Apply to sail on IODP Expedition 403: Eastern Fram Strait Paleo-Archive

Applications close 1 March 2023

Applications are invited from scientists in IODP-participating countries to join the Science Party for IODP Expedition 403: Eastern Fram Strait Paleo-Archive, taking place from 4 June – 2 August 2024 onboard JOIDES ResolutionView the Expedition 403 webpage

INFORMATION WEBINAR: 11am Tuesday 14 February EST/ 2am Wednesday 15 February AEDT (recorded for replay) click here to register

Background

The North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans are major players in the climatic evolution of the Northern Hemisphere and in the history of meridional overturning circulation of the Atlantic Ocean. The establishment of modern North Atlantic water has been identified as one of the main forcing mechanisms for the onset of the Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Many uncertainties remain about the establishment, evolution, and role of the northern North Atlantic-Arctic Ocean circulation in relation to the opening of the Fram Strait, and its impact on the Earth’s global climate during major climatic transitions that have occurred since the Late Miocene.

Understanding system interactions between ocean currents and the cryosphere under changing insulation and CO2 conditions of the past is particularly important for ground truthing climate models. The reconstruction of the paleo Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice Sheet (SBSIS) is critical as it is considered the best available analogue to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, whose loss of stability is presently the major uncertainty in projecting global sea level in response to present-day global climate warming induced by rapidly increasing atmospheric CO2 content. Reconstructing the dynamic history of the western margin of Svalbard and eastern side of the Fram Strait at the gateway to the Arctic is key to understanding the linkage between atmospheric CO2 concentration, ocean dynamics, and cryosphere as main drivers of climate changes. 

Scientific objectives

The key scientific objectives of Expedition 403 are:

  1. The development of a high-resolution chronostratigraphic record of the Late Miocene-Quaternary
  2. The generation of multi-proxy data sets to better constrain the forcing mechanisms responsible for Late Miocene to Quaternary climatic transitions
  3. The identification of orbital, sub-orbital, millennial scale climate variations such as Heinrich events and possible associated meltwater
  4. The evaluation of impacts and feedbacks involving past sediment-laden prominent meltwater events on water masses properties, ocean circulation, ice sheet instability, slope stability, and biota
  5. The reconstruction of paleo SBSIS dynamic history in relation to changes in the ocean current pathways and characteristics as mechanisms inducing ice sheet instability and fast retreat
  6. The study of glacial and tectonic stresses and their effect on near-surface deformation and Earth systems dynamics, and
  7. The linkages between large-scale environmental changes and microbial population variability.

These objectives will be accomplished through coring and borehole logging multiple holes at five sediment drift sites to create a composite stratigraphy.

For more information on the expedition science objectives and the JOIDES Resolution expedition schedule, see http://iodp.tamu.edu/scienceops/. This site includes links to individual expedition web pages with the original IODP proposals and expedition planning information. 

Who should apply

We encourage applications from all qualified scientists. The JOIDES Resolution Science Operator (JRSO) is committed to a policy of broad participation and inclusion, and to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all program participants. Opportunities exist for researchers (including graduate students) in many shipboard specialties, including sedimentologists, biostratigraphers (siliceous, calcareous, and organic-walled microfossils and palynomorphs), organic and inorganic geochemists, microbiologists, physical properties specialists/borehole geophysicists (including downhole measurements and stratigraphic correlation), and paleomagnetists. Good working knowledge of the English language is required.

How to apply

Applications for participation must be submitted to the appropriate IODP Program Member Office. In your application, please specify if you are interested in participating offshore-onshore or onshore-only. Please note that there is no option to participate offshore-only. 

Applications should reach the appropriate Program Member Office no later than 1 March 2023.

Apply to host the ANZIC Marine Geoscience Masterclass 2023/2024

Proposal deadline: 17 February 2023

ANZIC invites proposals from member institutions to host the ANZIC Marine Geoscience Masterclass in 2023 and 2024.

Scope

The ANZIC Marine Geoscience Masterclass aims to introduce high achieving undergraduate students to specialist techniques and unique opportunities to prepare them for future participation in scientific ocean drilling expeditions run under the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). Hosting an ANZIC Masterclass is a great opportunity to share knowledge from and expertise in IODP. Up to 20 students are selected by member institutions to attend the annual ANZIC Masterclass.

