Plenary Speakers

Professor Andrew Gleadow, University of Melbourne, Melbourne Australia.
Evolution of the Kimberley landscape and dating Aboriginal rock-art

 Dr Joel Pedro, Australian Antarctic Division, Hobart, Australia.
From snow pits to a million year ice-core: unlocking the secrets of Antarctica’s role in global climate change

Dr Jocelyn Turnbull, Radiocarbon Laboratory, GNS, Wellington, New Zealand.
Dramatic lockdown fossil fuel carbon dioxide decrease detected by citizen science supported radiocarbon observations

 Professor Brian Fields, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA
When Stars Attack! AMS Reveals Near-Earth Supernova Explosions

Professor  Jane Willenbring, Department of Geological Sciences, Stanford University
Forging Signatures: Climate’s Limited Role in Shaping and Changing the Earth’s Surface

Click on the presentation title to view their abstract.


Andy Gleadow
School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Melbourne

Monday, 15th November | 08:15 – 09:00

Presentation Title: The Kimberley Rock Art Dating Project – a multi-system approach to dating Aboriginal rock art and landscape evolution in Australia’s remote Kimberley region

Andy Gleadow is an Emeritus Professor and former Head of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He has been a pioneer in the development of fission tack thermochronology and other dating methods in geology and their application to natural environments throughout the world. His interests have included applications to global tectonics, sedimentary basin analysis, and landscape evolution. His research has also included dating fossil hominin sites in East Africa and developing new approaches to dating rock art in northern Australia. Andy’s work has been recognised by numerous awards, medals, and fellowships, including the Research Medal of the Royal Society of Victoria, the AINSE Gold Medal, the Jaeger Medal of the Australian Academy of Science and the International Laslett Prize. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and was awarded an AO for distinguished service to the earth sciences and education in 2017. He is also a Director of Rock Art Australia and is Project Leader for the Kimberley Rock Art Dating Project.


Joel Pedro
Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston TAS, Australia, Australian Antarctic Program Partnership, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania

Tuesday, 16th November | 08:00 – 08:45

Presentation Title: From snow pits to a million year ice-core: taking the measure of the planet from Antarctica

Dr Joel Pedro is Lead Project Scientist on the AAD’s Million Year Ice Core (MYIC) Project. The goal of his group is to drill, measure and interpret a continuous ice core record spanning at least 1.2 million years of Earth’s climate and atmospheric history.
Joel’s work applies observational and modelling approaches to a wide range of topics in Quaternary palaeoclimate, climate dynamics and glaciology. His work has spanned cosmogenic 10Be in Antarctic surface snow to CO2 in the deep ice core record. A particular focus is testing hypotheses on the atmosphere, ocean and cryosphere interactions responsible for millennial to orbital-scale climate transitions. His research highlights include Pedro et al., Clim. Past, 2012, which shows there is no significant time lag between the Antarctic temperature and atmospheric CO2 increases during the last deglaciation, Pedro et al., Nature Geosci., 2016, which maps the spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal across the Southern Hemisphere, and Pedro et al., Quat. Sci. Rev., 2018, which advances a process understanding of inter-hemispheric climate coupling during past periods of abrupt climate change.
Joel completed undergraduate studies (Chemistry, Hydrology) at the University of Western Australia followed by Honours and PhD studies at the University of Tasmania, in collaboration with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. Prior to returning to Australia for his current role, he completed a JISAO Postdoc Fellowship at the University of Washington and a Marie Curie Postdoc Fellowship at the University of Copenhagen.
Joel has conducted ice core field work in Antarctica, Greenland and the sub-Antarctic islands. This summer he goes south to commence drilling of the Million Year Ice Core.


Jocelyn Turnbull
Radiocarbon Science Leader, GNS Science

Wednesday, 17th November | 08:00 – 08:45

Presentation Title: Dramatic lockdown fossil fuel carbon dioxide decrease detected by citizen science supported radiocarbon observations

Jocelyn Turnbull holds joint appointments at GNS Science, New Zealand the University of Colorado, USA. Dr Turnbull started her career as a radiocarbon technician and lab manager, and then obtained her PhD on Development and Environmental Applications of Atmospheric 14CO2 Measurement from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2006. She spent time establishing a global radiocarbon modelling capability at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, before moving to the NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory in Boulder, USA, where she was primarily involved in establishing urban greenhouse gas observational methodologies. In 2011, she returned home to New Zealand where she leads the GNS Science Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory, which maintains expertise in a wide range of radiocarbon applications, supporting earth science research in New Zealand and around the world. Jocelyn’s research investigates the modern carbon cycle, particularly the source and fate of fossil fuel derived CO2, She uses radiocarbon and related tracers to understand the sources and sinks of greenhouse gases at the local, urban and regional scales. Current projects include: CarbonWatch-NZ evaluating New Zealand’s natural and anthropogenic carbon budget; INFLUX, the Indianapolis Flux Project evaluating urban greenhouse gas emissions; and SOAR, Southern Ocean Atmospheric Radiocarbon, investigating Southern Ocean carbon exchange. She is co-chair of the World Meteorological Organisation’s IG3IS initiative, connecting atmospheric greenhouse gas observations to local, national and international climate policy.


Brian Fields
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA

Thursday, 18th November | 08:00 – 08:45

Presentation Title: When Stars Attack! AMS Reveals Near-Earth Supernova Explosions

Brian Fields is a professor of Astronomy and affiliate faculty in Physics at the University of Illinois, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He studies the “inner space/outer space” connections that link the science at the smallest and largest scales. He is particularly interested in the highest-energy sites in nature–the big bang, exploding stars (supernovae), and high-energy particles in space (cosmic rays, neutrinos,and gamma rays)–where all fundamental forces play essential roles. Understanding these processes and their interplay allows us to trace the history of matter over cosmic time, ranging from recent near-Earth supernovae to the evolution of elements in our Galaxy to the primordial nucleosynthesis in the early universe. Turning the problem around, he uses these high-energy phenomena as particle accelerators to probe fundamental physics in ways inaccessible to terrestrial experiment.


Jane Willenbring
Department of Geological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA

Friday, 19th November | 08:00 – 08:45

Presentation Title: Forging Signatures: Climate’s Limited Role in Shaping and Changing the Earth’s Surface

Jane Willenbring is an Associate Professor of Geological Sciences at Stanford University. Her research examines the evolution of the Earth’s surface and uses cosmogenic nuclides to understand how landscapes are affected by tectonics, climate change, and life. She also organizes environmental justice campaigns around urban soil pollution and does outreach and education to try to reduce harassment and discrimination in STEM. She is a fellow of Geological Society of America and the recipient of numerous awards including the inaugural Marguerite T. Williams award from the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Willenbring is one of the scientists featured in the PBS | NOVA documentary film “Picture a Scientist” that is now available to watch on Netflix.

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