Dr David Heslop

Research Fellow
+61 2 61259597



I studied archaeology at the University of Durham between 1992 and 1995, completing a thesis which developed new statistical approaches to the calibration of radiocarbon ages. I then moved to the University of Liverpool and started my PhD in Geophysics with John Shaw in the Geomagnetism Laboratory. Working on the thick loess deposits around Lanzhou in NW China, I investigated high resolution changes in the SE Asian Monsoon and the Earth's magnetic field since the last glacial maximum.

After completing my PhD I began a 3-year postdoc at Utrecht University in the Netherlands working with Mark Dekkers and Cor Langereis at Fort Hoofddijk. During this time we investigated a number of different problems including the construction of a consistent orbital time scale for the Chinese loess sequences and developing new rock magnetic analysis methods.

In 2002 I moved to the University of Bremen and became an Assistant Professor in the Marine Geophysics research group led by Tilo von Dobeneck. Focusing on the magnetic information carried by marine sediments I investigated a wide variety of palaeomagnetic and paleoclimatic problems. In 2008 I was awarded my Habilitation and moved to work in the Geosystems Modelling group at Bremen with Andre Paul and Michael Schulz as part of the INTERDYNAMIC program. This work focused on the development of statistical strategies that could be applied to climate model results to aid in the design of palaeoceanographic studies.

After 2 years with the Geosystems Modelling group I moved to Australia and became an ANU Visiting Fellow working with Andrew Roberts at the Research School of Earth Sciences. In February 2011 I became a Research Fellow at the school, working on the ARC Discovery Project “Australian Dust: its response to, and role in, climate change”.


Research interests

My research interests are quite varied, but my publication list should give you a flavour of what I do. Most of my work has been in rock magnetism, but I have also spent time working on problems in climate modelling, time series analysis and statistics. One of the problems I have become interested in is understanding natural mixtures and finding mathematical methods which help us to break up mixed signals into their component parts in order that we can understand them better. I'm currently working as part of the ARC Discovery Project "Australian dust: its response to, and role in, climate change".

Research Project Links

Unmixing magnetic remanence curves without a priori knowledge

Increase in African dust flux at the onset of commercial agriculture in the Sahel region

Characterizing the uncertainty of taxa relative abundances derived from count data

Can oceanic paleothermometers reconstruct the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation?

Temperature fi


My ResearcherID - Here


  • [54] D. Heslop, A.P. Roberts, L. Chang, M. Davies, A. Abrajevitch and P. De Deckker (2013). Quantifying magnetite magnetofossil contributions to sedimentary magnetizations. Earth and Planetary Science Letters (submitted).
  • [53] D. Heslop and A.P. Roberts (2013). Calculating uncertainties on predictions of palaeoprecipitation from the magnetic properties of soils. Global and Planetary Change (in press), doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2012.11.013.
  • [52] J.A. Collins, A. Govin, S. Mulitza, D. Heslop, M. Zabel, J. Hartmann, U. Rohl and G. Wefer (2013). Abrupt shifts of the Sahara-Sahel boundary during Heinrich stadials, Climate of the Past, 9, 1181-1191, doi: 10.5194/cp-9-1181-2013.
  • [51] A.P. Roberts, L. Tauxe and D. Heslop (2013). Magnetic paleointensity stratigraphy and high resolution Quaternary geochronology. Successes and future challenges. Quaternary Science Reviews, 61, 1-16, doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.10.036.
  • [50] C. Necula, C. Panaiotu, D. Heslop and D. Dimofte (2013). Climatic control of magnetic granulometry in the Mircea Vodă loess/paleosol sequence (Dobrogea, Romania). Quaternary International, 293, 5-14, doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2012.03.043.


