PhD Candidate

James Cook University

Russell is a geology PhD candidate with CABAH’s James Cook University Node. He has a background in Environmental and Marine Geoscience, with his honors research in soil chemistry and microbiology.

Russell’s previous honours research focussed on the suppressive affect soil-physicochemical parameters and plant-root exudates have against a destructive soil-born pathogen that causes Fusarium wilt in bananas.

Russell’s current PhD research focuses on the role tectonics may have played on the demise of Pleistocene mega-Lake Eyre, and what implications this may have had on early human occupation in Australia.

His work utilises detrital zircon provenance, isotope geochemistry, radiocarbon and optical stimulated luminescence dating to reconstruct the climates of tropical and central Australia over the last 200,000 years. Determination of the paleohydrology of the Georgina River catchment and its relative contribution over time into Lake Eyre will be a key result of the project.

An essential item in Russell’s toolkit:

“Zircons! These small heavy minerals can persist for billions of years and tell the story of where they have come from, what geological processes they have survived and which rivers they may have travelled.”

Research Gate