Dr Nicky Wright

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Nicky's research focuses on reconstructing past changes in Earth's climate, using both models and proxy data, to better understand how exactly climate has changed and what triggers extreme changes in climate. She is interested in both near-recent periods (such as the last millennium; past 1000 years) and how climate has varied on an interdecadal to interannual scale, as well as changes over geologic time (such as the Cenozoic era; past 65 million years) and the relationship between geodynamics and climate.

Nicky received her PhD from the University of Sydney in 2018, where she explored the sensitivity and consequences of plate tectonic reconstructions and palaeobathymetry to long-term sea level change (from ~200 million years ago to present), and changes in palaeo-ocean circulation across the Eocene-Oligocene transition (EOT; 34 million years ago), a significant time period in Earth's climate. Nicky joined the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes and Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2018. Her work is currently focused on understanding the natural range of climate variability over the last millennium, in both palaeoclimate data and models, and how this relates to climate extremes.



2014–2018:  PhD, University of Sydney
2011–2013:  BSc (Hons) in Geophysics, University of Sydney
2008–2010:  BSc in Psychology, University of Sydney


Google Scholar  |  ResearchGate  |  ORCID iD iconhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5600-3193


Peer-reviewed articles

  • Seton, M., Müller, R.D., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S., Wright, N.M., Cannon, J., Whittaker, J.M., Matthews, K.J., and McGirr, R., 2020, A global data set of present‐day oceanic crustal age and seafloor spreading parameters. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 21, e2020GC009214, doi: 10.1029/2020GC009214

  • Wright, N.M., Seton, M., Williams, S.E., Whittaker, J.M., and Müller, R.D., 2020, Sea-level fluctuations driven by changes in global ocean basin volume following supercontinent break-up, Earth-Science Reviews, v. 208, doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103293

  • Williams, S.E., Wright, N.M., Cannon, J., Flament, N., and Müller, R.D., 2021, Reconstructing seafloor age distributions in lost ocean basins, Geoscience Frontiers, v. 12, doi: 10.1016/j.gsf.2020.06.004

  • Abram, N.J., Hargreaves, J.A., Wright, N.M., Thirumalai, K., Ummenhofer, C.C., and England, M.H., 2020, Palaeoclimate perspectives on the Indian Ocean Dipole, Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 237, doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106302 

  • Merdith, A.S., García del Real, P., Daniel, I., Andreani, M., Wright, N.M., and Coltice, N., 2020, Pulsated global hydrogen and methane flux at mid-ocean ridges driven by Pangea breakup. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 21, doi: 10.1029/2019GC008869

  • Abram, N.J., Wright, N.M., Ellis, B., Dixon, B.C., Wurtzel, J.B., England, M.H., Ummenhofer, C.C., Philibosian, B., Yudawati Cahyarini, S., Yu, T-L., Shen, C-C., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Heslop, D., 2020, Coupling of tropical Indo-Pacific climate variability through the last millennium, Nature, v. 579, p. 385–392, doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2084-4                                 [relevant Conversation article]

  • Wright, N.M., Scher, H.D., Seton, M., Huck, C.E., and Duggan, B.D., 2018, No change in Southern Ocean circulation in the Indian Ocean over the Eocene through late Oligocene. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, v. 33, doi: 10.1002/2017PA003238

  • Dutkiewicz, A., Müller, R.D., Wang, X., O’Callaghan, S., Cannon, J., Wright, N.M., 2017, Predicting sediment thickness on vanished ocean crust since 200 Ma, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 18, doi: 10.1002/2017GC007258

  • Lunt, D.J., Huber, M., Anagnostou, E., Baatsen, M.L.J., Caballero, R., DeConto, R., Dijkstra, H.A., Donnadieu, Y., Evans, D., Feng, R., Foster, G.L., Gasson, E., von der Heydt, A.S., Hollis, C.J., Inglis, G.N., Jones, S.M., Kiehl, J., Kirtland Turner, S., Korty, R. L., Kozdon, R., Krishnan, S., Ladant, J.-B., Langebroek, P., Lear, C.H., LeGrande, A.N., Littler, K., Markwick, P., Otto-Bliesner, B., Pearson, P., Poulsen, C.J., Salzmann, U., Shields, C., Snell, K., Starz, M., Super, J., Tabor, C., Tierney, J.E., Tourte, G.J.L., Tripati, A., Upchurch, G.R., Wade, B.S., Wing, S.L., Winguth, A.M.E., Wright, N.M., Zachos, J.C., and Zeebe, R.E., 2017. The DeepMIP contribution to PMIP4: experimental design for model simulations of the EECO, PETM, and pre-PETM (version 1.0), Geosci. Model Dev., v. 10, p.889–901, doi: 10.5194/gmd-10-889-2017

  • Müller, R.D., Seton, M., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S.E., Matthews, K.J., Wright, N.M., Shephard, G.E., Maloney, K.T., Barnett-Moore, N., Hosseinpour, M., Bower, D.J., and Cannon, J., 2016. Ocean basin evolution and global-scale plate reorganization events since Pangea breakup, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, v. 44, p. 107–138, doi: 10.1146/annurev-earth-060115-012211

  • Wright, N.M., Seton, M., Williams, S.E., and Müller, R.D., 2016. The Late Cretaceous to recent tectonic history of the Pacific Ocean basin, Earth-Science Reviews, v. 154, p. 138–173, doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.11.015

  • Wright, N.M., Müller, R.D., Seton, M., and Williams, S.E., 2016, Revision of Paleogene plate motions in the Pacific and implications for the Hawaiian-Emperor Bend: REPLY, Geology, v. 44, no. 4, doi: 10.1130/G37828Y.1

  • Wright, N.M., Müller, R.D., Seton, M., and Williams, S.E., 2015, Revision of Paleogene plate motions in the Pacific and implications for the Hawaiian-Emperor Bend, Geology, v. 43, no. 5, p. 455–458, doi: 10.1130/G36303.1

  • Seton, M., Whittaker, J., Wessel, P., Müller, R.D., DeMets, C., Merkouriev, S., Cande, S., Gaina, C., Eagles, G., Granot, R., Stock, J., Wright, N., and Williams, S., 2014, Community infrastructure and repository for marine magnetic identifications, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 15, p. 1629–1641, doi: 10.1002/2013GC005176

  • Wright, N., Zahirovic, S., Müller, R.D., and Seton, M., 2013, Towards community-driven paleogeographic reconstructions: integrating open-access paleogeographic and paleobiology data with plate tectonics, Biogeosciences, v. 10, p. 1529–1541, doi: 10.5194/bg-10-1529-2013