How will ANZIC support you?

  • Provide funding of up to AUD~$65k per year to host the ANZIC Masterclass
  • Arrange all marketing materials, including a welcome pack, posters and a unique ANZIC Masterclass logo. 
  • Assist with travel arrangements for participants and provide ongoing support.

Proposal submission

Proposal submissions should include the following:

  • Host details – which institution/s are involved in the proposal, indicating the lead proponent. 
  • Proposed dates and schedule for the Masterclass 
  • Venue for events and accommodation
  • Outline of proposed field trips, site visits and logistics
  • List of Masterclass co-ordinators
  • List of staff and teaching support

Budget

Developing a budget is an important task in planning and managing the ANZIC Masterclass. The budget should include income and expenditure with realistic figures. 

A budget template is provided as an attachment to this Call.  

Guidelines

Host co-ordinators will be expected adhere to the following guiding principles for the ANZIC Masterclass event:

  1. ANZIC Masterclass convenors will need to be committed to providing a safe, productive environment that supports an open exchange of ideas, that provides equal opportunities for everyone to learn and thrive, and that promotes an environment that is free of bias, discrimination, and harassment. Teaching flexibility will be essential to target a varied knowledge base of experienced students. 
  2. The host institution will develop a risk management plan and will include the appropriate risk actions to treat the identified risk and incident reporting measures for the event.
  3. It is anticipated that the host will conduct an end of course student survey to evaluate the benefits and provide meaningful feedback. 
  4. Food should be a part of your budget and we encourage the convenor to provide a variety of healthy and nutritious food: 
  5. consider offering food sourced locally or using local suppliers;
  6. ensure there is plenty of fruit and vegetable options available; and
  7. offer a variety of cuisines to suit a range of dietary requirements and cultures.
  8. Fieldtrips/site visits/workshops should be carefully planned and cover a range of educational material during which students become familiar with the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), scientific drilling in general and Earth science more broadly through interactions with IODP scientists. Practical hands-on activities are encouraged and can include, but are not limited to, logging exercises, exposure to IODP cores , grab samples, examining sedimentary rocks, volcanic succession, smear slides, virtual drill ship tours and guided tours of research labs.
  9. A diverse selection of speakers should be included in the ANZIC Masterclass Program. These speakers should have a track record of remarkable scientific achievements, experience on an IODP Expedition and been involved in discoveries made as part of IODP. The purpose of this program is to engage students, enhance knowledge and to raise the profile of IODP and marine geoscience more broadly.
  10. Accommodation for the ANZIC Masterclass can consist of multi-shared arrangements. The space must be comfortable and have the required amenities and facilities for interactive group discussions. 
  11. Travel arrangements – all domestic/international flight arrangements are to be arranged either by ANZIC or by the convenor. All flights should be economy class and be directly to and from the location of origin. If any variations of travel are requested, a calculation of the direct route would be determined and the quoted funds would be made available to the participant to complete their own booking. Travel insurance is the responsibility of the participant. 
  12. The duration of the ANZIC Masterclass should be a minimum of five full days and it should be scheduled at a time that would allow involvement from all ANZIC member institutions. 
  13. It would be expected that the invitation to participate in this event is extended to our International IODP partners, in particular to ECORD who provide ANZIC access to their training courses.

Terms & Conditions

The successful host will be required to sign an agreement with Australian National University/ANZIC IODP that formalises terms and conditions associated with funding the ANZIC Masterclass.  


ANZIC Future D.E.E.P. Regional Planning Workshop: 3-4 April 2023, Hobart

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: click here to register

Registration is now open for ANZIC’s Future D.E.E.P. regional planning workshop, taking place in Hobart from 3-4 April 2023. The Future DEEP workshop will provide an important channel for the development of innovative drilling proposals concerning diverse scientific topics for submission to scientific ocean drilling programs (for post-IODP drilling) and ICDP. The free two-day hybrid event is open to all.

The workshop will be introduced with a plenary session of international invited speakers outlining the broad science plans of the scientific drilling programs (post-IODP platform providers, ICDP) and capabilities (including site surveys and other national drilling and digital infrastructure), as well as lightning talks reviewing key themes and ideas in the regional context during breakout sessions. A field trip and networking event are also available to in-person attendees. 