  • [49] J. Just, D. Heslop, T. von Dobeneck, T. Bickert, M.J. Dekkers, T. Frederichs, I. Meyer and M. Zabel (2012). Multi-proxy characterization and budgeting of terrigenous end-members at the NW African continental margin. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 13, Q0AO01, doi: 10,1029/2012GC004148.
  • [48] A.P. Roberts, L. Chang, D. Heslop, F. Florindo & J.C. Larrasoaña (2012). Searching for single domain magnetite in the ‘pseudo-single-domain’ sedimentary haystack: implications of biogenic magnetite preservation for sediment magnetism and relative paleointensity determinations, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, B08104, doi:10.1029/2012JB009412, 2012.
  • [47] J. Lippold, S. Mulitza, G. Mollenhauer, S. Weyer, D. Heslop and M. Christl (2012). Boundary scavenging at the east Atlantic margin does not negate use of 231Pa/230Th to trace Glacial Atlantic overturning. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 333-334, 317-331.
  • [46] D. Heslop and A.P. Roberts (2012). A method for unmixing magnetic hysteresis loops. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, B03103, doi:10.1029/2011JB008859.
  • [45] A. Govin, U. Holzwarth, D. Heslop, L. Ford Keeling, M. Zabel, S. Mulitza, J. A. Collins and C.M. Chiessi (2012). Distribution of major elements in Atlantic surface sediments (36N-49S): imprint of terrigenous input and continental weathering. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 13, Q01013, doi:10.1029/2011GC003785.
  • [44] D. Heslop and A.P. Roberts (2012). Estimation of significance levels and confidence intervals for first-order reversal curve distributions. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 13: Q12Z40, doi:10.1029/2012GC004115.
  • [43] D. Heslop and A.P. Roberts (2012). Estimating best-fit binary mixing lines in the Day plot. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, B01101, doi:10.1029/2011JB008787.
  • [42] D. Heslop and A. Paul (2011). Fingerprinting of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation in climate models to aid in the design of proxy investigations. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-011-1042-0.


  • [41] A.P. Roberts, F. Florindo, G. Villa, L. Chang, L. Jovane, S.M. Bohaty, J.C. Larrasoaña, D. Heslop and J.D. Fitz Gerald (2011). Magnetotactic bacterial abundance in pelagic marine environments is limited by organic carbon flux and availability of dissolved iron, Earth and Planetary Science Letters (in press), doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2011.08.011.
  • [40] J.A. Collins, E. Schefuß, D. Heslop, S. Mulitza, M. Prange, M. Zabel, R. Tjallingii, T.M. Dokken, E. Huang, A. Mackensen, M. Schulz, J. Tian, M. Zarriess and G. Wefer (2011). Interhemispheric symmetry of the tropical African rainbelt over the past 23,000 years. Nature Geoscience 4, 42-45, doi:10.1038/ngeo1039.
  • [39] D. Heslop, S. De Schepper and U. Proske (2011). Diagnosing the uncertainty of taxa relative abundances derived from count data. Marine Micropaleontology, 79, 114-120,  doi:10.1016/j.marmicro.2011.01.007.
  • [38] D. Heslop and A. Paul (2011). Can oceanic paleothermometers reconstruct the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation? Climate of the Past, 7, 151-159, doi:10.5194/cp-7-151-2011.
  • [37] A.R. Muxworthy and D. Heslop (2011). A Preisach method to estimate absolute paleofield intensity under the constraint of using only isothermal measurements: 1. theoretical framework. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, B04102, doi:10.1029/2010JB007843.
  • [36] A.R. Muxworthy, D. Heslop, G.A. Paterson et al. (2011). A Preisach method to estimate absolute paleofield intensity under the constraint of using only isothermal measurements: 2. experimental testing. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, B04103, doi:10.1029/2010JB007844. 


