently involved in a joint Australian-Indian research group reassessing processes responsible for forming rocks in the Himalayas.

Dr Josephine Gillespie

Room 456
+61 2 9351 2920


As a geographer with a background in law, Jo's research links geography and law under the broad categories of legal geography and environmental regulation. Jo's PhD research investigated landscape regulation at the World Heritage property at Angkor, Cambodia. Her scholarship explores links between law, place and society. She is interested in the ways in which regulatory frameworks shape and form landscapes by restricting, manipulating and/or enabling the way in which people interact in their environs. Jo's research is also concerned with the interaction between human rights and environmental protection and her current research looks at ways in which human rights frames may promote improved environmental governance.

Dr Maria Seton

Room 400
+61 2 9351 4255


ARC Future Fellow

Maria's research interests are in the field of marine geophysics and geodynamics, in particular examining the links between plate tectonic and mantle processes. She is also interested in the kinematic controls on subduction and back-arc basin formation and the relationship between tectonics and palaeo-climate.

Associate Professor Patrice Rey

Room 408
+61 2 9351 2067


Associate Professor

Patrice is a tectonicist interested in (1) the evolution of the continental lithosphere through tectonic processes, and (2) the evolution of tectonic processes through time. His research activities are therefore problem-driven and process-oriented. They are supported by research strategies involving quantitative multidisciplinary approaches, based on field work, numerical modelling and physical modelling. In the past Patrice has been working on the seismic structure of the continental crust and its relation to mountain building processes. He has produced work on the seismic reflectivity of ductile shear zones in the crust. In Europe he has worked on the evolution of the Variscan belt and its tectonic relationships with the Caledonides. In the last ten years he has been investigating the tectonics processes that have shaped the surface of the early Earth in the Archaean era (4.03 to 2.5 Ga).

Professor Philip Hirsch

Room 472
+61 2 9351 3355

Professor and Director of the Australian Mekong Resource Centre (AMRC)
Geosciences Honours Coordinator

Philip Hirsch has research interests in a range of natural resource management themes and their relationship with rural change and the politics of environment in Southeast Asia. He has written extensively on land, forest, water and fisheries in the Mekong region. He is also an area studies specialist on Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the wider Mekong Region. Phil has been involved with collaborative field projects in each country for many years.

Phil's research work includes projects supported by the Australian Research Council, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research,Australian Agency for International Development, International Development Research Centre, Australian Water Research Facility, Asia Research Centre and Danish International Development Assistance.

Associate Professor Thomas Hubble

Room 358
+61 2 9351 5467

Associate Professor in Engineering and Environmental Geology

Tom teaches Engineering Geology and Introductory Geology classes to undergraduate students and Rock Engineering to postgraduate students at the University of Sydney; has developed secondary school curricula for the NSW Board of Studies and ACARA; has been recognised for his teaching with University of Sydney and Australian College of Educators awards.

Dr Tristan Salles

Room 454

Third Year Coordinator

Tristan has always been curious and passionate about understanding the natural phenomena that shape the Earth surface, and this curiosity has driven his research since his postgraduate years. His research activities focuss on the importance of climate change on sediment transport, geodynamics and surface processes feedback mechanisms, and coupled sediment-ocean-wave modelling system at geological scale.

Dr Yayoi Lagerqvist

Room 468
+61 2 9036 9277


Her main research interest includes linkages between rural livelihood changes and resource tenure in Southeast Asia. Currently, she is a principle investigator of ACIAR funded research: Faclitating Livelihood Adaptation in Lao PDR. She has over a decade of experience working in mainland Southeast Asia facilitating research capacity building on land uses change and natural resource management with national universities and research institutions. She carried out research on land policies in Laos, supported by the International Development Research Centre of Canada and coordinated studies on land use change dynamics in northern Laos together with researchers from the National University of Laos and the East West Center of Hawaii (funded by the National Science Foundation). She also worked as an advisor of a research capacity development programme in Laos supported by the Swedish International Development Agency.

Dr Simon Williams

Room 404
+61 2 9351 8904

Postdoctoral Fellow

His research focuses on the analysis of gravity and magnetic data, and their role in defining the extent of sedimentary basins and understanding plate tectonics and geodynamics.

Dr Sabin Zahirovic

Room 403

+61 416 77 55 89






Postdoctoral Research Associate

Sabin is a postdoctoral research associate in the EarthByte Group, School of Geosciences. He completed his PhD (University of Sydney) in 2014 titled “Post-Pangea global plate kinematics and geodynamic implications for Southeast Asia”. Sabin has been at the School of Geosciences since December 2008, working in various roles as a Research Assistant, Lab Demonstrator, Tutor and Associate Lecturer at junior, intermediate and senior undergraduate levels.