Stay tuned for more details on this much-anticipated opportunity to explore the next phase of scientific drilling and trigger new proposals for implementation in our region and beyond. The ANZIC Office is currently accepting short email Expressions of Interest (EOI) for focused themes for breakout sessions, with submissions open until 15 March 2023.

Find out more here: Future D.E.E.P Workshop

Understanding volcano systems to mitigate threats: Acacia Clark on Expedition 398

The Hellenic arc – comprising the Santorini, Christiana, and Kolumbo volcanic centres in Greece’s Aegean Sea – is one of Europe’s most active volcanic centres. It is also particularly hazardous, producing many highly explosive eruptions with catastrophic impacts throughout Earth’s history.

IODP Expedition 398: Hellenic Arc Volcanic Field, onboard the JOIDES Resolution from 11 December 2022 until 10 February 2023, will drill deep into the sediments around these volcanoes and inside Santorini caldera to provide a rich record of volcanic activity extending back around three million years. Growing our understanding of island arc volcanism is crucial work, with roughly 800 million people across the globe threatened by volcanic eruptions. 

University of Tasmania PhD candidate Acacia Clark will represent ANZIC in the Onboard Science Party for the expedition, while Victoria University of Wellington Post Doctoral Research Fellow Dr Jenni Hopkins will join the Onshore Science Party. We spoke with Acacia as she prepared to fly out ahead of boarding.

Q&A with Acacia Clark, University of Tasmania

Tell us a little about your career and research to date.

I’m about 18 months into my PhD at UTas, where I’m investigating explosive silicic eruptions. I’ve divided my PhD into two parts; the first is focused on Mount Tarawera in the North Island of New Zealand, looking at the 1315 CE Kaharoa eruption which fluctuated in intensity over short time periods. This is unusually unsteady behaviour that isn’t well understood. I’m looking at what influenced that unsteadiness, and because it was quite a hazardous eruption. If something similar was to happen again, it would be devastating for New Zealand and probably also for Australia so it’s really important to understand as much as possible about this eruption. 

The second part is focused on the Hellenic arc in the Mediterranean, and that’s where the expedition comes into play. Silicic eruptions also occur underwater, but we don’t know much about silicic submarine eruptions – they’re hard to get to given they’re under a lot of water so we don’t have much data. On Expedition 398, we’ll be able to drill into the sediments that are surrounding these underwater volcanoes to gain high-resolution data from these eruptions and help us understand how these submarine eruptions can be quite different to those on land.

What is your specific role on the expedition?

My role is as a core describer, so I’ll be looking in high detail at the cores once they come onboard and describing and logging what I see. This includes looking at the different materials that the core is made up of, such as volcanic ash, pebble-sized volcanic products known as lapilli, or marine sediments. I was lucky enough to sail as a core describer on an expedition earlier this year on RV Investigator where we also drilled for sediments containing volcanic tephra, so I have some experience going in.

What are the key questions that Expedition 398 seeks to answer through the sediments that you’ll be examining?

Volcanic eruptions, particularly highly explosive ones, are very hazardous and life threatening. They produce huge ash plumes, very hot ground-hugging ash and rock flows, and even earthquakes and tsunamis. To understand how these hazards are linked to volcanic activity, we have to look at what’s driving that volcanism and how these volcanoes interact with their surroundings, whether these are terrestrial or marine environments. During the expedition, we’re going to explore questions around the links between the crustal tectonics, volcanic activity and magma genesis, the dynamics and impacts of explosive submarine volcanic and caldera forming activity, and how calderas collapse during explosive eruptions and recover to enter new magmatic cycles. We’ll also be touching on how the marine ecosystem reacts to volcanic eruptions, because that hasn’t really been explored in detail.

Why is the Hellenic volcanic arc system an ideal location to seek those answers?

It’s actually a really great place to try and answer these questions, because it consists of three large volcanic centres – Christiana, Santorini, and Colombo – along with several submarine volcanoes. Volcanoes in this region have erupted quite explosively in the past, and the deposits on land have been extensively studied but the majority of the erupted deposits lie on the sea floor within rift basins and the Santorini caldera itself. These deposits are hundreds of meters thick so hold a really great record of the volcanic history of the area. By drilling to sample these deposits we’ll be able to fill gaps in the onshore records, but we’ll also access much older deposits than those preserved on land. This will give us an extensive record of the past history that goes much further back than what we’ve already learned from the land deposits. 