  • [35] G. A. Paterson, D. Heslop and A. R. Muxworthy (2010). Deriving confidence in palaeointensity estimates. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 11, Q07Z18, doi:10.1029/2010GC003071.
  • [34] S. Mulitza, D. Heslop, D. Pittauerova, H. W. Fischer, I. Meyer, J.-B. Stuut, M. Zabel, G. Mollenhauer, J. A. Collins, H. Kuhnert and M. Schulz (2010). Increase in African dust flux at the onset of commercial agriculture in the Sahel region. Nature, 466, 226-228. doi:10.1038/nature09213.
  • [33] J. Nizou, T.J.J. Hanebuth, D. Heslop, T. Schwenk, L. Palamenghi, J.-B. Stuut and R. Henrich (2010). The Senegal River mud belt: A high-resolution archive of paleoclimatic change and coastal evolution. Marine Geology, 278, 150-164, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2010.10.002
  • [32] A. Bamberg, Y. Rosenthal, A. Paul, D. Heslop, S. Mulitza, C. Ruhlemann and M. Schulz (2010). Reduced North Atlantic Central Water formation in response to early Holocene ice-sheet melting. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L17705, doi:10.1029/2010GL043878.
  • [31] C. M. Köhler, W. Krijgsman, D. J. J. van Hinsbergen, D. Heslop and G. Dupont-Nivet (2010). Concurrent tectonic and climatic changes recorded in upper Tortonian sediments from the Eastern Mediterranean. Terra Nova, 22(1) 52-63. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3121.2009.00916.x
  • [30] S. Rauch, B. Peucker-Ehrenbrink, M. Kylander, D. Weiss, A. Martínez-Cortizas, D. Heslop, C. Olid, T. Mighall and H. Hemond (2010). Anthropogenic forcings on the surficial osmium cycle. Environmental Science & Technology, 44(3), 881-887, doi:10.1021/es901887f.
  • [29] C. M. Köhler, D. Heslop, W. Krijgsman and M. J. Dekkers (2010). Late Miocene paleoenvironmental changes in North Africa and the Mediterranean recorded by geochemical proxies (Monte Gibliscemi section, Sicily). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 285, 66-73, doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.10.025.


  • [28] D. Heslop (2009). Statistical analysis of the rock magnetic S-ratio. Geophysical Journal International, 178(1), 159-161, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04175.x.
  • [27] A.R. Muxworthy, D. Heslop and D.M. Michalk (2009). Thermal fluctuation fields in basalts. Earth Planets Space, 61, 111-117.
  • [25] Z. Gong, M.J. Dekkers, D. Heslop, T.A.T. Mullender (2009). End-member modelling of isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) acquisition curves: a novel approach to diagnose remagnetization. Geophysical Journal International, 178(2), 693-701, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04220.x.
  • [25] A. C. Itambi, T. von Dobeneck, S. Mulitza, T. Bickert and D. Heslop (2009) Millennial-scale North West African droughts relates to H-Events and D-O cycles: Evidence from marine sediments from off-shore Senegal. Paleoceanography, 24, PA1205, doi:10.1029/2007/PA001570.
  • [24] C. Franke, Y. Fu, D. Heslop and T. von Dobeneck (2009). Data report: natural remanent magnetization of IODP Holes U1319A, U1320A, U1322B, and U1324B and magnetic carrier identification by scanning electron microscopy. In Flemings, P.B., Behrmann, J.H., John, C.M., and the Expedition 308 Scientists, Proc. IODP, 308: College Station, TX (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International, Inc.). doi:10.2204/iodp.proc.308.209.2009.


  • [23] P. D. Clift, K. V. Hodges, D. Heslop, R. Hannigan, H. V. Long and G. Calves (2008). Correlation of Himalayan exhumation rates and Asian monsoon intensity. Nature Geoscience, 1, 875-880, doi:10.1038/ngeo351.
  • [22] C.M. Köhler, D. Heslop, M.J. Dekkers, W. Krijgsman, .J.J. van Hinsbergen and T. von Dobeneck (2008). Tracking provenance change during the late Miocene in the Eastern Mediterranean using geochemical and environmental magnetic parameters. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 9, Q12018, doi:10.1029/2008GC002127.
  • [21] Y. Fu, T. von Dobeneck, C. Franke, D. Heslop and S. Kasten (2008). Rock magnetic identification and geochemical process models of greigite ormation in Quaternary marine sediments from the Gulf of Mexico (IODP Hole U1319A). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 275(3-4), 233-245, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2008.07.034.
  • [20] U. Proske, D. Heslop and T. J. J. Hanebuth (2008). Salt production in pre-Funan Vietnam: archaeomagnetic reorientation of briquetage fragments. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36, 84-89, doi:10.1016/j.jas.2008.07.012.


  • [19] D. Heslop (2007). Are hydrodynamic shape effects important when modelling the formation of depositional remanent magnetization? Geophysical Journal International, 171, 1029-1035, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03588.x.
  • [18] D. Heslop (2007). A wavelet investigation of possible orbital influences on past geomagnetic field intensity. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 8, Q03003, doi:10.1029/2006GC001498.
  • [17] D. Heslop and M. Dillon (2007). Unmixing magnetic remanence curves without a priori knowledge. Geophysical Journal International, 170(2), 556-566, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03432.x.
  • [16] D. Heslop, von Dobeneck, T. and M. Höcker (2007). Using non-negative matrix factorization in the unmixing of diffuse reflectance spectra. Marine Geology, 241, 63-78, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2007.03.004.


