News and Events

Our world university rankings

March 18 2017

QS Rankings are in and we are proud to say that Geography at the University of Sydney was ranked 17th in the world in the QS Ranking by Subject for 2017 (up from 22 in 2016).

Find out more about Geography at USYD.

Read more about QS rankings

A new approach to climate management

March 17 2017

It is increasing likely we will have to develop negative emissions if we are to meet the COP21 target of less than 2 degrees rise in the temperature. Negative emissions are where you draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store in geological structures or in the ocean. A new paper by Dr Daniel Harrison of the University of Sydney has evaluated the capacity of the ocean to store carbon dioxide away from the atmosphere for a millennium.
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GEOS2115 now being offered as a Study Abroad course

March 16 2017

GEOS2115 Oceans, Coasts and Climate Change is now being offered as part of the University of Sydney's Study Abroad program due to popular demand. Discover concepts about how the formation of ocean basins and their influence on climate govern the development of coasts and continental margins.
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Chinese New Year with Dr Dong Xing

January 30 2017

We catch up with Geosciences graduate Dr Dong Xing to find out what he's working on with the City of Sydney for Chinese New Year. Read more

National Rock Garden

November 17 2016

Thank you to National Rock Garden representatives Mike Smith, John Bain (National Rock Garden Curator) and Kelsie Dadd (newly-appointed USYD Honorary Associate) for visiting and for introducing us to the National Rock Garden. Our academics were able to provide feedback relating to selecting some of the state’s best rocks. See the event gallery.

The Jim Rose Geography Award

November 16 2016

Congratulations to the 2016 GSNSW Honours / Masters Conference Award Winners! The Jim Rose Geography Award for a Highly Commended presentation on a Physical Geography topic and a cheque for $100 went to Alexandra Jones, University of Sydney. Congratulations Alex! See the event gallery.

Honours Research Fellowships

November 15 2016

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the introduction of the Honours Research Fellowships to be awarded to eligible outstanding undergraduates intending to undertake an Honours year in 2017. Apply by 2nd December 2016. Read more.

Natural disasters affect some of the most disadvantaged

November 8 2016

Australian-first research has identified a disaster hotspot where many disadvantaged communities are located, indicating socio-economic status can determine whether hazards become disasters - but urban areas are not immune.

"If we don't deal with inequality... no amount of spending will stem the ever-increasing disaster losses."
Associate Professor Dale Dominey-Howes

Read more.

University of Sydney Fellowships

November 2 2016

Eleven outstanding early career researchers from around the world will join the University of Sydney in 2017 under the University of Sydney Fellowship scheme. Congratulations!

Dr Bradley Garrett
Joins the Sydney Environment Institute.
Project: 'Preppers: Defending against anticipated environmental collapse'

Dr Emma Calgaro
Joins the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre.
Project: 'Disasters and disability: Making inclusion a reality'

Read more.

School of Geoscience researchers part of team that wins 2016 NSW Resilient Australia Prize

October 13 2016

Congratulations to Dr Emma Calgaro and Associate Professor Dale Dominey-Howes of the School’s Asia – Pacific Natural Hazards and Disaster Research Group. Emma and Dale are part of a team comprising the Deaf Society of New South Wales, The Australian Red Cross, The NSW State Emergency Service, the NSW Rural Fire Service and the Fire and Rescue, NSW who’ve won the 2016 NSW Resilient Australia Award for their project "Get Ready! A model for Deaf Community Leadership". Get Ready was a project funded under the NSW Community Resilience Innovation Program (CRIP).

The team received their award on the 12th October at a ceremony held at the NSW Parliament in Sydney.

This team has now been nominated by the Premiere of NSW as the NSW entrant to the national Federal awards due to be announced in Canberra in early November. Good luck Emma and Dale!

For more details, check out the award announcement here.

Helping and caring for researchers dealing with traumatic research

October 13 2016


Congratulations to Dale Dominey-Howes who was invited by Nature to write a commentary for its Nature Careers section on the challenges researchers can face in undertaking work on traumatic events, people, places and material.

Dale says "many researchers undertake important research work that swirls around complex and distressing events and places, yet we are seldom prepared for the consequence to us as researchers of that work that include an assemblage of secondary trauma. Urgent efforts are required to support and prepare researchers for doing this sort of work. In the rapid pace of the modern demanding university and the need to publish, this has never been more important".

