Research School of Earth Sciences: 50 Years

Save the date: 8-10 November 2023 to celebrate 50 years of the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences.

schedule Date & time
8 Nov 2023 8:30am - 10 Nov 2023 5:00pm
person Speaker


2023 Jaeger Hales Speaker - Professor Maureen E. Raymo (Columbia University)
Dr Carla Tiraboschi (Universität Münster)
Dr Grace Shephard (University of Oslo)
Dr Felicity McCormack (Monash University)
Dr James Johnson (Geoscience Australia)
Dr Dave Osmond (Windlab)
Dr Stephanie Downes (Deloitte)
Dr Helen Degeling (Cobalt Blue Holdings)
Dr Shane Huntington OAM

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Payments for commemorative RSES 50th paperweight

View photos from our 50th anniversary

2023 marks 50 Years of Earth Sciences at ANU when in 1973, with Anton L. Hales as its first director, the Department of Geophysics and Geochemistry became the new Research School of Earth Sciences.

The RSES 50th Organising Committee


50th Anniversary Schedule

RSES 50th Anniversary Schedule

Invited Speakers

Professor Maureen E. Raymo 2023 Jaeger Hales Speaker - “Sea Level, Climate and Tectonics:  A Multidisciplinary Earth Story.”
Prof. Maureen. E. Raymo

Professor Maureen E. Raymo is Co-Founding Dean Emerita of the Columbia Climate School, past Director of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (July 2020-June 2023), and G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences. She has degrees from Brown and Columbia Universities and studies the history and causes of climate change in Earth's past. She is best known for the Uplift-Weathering Hypothesis that ties global cooling and the onset of the ice ages to a drawdown in atmospheric CO2 caused by the uplift of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. In addition to publishing fundamental work on the stratigraphy and chronology of the recent geologic epochs, Raymo has also proposed hypotheses explaining the patterns of ice sheet variability observed over the last few million years and developed new ways of studying past sea level change. In 2014 she was the first woman to be awarded the Wollaston Medal by the Geological Society of London, their most prestigious award given out annually since 1831.

Dr Carla Tiraboschi

Dr Carla Tiraboschi is an experimental petrologist currently working at the University of Mūnster (Germany). She obtained her PhD in 2015 at the University of Milan (Italy), after that she joined the University of Milan-Bicocca and eventually moved to the University of Mūnster in 2018. Carla's primary area of research focuses on volatiles (H2O, CO2) and their effect on upper mantle dynamics. Carla has used a variety of experimental approaches, from piston cylinders to hydrothermal diamond anvil cells, to characterize high-pressure fluids and melts, and to assess their ability to mobilize elements at depth. She has developed new experimental and analytical strategies to investigate fluid-saturated systems, from volatile speciation to mineral solubility, which she combines with thermodynamic modeling of fluid-rock interaction.

Dr Grace Shephard

Dr Grace Shephard is a geophysicist with a background in plate tectonics and geodynamics. She is is a Senior Researcher at the University of Oslo, hosted at a Norwegian Centre of Excellence - the Centre for Planetary Habitability. Her work integrates multiple datasets (e.g. seismic tomography, potential field, numerical modelling, geochemistry, geology) to unravel the connection between the surface and deep interior of Earth. She has a particular interest in the evolution of ocean basins during the Phanerozoic, and the development of the polar regions. She received her PhD from the EarthByte Group at the University of Sydney in 2013, and has been based in Norway for the past 10 years. Grace received the European Geoscience Union’s Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists in 2016, and is currently funded by a Norwegian Researcher Talent grant for her project “POLARIS - evolution of the Arctic in deep time.” She is also active in science communication (#UseBatlow) and polar science networks. Grace has recently joined RSES as an Honorary Senior Lecturer.

Dr Felicity McCormack

Dr Felicity McCormack is an ARC DECRA Fellow in Antarctic Research and Chief Investigator on the ARC Special Research Initiative Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future at Monash University, Melbourne. Felicity's research focusses on predicting Antarctica’s future contribution to sea level rise, using ice sheet models, geophysical observations, and theory. In 2019, Felicity was awarded a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Irvine.

Dr James Johnson (Chief Executive Officer at Geoscience Australia)

Dr James Johnson is a geologist with over 35 years experience, including private sector mining and mineral exploration and science leadership in government. He is an international leader in applying geoscience to solving society’s major economic, social and environmental challenges. James has led numerous teams of geoscientists and recorded a diverse array of achievements, from the discovery of two million ounces of gold reserves while in industry, to the creation of national geoscience programs for government attracting significant exploration investment to Australia. He is passionate about building a more diverse and inclusive Geoscience Australia, in particular by engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Dr Dave Osmond (Windlab)
Dr David Osmond pursued a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics at ANU, followed by a Ph.D. in geophysical fluid dynamics. As a Wind Engineer at Windlab for over two decades, David's contributions have been instrumental in the development of more than 1 GW of wind projects in diverse regions such as Australia, South Africa, and Canada, along with a pioneering hybrid wind, solar, and battery project in Queensland. Furthermore, David's commitment to advancing wind energy education is exemplified by his role in establishing a graduate-level course at ANU, which evolved from a 2-week intensive program he helped create, and his ongoing participation as a guest speaker at the School of Engineering. David Osmond's profound expertise, academic accomplishments, and professional achievements have left an indelible mark on the renewable energy landscape.
Dr Stephanie Downes(Deloitte)

Dr Stephanie Downes is an innovative climate scientist and specialist who has independently designed, led and managed dozens of national and international evidence-based projects for over a decade. She applies climate science knowledge to assessing physical climate risk for major organisations globally. Stephanie is an expert in the evaluation of global and regional climate models, statistical quantification of climate trends, and assessment of physical risks for multiple climate scenarios using extensive programming skills. She is experienced at managing diverse project teams. Passionate about using analytical skills to tackle global climate and sustainability issues. She has extensive experience in communicating and educating on past to future climate changes.

Dr Helen Degeling - Project Acquisition Manager for Cobalt Blue Holdings

Dr Helen Degeling is a geologist with over 18 years’ experience in industry, academia, and government. She has worked as an exploration geologist and Exploration Manager in gold and base metals throughout Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, as well as consulting to a variety of mineral explorers and producers both domestically and abroad. As the Director, Minerals Geoscience for the Geological Survey of Queensland she initiated the Queensland Government’s Circular Economy, Secondary Prospectivity, traceability and Sustainable REE processing programs. She is a passionate advocate for the growth and evolution of the minerals sector in line with the demands of a just transition towards decarbonisation and adoption of ESG standards globally. In her current role as Project Acquisition Manager for Cobalt Blue, Helen aims to realise the opportunities for green metal extraction from mine waste to support the energy transition.

Dr Shane Huntington (Gala Dinner Speaker)

Dr. Shane Huntington is an accomplished speaker, executive coach, workshop facilitator, MC, and strategist with a passion for science and communication. In 1993 while doing his Honours degree in Astrophysics/Optics, Shane had his first serious taste of science communication broadcasting on 3RRR in Melbourne. Although already an accomplished presenter, successfully leading the RRR science team enabled him to fine tune his communication and production skills. Shane has interviewed 1000s of researchers including Jane Goodall and Apollo astronaut Captain Gene Cernan. Between 1998 and 2008 Shane worked as a Physicist at the University of Melbourne, successfully acquiring some $10m in grants over a 10 year period and publishing some 80 papers. Between 2005 and 2008 Shane established and led Quantum Communications Victoria (QCV), a $9m program to commercialise Australia’s first export based on Quantum Physics.


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