  • [15] D. Heslop, A. Witt, T. Kleiner and K. Fabian (2006). The role of magnetostatic interactions in sediment suspensions. Geophysical Journal International, 165 (3), 775-785, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.02951.x


  • [14] D. Heslop (2005). A Monte Carlo investigation of the representation of thermally activated single-domain particles within the Day plot. Studia Geophysica Geodetica, 49, 163-176, doi:10.1007/s11200-005-0003-7.
  • [13] D. Heslop and A.R. Muxworthy (2005). Aspects of calculating First-Order Reversal Curve distributions. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 288, 155-167, doi:10.1016/j.jmmm.2004.09.002.
  • [12] A.R. Muxworthy, J. King, J. and D. Heslop (2005). Assessing the ability of First-order-reversal-curve (FORC) diagrams to unravel complex magnetic signals. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110 (B1), B01105, doi:10.1029/2004JB003195.


  • [11] D. Heslop, G. McIntosh and M.J. Dekkers (2004). Using time- and temperature-dependent Preisach models to investigate the limitations of modelling isothermal remanent magnetization acquisition curves with cumulative log Gaussian functions. Geophysical Journal International, 157, 55-63, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2004.02155.x.
  • [10] A.R. Muxworthy, D. Heslop and W. Williams (2004). Influence of magnetostatic interactions on First-Order Reversal Curve (FORC) diagrams: a micromagnetic approach. Geophysical Journal International, 158, 888-897, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2004.02358.x.


  • [9] D. Heslop and M.J. Dekkers (2002). Spectral analysis of unevenly spaced climatic time series using CLEAN: signal recovery and derivation of significance levels using a Monte Carlo simulation. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 130, 103-116, doi:10.1016/S0031-9201(01)00310-7.
  • [8] D. Heslop, M.J. Dekkers, P.P. Kruiver and I.H.M. van Oorschot (2002). Analysis of isothermal remanent magnetisation acquisition curves using the expectation-maximisation algorithm. Geophysical Journal International, 148, 58-64, doi:10.1046/j.0956-540x.2001.01558.x.
  • [7] D. Heslop and M.J. Dekkers and C.G. Langereis (2002). Timing and structure of the Mid-Pleistocene Transition: records from the loess deposits of Northern China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 105, 133-143, doi:10.1016/S0031-0182(02)00282-1.


  • [6] P.P. Kruiver, M.J. Dekkers and D. Heslop (2001). Quantification of magnetic coercivity components by the analysis of acquisition curves of isothermal remanent magnetisation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 189, 269-276, doi:10.1016/S0012-821X(01)00367-3.


  • [5] D. Heslop, C.G. Langereis and M.J. Dekkers (2000). A new astronomical time scale for the loess deposits of Northern China. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 184, 125-139, doi:10.1016/S0012-821X(00)00324-1.
  • [4] T.C. Partridge, A. Latham and D. Heslop (2000). Magnetostratigraphy of Makapansgat, Sterkfontein, Taung and Swartkrans. In: The Cenozoic of southern Africa, 126-129.
  • [3] T.C. Partridge, J. Shaw and D. Heslop (2000). Note on recent magnetostratigraphic analysis in Member 2 of the Sterkfontein formation. In: The Cenozoic of southern Africa, 129-130.


  • [2] D. Heslop, J. Shaw, J. Bloemendal et al. (1999). Sub-Millennial scale variations in East Asian monsoon systems recorded by dust deposits from North-Western Chinese Loess Plateau. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth A, 24(9), 785-792, doi:10.1016/S1464-1895(99)00115-5.
  • [1] T.C. Partridge, J. Shaw, D. Heslop and R.J. Clarke (1999). The new hominid skeleton from Sterkfontein, South Africa: age and preliminary assessment. Journal of Quaternary Science, 14(4), 293-298, doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1417(199907)14:4<293::AID-JQS471>3.0.CO;2-X.

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