Check out the article here.

Congratulations to Prof Dietmar Müller for his Outstanding Research Award!

October 12 2016


Celebrating excellence: VC Award Winners

Professor Dietmar Müller is the world leader in geophysics. His sustained excellence in research funding, publications, supervision of research students and contribution to knowledge is unrivalled. He links custom software and research data so that we can see Earth through space and time. He leads a team of researchers in the School of Geosciences whose interactive, open-access models demonstrate the Earth’s dynamic history and answer important questions about the evolution of the planet.

Dietmar’s citations exceed 11,500 in number and his h-index 55. In 2016 he has co-authored three papers in Nature. Over his career to date he has published 17 papers in the most prestigious and difficult journals to gain publication, namely Nature, Nature Geoscience and Science.

Professor Müller was the youngest Australian to be elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2006). He was awarded an Australian Laureate Fellowship (2009). Professor Müller leads the international EarthByte e-research group, which comprises over 100 members from seven countries, and is the core of the Virtual Earth Laboratory.

Dietmar’s research has huge international impact, and the media coverage of his work brings prestige and credibility to the University of Sydney. His work on industry engagement through the ARC Basin Genesis Hub (2015–20), involving five industry partners, is exemplary of academic/industry links. Professor Muller continues to attract the brightest PhD students from around the world and his teaching and supervision has inspired many local and international students interested in careers that integrate advanced computing, geology and geophysics and the desire to answer important questions about the past, present and potential future of the planet.

See full list of award winners.

The Ballad of the Skeletons: Lining up to Ratify the Paris Climate Agreement

October 11 2016


The path of climate change, if the Paris Agreement is adhered to but not strengthened, would seem to lock the planet into a path of rapid and widespread disruption to animal, plant and human environments.
Read Bill Pritchard's blog post via the Sydney Environment Institute blog.

5 Minutes with Bill Pritchard

September 12 2016

We talk to Professor Bill Pritchard, Associate Dean for Honours in Geosciences, about his research, his work with honours students and the University’s Honours Week, from 12 to 16 September. The Geosciences Honours Information Session is on 14 September, 2-3pm at Madsen Conference Room 449 - everyone is welcome.
Read more

Outstanding Achievement in Research Collaboration

September 8 2016

A project team and PhD student have been recognised with CRC awards at AFAC16 powered by INTERSCHUTZ, the CRC's annual conference held in colloboration with AFAC in Brisbane last week.
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A supercontinent without plume has no less panache

September 7 2016

The aggregation and dispersal of supercontinents control the Earth’s geological history, and influences the Earth’s climate and the evolution of species. But, what is the impact of these supercontinents on the deep Earth interior?
Read more

Geosciences Honours Information Session - September 14 2016

Event: Geosciences Honours Information session

Learn about our Honours Program for Geography and Geology/Geophysics at our Geosciences Honours Information session.

When: Wednesday 14th September 2016
Time: 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Location: Madsen Conference Room 449

Come along so you can find out more about our Honours program, everyone is welcome to attend.

Check out the poster.

The Great Barrier Reef Has Been Hiding A Massive New Reef?!

August 30 2016

University of Sydney, James Cook University and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) scientists working with laser data from the Royal Australian Navy have discovered a vast reef behind the familiar Great Barrier Reef!
Read more

Open Day 2016

August 27 2016

Thank you all for visiting us at our VirtualGeoLife and Magic Planet hands on booths on Saturday 27th August for Open Day!

A big thank you to all our staff and students who helped out on the day in our workshops, lectures and information booths, you guys rock! Check out our Open Day photos.

Welcome to the Anthropocene

August 16 2016


Humans are changing the Earth at the scale of the planet. Welcome to the Anthropocene! Since the evolution of modern Homo Sapiens, people have been at the mercy of planetary processes. However, we stand at the point, unique in geological history, where a single species has begun to change the Earth at the scale of the planet and shape its physical and biological processes. The arrival of the so-called ‘Anthropocene’ (if we accept such a construct) presents a myriad of philosophical, economic, practical, scientific, moral and political issues amongst others, for contemporary societies to consider and debate.

