CHRIS TURNEY                                 2013


By a series of accidental turns and a healthy dose of serendipity I’ve ended up investigating the past. The passing hands of nature’s clock are vital for my work. I’m fascinated by what makes our planet tick and have spent my research career exploring what happened when.

Chris Turney at the South Geographic Pole, 17 January 2012

I am an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales where my team and I are focussing our efforts on finding lessons from the past.  I’m particularly interested in past and future climates, how people have responded to change, and recent human evolution and migration. To do something positive about climate change, I helped set up a carbon refining company called Carbonscape which has developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products, helping reduce greenhouse gas levels.

You can view my research papers in Google Scholar by clicking here.

This site gives a taster of what I have done and what I am working on now. I am currently organising and leading the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014, repeating century old measurements to discover and communicate the changes taking place in this remote and pristine environment. My recent book is called 1912: The Year The World Discovered Antarctica and looks at the great leap forward in Antarctic scientific discovery that was made a century ago. There is also a short online lecture where I talk about some of the bizarre events and eccentric characters that have helped us understand time today.  Or if you fancy a virtual exploration of human evolution in southeast Asia, click on the fieldtrip link to learn about some classic Indonesian archaeological sites which includes the discovery of an entirely new species of human we called Homo floresiensis (popularly known as the ‘hobbits’).



Chris Turney in Svalbard

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future

And time future contained in time past

TS ELIOT (1888-1965)

Future Events

Friday 27 September 2013, 6-7 pm, University of Canterbury (Ilam Road, Christchurch, New Zealand) public lecture on The Australasian Antarctic Expedition  2013-2014: In the Spirit of Mawson

Thursday 3 October 2013, 6-8 pm, South Australia Museum (Royal Society Rooms, Adelaide, Australia) public lecture on The Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014: In the Spirit of Mawson

For regular updates, you can follow me on all manner of social media:

Google+ at +Intrepid Science

Blog at Intrepid Science;

YouTube on Chris Turney - Intrepid Science Channel;

Instagram at Intrepid Science; and

Twitter @ProfChrisTurney.

Hope you can join us!

In 2007, I was privileged to be the first recipient of the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) Sir Nicholas Shackleton Medal for outstanding young Quaternary scientist for pioneering research into past climate change and dating the past. In 2008 I was the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize for contributions to understanding the evolution of the Earth’s climate over the last 50,000 years. Most recently I was honoured to be awarded the 2009 Geological Society of London’s Bigsby Medal for services to geology.

Front cover of 1912: The Year the World Discovered Antarctica

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