Since 1992 Ayliffe has been involved in a wide variety of palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironment research, taking up an NERC Research Associate position from 1992 to 1994 in the Department of Geology, Manchester, U.K., and an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship from 1994 to 1998 in the Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU. From 1998 to 2000 Ayliffe worked as a CNRS Research Associate at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de L’Environment, France, and from 2000 to 2005 as a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah, USA. From 2006 she has been employed as a Research Fellowship at The Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU.
Ayliffe’s interests include the application of stable and radio-isotope techniques to palaeoclimatological and low-temperature geochemical problems in the geosciences field. Palaeo-environmental reconstructions have been attempted using U/Th, AMS 14C, stable and trace element analysis of tropical speleothems. Past sea surface temperatures and surface-ocean water balances have been estimated using U/Th, Sr/Ca and stable isotope analyses of modern and fossil corals. Dietary reconstructons (and hence environmental reconstructions) have been made using stable isotopes preserved in modern and fossil tooth enamel.
- Ayliffe, L.K., Prideaux, G.J., Bird, M.I., Grün, R., Roberts, R.G., Gully, G.A., Jones, R., Fifield, L.K., and Cresswell, R.G. 2008. Age constraints on Pleistocene megafauna at Tight Entrance Cave in southwestern Australia. Quaternary Science Reviews 27: 1784-1788.
- Prideaux, G.J., Long, J.A., Ayliffe, L.K., Hellstrom, J., Pillans, B., Boles, W., Hutchinson, M.N., Roberts, R.G., Cupper, M.L., Arnold, L.J., Devine, P.D. & Warburton, N.M. 2007. An arid-adapted middle Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from south-central Australia.Nature 445, 422–425.
- Ayliffe, L.K., Cerling T.E., Robinson, T., West, A., Sponheimer, M., Passey, B., Hammer, J., Roeder, B, Dearing, D., Ehleringer, J. 2004. Turnover of stable isotopes in tail hair and breath CO2 of horses fed an isotopically varied diet. Oecologia 139, 11-22.
- Roberts, R.G., Yoshida, H., Flannery, T.F., Ayliffe, L.K., Olley, J.M., Prideaux, G.J., Laslett, G.M., Baynes, A., Smith, M.A., Jones, R. & Smith, B.L. 2001. New ages for the last Australian megafauna: continent-wide extinction about 46,000 years ago. Science 292, 1888–1892
- Gagan, M.K., Ayliffe, L.K., Beck, W.J., Cole, J.E., Druffel, E.R.M., Dunbar, R.B., Schrag, D.P. 2000. New Views of Tropical Paleoclimates from Corals PAGES Open Science Forum Quaternary Science Reviews 19, 45-64.
- Bird, M.I., Ayliffe, L.K., Fifield, K., Cresswell, R.G., Turney, C.S.M., Barrows, T.T. and David, B. 1999. Radiocarbon dating of ‘old’ charcoal using a wet oxidation - stepped combustion procedure. Radiocarbon 41, 127-140.
- Miller, G.H., Magee, J.W., Johnson, B.J., Fogel, M.L., Spooner, N.A., McCulloch, M.T., Ayliffe, L.K. 1999. Pleistocene Extinction of Genyornis newtoni: Human Impact on Australian Megafauna. Science 283, 205-208.
- Ayliffe, L.K., Marianelli, P.C. Moriarty, K., Wells, R.T., McCulloch, M.T., Mortimer, G.E., Hellstrom, J.C. 1998. Interglacials as periods of relative aridity in Australia over the last 500 ka. Geology 26, 147-150.
- Gagan, M.K., Ayliffe, L.K., Hopley, D., Cali, J.A., Mortimer, G.E., Chappell, J.M.A., McCulloch, M.T., Head, M.J. 1998. Temperature and surface-ocean water balance of the mid-Holocene tropical western Pacific. Science 279, 1014-1018.
- Ayliffe, L.K. and Chivas, A.R. 1990. Oxygen isotope composition of the bone phosphate of Australian kangaroos. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 54, 2603-2609.