In this Special Lecture Series, a range of experts drawn from numerous disciplines present and debate the meaning and consequences of the arrival of The Anthropocene.
Attend one of our seminars.

Taking the pulse of the global ocean

August 16 2016


When organic particles sink from the surface ocean to the seafloor, a small but significant proportion of atmospheric carbon is stored away. Adriana Dutkiewicz and colleagues at the University of Sydney and Data61/CSIRO have now used global data sets collected over decades combined with cutting-edge big data analysis to understand how this process depends on surface ocean environments.
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Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimatology

August 15 2016

One of our post-grad students, Nicky Wright, recently returned from the Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimatology in Italy. The summer school focused on past climate dynamics with special emphasis on the analysis of the long-term carbon cycling and its implications in the understanding of present and future climates.
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Deep Carbon Observatory Summer School

August 15 2016

One of our academics, Sabin Zahirovic, attended the recent Deep Carbon Observatory Summer School in Yellowstone Park, Wyoming, USA.
Read more

The politics of Pokemon Go...Is the augmented reality app more than just a game?

August 9 2016


One of the panelists involved in this discussion is our very own Assoc Prof Kurt Iveson - Listen now via the Al Jazeera website.

Make sure you also check out Assoc Prof Iveson's article on 'How Pokemon Go will make money from you' published via The Sydney Morning Herald.

Sydney Girls High School Visit

July 25 2016


Geography students from Sydney Girls High School visit School of Geosciences, participating in lectures and some GIS mapping workshops.
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Data Revolution in Pacific Fisheries Management

July 22 2016

It may sound like a dry topic but fisheries data exchange standards have made a big splash (excuse the pun) at this year's Pacific Maritime Boundaries Working Session held in the School of Geoscience over the last 2 weeks.
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The strains of a continental breakup

July 20 2016

Scientists spanning Australia and Germany have revealed the underlying mechanics enabling supercontinents to separate as part of a five-year Australian Research Council and industry-funded project.
Read more.

Cultural Competence Launch

July 19 2016

On Friday 22 July you are invited to the launch of the University’s new cultural competence online modules for all professional and academic staff. Challenge your perceptions, enhance your cultural mindfulness and join the University’s cultural competence journey.
Read more


July 19 2016

Welcome back to the Geosciences crew from the ECOSAT II voyage on the RV Investigator! After braving close to 10 meter high waves and over 50 knot winds on their approach into Hobart, the team made it back safely with an impressive haul of rocks, geophysical data and the experience of a lifetime.
Read more

Mines, Wines and Thoroughbreds Virtual Fieldtrip

July 18 2016

The virtual fieldtrip in GEOS2121 in 2016 promises to be the best ever! The 2016 Mines, Wines and Thoroughbreds Virtual Fieldtrip is a component of GEOS2121 Environmental and Resource Management. In 2016 this unit is coordinated by Dr. Yayoi Lagerqvist and includes important input from Dr. Josephine Gillespie.
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Billy Haworth at the IAG Conference

July 12 2016

With support of the IAG, Geosciences PhD candidate Billy Haworth recently attended the IAG annual conference in Adelaide. The theme of the conference, “Frontiers of Geographical Knowledge” was manifest in the jam-packed program, with a number of sessions focusing on the future of the discipline, globally-significant research areas such as natural hazards and disaster risk reduction, and topics reflecting broader social trends, such as greater recognition of the importance and value of indigenous culture, knowledge and research methods Read more

Marine Litter Vital Graphics

July 11 2016

Professor Elaine Baker recently contributed to a new report released by the United Nations Environment Programme. The report, Marine Litter Vital Graphics, highlights why it is important to act now if we want to avoid living in a sea of plastic by mid-century.
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Staff Spotlight: Lan Hui

July 6 2016

We are very lucky here at the School of Geosciences to have the opportunity to work with our Research Officer, Ms Lan Hui!

Part of Lan's role involves fostering good working relationships and creating collaborative teaching arrangements, postgraduate student exchange (such as the very exciting 2+2 program with Wuhan University) and research opportunities between the School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney and Chinese universities such as China University of Geosciences, Ocean University of China, Wuhan University, University of Mining & Technology and more.
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