Past Climates & Environmental Impacts


We reconstruct Past Climates using the geochemical signals preserved in corals, cave records and ice cores. Our research looks at climate change in Earth’s recent history, as well as the natural changes that have occurred over hundreds of thousands of years.

Our work focuses on scientific questions that impact on Australasian societies, including:

  • Reconstructing the history of the Australasian monsoon rainfall using cave records
  • Tracing changes in the Indian Ocean Dipole and its influence on Australian rainfall using corals
  • Detecting patterns in the Sumatran great earthquake cycle from coral geochemistry
  • Examining the influence of past climate and natural disasters on human migration through Indonesia
  • Understanding how tropical and Antarctic climate systems interact using ice core data and tropical climate reconstructions.

Our graduate students contribute regularly to the fabulous RSES student blog Oncirculation: it's not just about socks and sandals!

Research group in the 251 mass spec laboratory, September 2012. Front (left to right): Bronwyn Dixon, Mike Gagan, Claire Krause, Ali Kimbrough, Nick Scroxton. Back (left to right): Joan Cowley, Heather Scott-Gagan, Bob Burne, Joe Cali, Nerilie Abram.

Updated:  26 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  RSES Webmaster/Page Contact:  RSES Webmaster