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Earth and Environmental Science Staff

Associate Professor Alana Grech

Head, Earth and Environmental Science

Alana Grech applies conservation biogeography theory and spatial technologies, such as geographic information systems (GIS), network analysis, biophysical models and reserve design software, to inform the management of Australia's coasts.

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Dr. Alex McCoy-West

DECRA Researcher; Lecturer, Exploration Geochemistry

Dr. Alex McCoy-West research focuses on using a wide range of geochemical tools to understand the processes involved in the formation, differentiation and evolution of the terrestrial planets and their major geochemical reservoirs. He is a geologist and geochemist with expertise in a large range of radiogenic (Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb-Os) and novel stable (Fe, Zn, Mo, and Nd) isotope systems.

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Associate Professor Amy Diedrich

Senior Lecturer, Environmental Social Science

Amy's research and teaching relate to the human dimensions of conservation, livelihoods, and natural resource management, with an emphasis on coastal and marine environments.

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Dr Espen Knutsen

Senior Lecturer, Palaeontology

I am the Senior Curator of Palaeontology at JCU and the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville. I have a special interest in the diversity, evolution and ecology of Mesozoic reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and dinosaurs.

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Dr Han She Lim

Lecturer, Hydrology

Han She researches the hydrological processes of tropical catchments, include stormwater remediation using low impact development techniques and flood hydrology.

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Dr Helen McCoy-West

Lecturer, Igneous Petrology

Helen is an igneous petrologist and economic geologist with a research interest in the relationship between magmatism and ore deposit formation. Her research focuses on petrology, geochemistry, and geochronology.

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Dr Ioan Sanislav

Lecturer, Economic Geology

Sanislav's research interest is in structural geology and tectonics with a focus on field geology, structural controls on mineralized systems and the tectonic evolution of Proterozoic and Archean terranes.

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Dr Jane Addison

Senior Lecturer, Environmental Social Science

Dr Addison is a social-ecological systems scientist, and lecturer. Her current research interests include environmental/social and economic trade-offs in development and development futures.

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Associate Professor Karen Joyce

Associate Professor, Remote Sensing

Research interest is in creating, applying and automating remote sensing tools for environmental monitoring and management problems. Her approach is to optimise models for rapid quantitative information extraction and communication purposes.

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Associate Professor Lisa Law

Geographer

Lisa Law is interested in the politics of urban spaces in Southeast Asia and tropical Australia. Her research includes the meanings of public space, and the politics/governance of the tropical built environment.

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Dr Melanie Finch

Senior Lecturer, Structural Geology

Melanie is a structural geologist and metamorphic petrologist focusing on metasomatism in ductile shear zones. Her current research focus is on the migration of ore-forming fluids in crustal shear zones and metasomatism and deformation in subduction channels.

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Professor Michael Bird

Isotope Geochemist

Michael worked in Canada, Singapore and Scotland prior to joining JCU in 2009 as an ARC Federation Fellow. His research interests include the terrestrial carbon cycle, biochar, geoarchaeology and environmental change in the tropics.

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Associate Professor Paul Nelson

Soil Scientist

Paul's research focus is on understanding the processes determining soil condition, runoff water quality and greenhouse gas balance in tropical agricultural systems, and assessing ways of improving them.

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Associate Professor Scott Smithers

Geomorphologist

Scott's current research focuses on the geomorphology of coral reefs and reef islands, where I enjoy working on multi-disciplinary research projects with both theoretical and applied outcomes.

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Dr Stephanie Duce

Spatial Scientist

Dr Duce uses geospatial technologies, such as remote sensing, to examine and understand patterns in the environment, particularly coral reefs, and the physical and social processes that drive them.

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Research and Adjunct staff

Adjunct Emeritus Bob Henderson

Adjunct

Bob Henderson has over 40 years of experience working on Australian geology, with a focus on the regional geology of Queensland. His research interests span from tectonics, sedimentology and basin studies to invertebrate palaeontology.

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Professor Bob Wasson

Adjunct, Geomorphologist

Bob Wasson has research interests in desert dunefield evolution, Quaternary paleoclimate, alluvial landscape dynamics, mass movements, land use impacts on river catchments, and is currently focused on extreme floods and their mitigation in Australia, India and Thailand.

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Dr Brandon Mahan

Lecturer, Geochemistry

Brandon's research includes macro-structural geology, experimental petrology and planetary-cosmo chemistry. Currently he is applying these skills and experiences towards building and cultivating these research initiatives within JCU.

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Associate Professor Carl Spandler

Economic Geology Research Centre (EGRU)

Spandler uses petrology and geochemistry to research aspects of the evolution of the Earth’s crust and mantle, and the formation of metalliferous ore deposits. His areas of expertise include hydrothermal fluid geochemistry.