What’s the significance of filling that gap in our knowledge, including in our region?

One important reason is that submarine volcanic activity can generate tsunamis and also earthquakes – which can also trigger a tsunami separately. Anyone who lives near the ocean probably wants to know how that might occur or when that might occur, including here in Australia. The Kermadec arc, which contains several active volcanoes, extends from the top of the North Island of New Zealand up to Tonga; there was a massive eruption earlier this year that produced a devastating tsunami for Tonga. It’s important for us to understand submarine volcanic activity and island arc volcanism because it can generate tsunami events, and they can have huge impacts.

What are you hoping to find in the sediments, and what will that bring to your research moving forward?

One of my key aims is to learn more about submarine volcanic processes. Hydrostatic pressure and water does influence a volcanic eruption and it changes the depth at which magma begins to degas and fragment and quench; that’s different to what we see on land. The majority of Earth’s volcanism happens under the ocean surface, so it’s vital for us to know how volcanic activity is influenced by this environment. I’ll also be looking at different ways we can distinguish primary eruption-fed deposits – those emplaced directly by a volcanic event – from those that have been transported from another location and resedimented; it’s not always easy to tell when looking at a core. Without knowing which deposit has come from which type of event we get a mixed or misleading view.

As a PhD candidate early in your research career, what does being part of an IODP expedition mean to you?

It’s a pretty amazing opportunity; I feel very lucky. Who wouldn’t want to go on a ship and experience cutting edge research as it’s happening? I’ll also get to meet and work with some of the best scientists in the world in these fields. As a young scientist, I’m looking forward to learning from everyone on board and collaborating with them, and making great connections that will continue into the future.

As you’re preparing to board, how are you feeling about life at sea for the next two months? What are you most looking forward to?

I’m quite excited to be heading off to sea. I have some idea of what to expect from my previous research voyage, and what excited me most there was when we would bring up the core and open it to see what was inside. It’s strange feeling to think that you’re looking at sediments that have been sitting on the ocean floor for years and years, and we’re the first people to look at them. You don’t know what you’ll find and there’s a story in every core, so I’m really looking forward to that. But I have to admit I’m also really looking forward to the food; I’m not a great cook but I love eating, so it’s just luxury having people make food for you every day!

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**DEADLINE EXTENDED to 24/01/23** IODP Expedition Call 402: Tyrrhenian Continent-Ocean Transition

**Applications now open until 24 January 2023**

Applications are invited from scientists in IODP-participating countries to join the Science Party for IODP Expedition 402: Tyrrhenian Continent-Ocean Transition, taking place from 9 February – 8 April 2024 onboard JOIDES Resolution. View the Expedition 402 webpage

Background

Expedition 402 will investigate the temporal and spatial evolution of a continent-ocean transition (COT), from breakup to robust magmatism and subsequent mantle exhumation with closely time-related magmatism. The Tyrrhenian Basin is the youngest basin of the western Mediterranean Sea, forming in the late Miocene to recent by continental extension related to rollback of the ESE-SE migrating Apennine subduction system. Its basement has been dredged along bathymetric highs and the stratigraphy is reasonably well known from three prior drilling expeditions (DSDP Legs 13 and 42 and ODP Leg 107). 

Recent geophysical and seismic data support the presence of magmatic rocks formed during the early COT phase, and of subsequently exhumed mantle. The youth of the basin results in a modest sediment cover which facilitates sampling of the peridotitic and magmatic basement across the conjugated COT of the basin with unprecedented spatial resolution. Expedition 402 will target six sites along a west-east and north-south transect, with drill cores recovering peridotitic basement at each site, followed by downhole logging.

Scientific objectives

The recovered material and data from Expedition 402 will address five primary scientific objectives:

  1. Determine the kinematics and geometry in space and time of the extensional deformation in the basin.
  2. Establish the timing and origin of the associated magmatism.
  3. Establish the rheology, deformation patterns and timing of mantle exhumation.
  4. Determine the compositional evolution and heterogeneity of the mantle source.
  5. Test current models of continental lithosphere rifting and of COT formation.

For more information on the expedition science objectives and the JOIDES Resolution expedition schedule, see http://iodp.tamu.edu/scienceops/. This site includes links to individual expedition web pages with the original IODP proposals and expedition planning information. 

Who should apply

We encourage applications from all qualified scientists. The JOIDES Resolution Science Operator (JRSO) is committed to a policy of broad participation and inclusion, and to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all program participants. Opportunities exist for researchers (including graduate students) in all shipboard specialties, including micropaleontologists, sedimentologists, petrologists, igneous geochemists, inorganic and organic geochemists, microbiologists, paleomagnetists, physical properties specialists, and borehole geophysicists. Good working knowledge of the English language is required.

How to apply

Applications for participation must be submitted to the appropriate IODP Program Member Office. In your application, please specify if you are interested in participating offshore-onshore or onshore-only. Please note that there is no option to participate offshore-only. 

Applications should reach the appropriate Program Member Office no later than Tuesday 24 January 2023

Drilling deeper into Earth’s seismic history: Professor Myra Keep on IODP Expedition 386

When it comes to characterising Earth’s complex and multiscale seismic behaviour and its impacts, short historical records – and even shorter instrumental records – don’t offer the long-range perspective needed to understand the drivers behind recurring high-magnitude earthquakes. 

“At the moment in Australia we’re working on around a 50-year record, and there’s so much we still don’t understand about how earthquake systems work,” explains University of Western Australia’s Professor Myra Keep, whose research focuses on structural geology and tectonics.

Professor Myra Keep with a sediment core from Expedition 386

Professor Keep is onboard the JAMSTEC-operated scientific drilling vessel Chikyu for the Personal Sampling Party (PSP) linked to International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 386: Japan Trench Paleoseismology, for which she is team leader for hydroacoustics.

“We’re looking for evidence of previous mega earthquakes – the huge magnitude nines – in the sediment cores and in the hydroacoustic data images and bathymetry. We’ve got some very fine control on where we are in terms of depth and what’s under the surface, and it’s going to tell us a lot more about how these systems work.”

Expedition 386 aims to fill the gap in long-term records of giant earthquakes by examining prehistoric events to construct a long-term history, delivering crucial observational data to reduce epistemic uncertainties in seismic hazard assessment in the region and beyond. According to Professor Keep, the Japan Trench is an ideal location for this work.

“It’s on a plate boundary in a highly seismically active zone, and the density of population in this region means earthquakes can have an even more devastating impact,” she explains.

“The Japan Trench is among the world’s deepest hadal trenches and is part of a complex plate boundary system where two subduction zones meet. If we can establish how frequently these earthquakes are happening and where the sediments are coming from, we can tell which sections of the plate boundary are failing, and that will give us much higher resolution data.”

It’s been an unusual expedition, and not just because it is the first Mission Specific Platform (MSP) collaboration between ECORD and JAMSTEC. Professor Keep was due to sail onboard the JAMSTEC-operated RV Kaimei in early 2020, but COVID-19 hit and Expedition 386 was delayed. It eventually went ahead in April 2021, with only a small Japanese skeleton crew onboard to collect the samples while the rest of the Science Party waited for news online.

Despite these hurdles, the mission achieved its objective of sampling 15 sites across the Japan Trench, using giant piston coring to recover 831 metres of continuous upper Pleistocene to Holocene stratigraphic successions. It also delivered two new depth records in scientific ocean drilling and coring: the deepest water site ever drilled and cored at the water depth of 8023 metres, and the deepest sub-sea level sample, recovered from 8060.74 metres below sea level. 

“The capacity to take such deep samples opens up possibilities for our comprehension of the planet that have never existed before, and that’s very exciting to be part of.”

The Onshore Science Party from February to March 2022 also charted new territory as the first to take place entirely online.

“The cores were transported to Chikyu in port, and a small crew of Japanese scientists were onboard splitting and logging all the core while the rest of us were online across different time zones. There were daily midnight meetings with everyone trying to look at the samples on the screen; it was tough.”

Though the pandemic continues to wreak havoc – and Japan only recently reopened to the world – