Earth Sciences Research

We research across the world, applying cutting-edge methods to understand and address issues vital to sustaining our way of life on this planet. 

Geology student

Mineral and energy systems

We undertake fundamental and applied geologic and geophysical research in the resources and energy area, and host world-leading expertise in critical minerals and carbon and hydrogen storage. Our research outcomes are used to support and influence exploration strategies in mineral and geo-energy exploration and to aid Australia’s transition to a net zero carbon economy. 

Tectonics and solid earth processes 

We study the current state and evolution of the major solid Earth processes that shape our planet. These processes serve as a framework from which the generation and concentration of mineral and energy resources may be placed in context. Our investigations include the Earth's history of magmatism, metamorphism, deformation, and plate motion through a combination of geochemical, petrologic, sedimentological, structural, geochronological, and geophysical methods. 

Palaeoclimatology, palaeontology and palaeoenvironments 

We examine fossil remains, from mammals, plants and microorganisms, and date sediments using optical and radiogenic geochronology. We specialise in using isotope and molecular geochemistry to infer past temperature, water balance and biogeochemical cycles. Our goal is to understand more about the history of Earth's life and climate to unravel the mechanisms of long-term change, and to provide context for an uncertain future. 

Environmental geochemistry 

We employ elemental, isotopic and molecular tracers to explore the origins and pathways of materials and water on Earth's surface. Our research includes the tracing of water sources in coastal zones, calculating carbon burial in sediments, fingerprinting the origins of petroleum in the natural environment and quantifying the uptake of groundwater by terrestrial ecosystems. This work has relevance interdisciplinary research, including environmental forensics, land management and water quality.