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Dr Cassandra Rowe

Research fellow

Rowe researches long-term environmental dynamics and human-environmental relationships within monsoonal regions, understanding vegetation composition, distribution and change with emphasis on tropical-savanna landscapes and island flora.

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Dr Colin MacGregor

Adjunct Research Fellow

Colin's research uses a variety of social science methodologies to deliver sustainable outcomes, particularly at local and regional levels and in natural resource dependent communities.

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Associate Professor David King

Director, Centre for Disaster Studies

David King is an Associate Professor of Geography at JCU. He is Director of both the Centre for Disaster Studies, and the Centre for Tropical Urban and Regional Planning.

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Professor Eric Roberts

Adjunct

Eric Roberts is a clastic sedimentologist with research expertise in facies mapping and identification, sedimentary provenance, core logging, stratigraphy, U-Pb zircon geochronology, petroleum geology palaeontology and regional correlation.

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Dr Jan Marten Huizenga

Adjunct

Research interests include: fluid-rock interaction processes in the lower crust and in hydrothermal (mineralised) systems; thermodynamic modelling of carbon-oxygen-hydrogen systems and teaching techniques for improving student learning.

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Dr Jasmine Jaffrés

Adjunct, Hydroclimatologist

Jasmine is a hydroclimatologist and applications programmer. She has a keen interest in research related to extreme weather events (e.g. floods, tropical cyclones, bushfires), streamflow properties and data quality.

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Professor Jeff Sayer

Adjunct

Jeff leads a team researching development patterns in tropical countries. Recent work has focused on landscape transitions provoked by infrastructure investments, particularly in Indonesia.

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Professor Jonathan Nott

Adjunct, Geomorphologist

Jon Nott is interested in reconstructing long-term natural records of tropical cyclone, tsunami and river flood impacts using sedimentological and geochemical techniques. He also undertakes research into long-term landscape and drainage evolution across Australia over the past 180 million years.

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Dr Katie Sievers

Research Fellow, Marine Ecology

Katie is a marine spatial ecologist and Research Fellow with the Livelihoods Lab at the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture (CSTFA). Currently, her role focuses on marine spatial planning practices in the Philippines and building the capacity of civil society organisations to use spatially explicit data to help better manage their marine and maritime resources.

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Professor Kevin Parnell

Adjunct, Geomorphologist

Kevin Parnell is a Research Professor at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. He is a coastal geomorphologist with a particular interest in coastal management and community (particularly indigenous) engagement. He is a member of the Baltic Earth Science Steering Group, and his current research focuses on the Baltic Sea and other marginal seas. He maintains an interest in open coastal beaches and coral reefs in…

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Dr Mike Rubenach

Adjunct

Mike Rubenach is an igneous and metamorphic petrologist with expertise in field mapping, petrography, metamorphism of the Mount Isa Inlier, and the petrology of skarns.

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Dr Neils Munksgaard

Senior research fellow

Mungsgaard develops portable instruments for field-based analysis of stable isotopes (H, C, O) in water, soil and other environmental samples. He has built world-first gadgets that help provide insights into global water and carbon cycling.

Professor Paul Dirks

Adjunct

Dirks has an interest in geodynamics and the tectonic history of cratonic terrains and adjacent mobile belts, investigating their tectonic evolution and associated mineralization patterns. His research focuses on detailed geological mapping.

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Peter Whitehead

Lecturer

Peter Whitehead studies Cenozoic volcanology of Eastern Australia, in particular in relation to volcanic landforms and landscape evolution.

Dr Robin Beaman

Research Fellow

Beaman uses ocean mapping science required to unlock the secrets of Australia's underwater landscape. Ocean mapping science can help reveal the geological origin of the seafloor and explain the distribution of seabed habitats.

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Dr Ryan Orr

Adjunct

Ryan Orr is a chemist and soil scientist. His research focuses on minimizing the impacts of Panama disease in North Queensland by managing soil abiotic characteristics, and the use of fertilisers for micronutrient control.

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Dr Yetta Gurtner

Adjunct Human Geographer

Yetta is a social scientist interested in proactive planning, capacity assessments and an integrated approach to enhance resilience for more sustainable livelihoods (post-disaster and climate change scenarios).

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Prof Zhaoshan Chang

Adjunct Professor

Zhaoshan is an economic geologist and has studied a wide spectrum of mineral systems, including skarn-, porphyry-, epithermal-, IOCG- deposits, W-Sn, and sediment-hosted gold deposits in 19 countries. He works closely with the mineral industry on exploration-oriented research projects, looking for far field signals, discriminators and zoning patterns in mineralogy, textures, spectral features, whole rock and mineral geochemistry, and isotopic compositions that can be directly…

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