Research within the School of Geosciences

The research profile of the School of Geosciences reflects its diverse multi-disciplinary composition.

To investigate this diversity, click on one of the labels listed on the left sidebar. For ease of navigation, our research areas are here separated into our two core disciplinary fields of Geography and Geology & Geophysics.

Where are our students from?

Australia was built on welcoming people from different countries and cultures onto our shores. Today we carry on that tradition by encouraging international students to explore one of the world’s most livable cities while studying at one of the world’s top 50 universities. Our students have access to a world of opportunities through our international affiliations, industry and alumni mentoring programs and innovative partnerships.

The School of Geosciences includes very highly ranked disciplines in a globally renowned university. The School of Geosciences comprises Geology, Geography and Geophysics. Our research and teaching on Environment, Marine Sciences, Sustainability, Cities, Coastal Studies, Climate Change and similar themes means we are addressing issues of importance to people around the world. We take pride in being a welcoming, multicultural and inclusive community for our students, both local and international.

School of Geosciences research students for 2016. Data collected: May 2016

School of Geosciences research students for 2016. Data collected: May 2016

There are many ways that a School’s excellence can be assessed. We believe that unleashing the research potential of our postgraduate students is a vital part of excellence. One example of the School’s success in this area is the number of papers that have appeared in the World’s most prestigious science journals, such as Nature and Science, that feature the research results of Honours and Postgraduate students.


PhD students:
Hassan, R., Müller, R.D., Gurnis, M., Williams, S.E. and Flament, N., 2016, A rapid burst in hotspot motion through the interaction of tectonics and deep mantle flow, Nature, 533, 239-242.
O’Connor, J., Hoernle, K., Butterworth, N., Müller, R.D., Hauff, F., Sandwell, D., Morgan, J., Jokat, W., Wijbrans, J., Stoffers, P., 2015, Deformation-related volcanism links the Hawaiian Bend to slab subduction and mantle flow, Nature Geoscience, 8, 393-397, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2416.
Hoernle, K., Hauff, F., Werner, R., van den Bogaard, P., Gibbons, A., Conrad, S. and Müller, R.D., 2011, Origin of Indian Ocean Seamount Province by shallow recycling of continental lithosphere, Nature Geoscience, 4, 883–887.
Whittaker, J.M., Müller, R.D., Roest, W.R., Wessel, P., and Smith, WH.F., 2008, How supercontinents and superoceans affect seafloor roughness, Nature, 456, 938-942. 
Whittaker, J. M., Müller, R. D., Leitchenchov, G., Stagg, H., Sdrolias, M., Gaina, C., Goncharov, A., 2007, Major Australian-Antarctic plate reorganization at Hawaiian-Emperor bend time, Science, 318, 83-86.
Honours students:
Shephard, G.E., Müller, R.D., Liu, L. and Gurnis, M., 2010, Miocene drainage reversal of the Amazon River driven by plate-mantle interaction, Nature Geoscience, 3, 870-875, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1017.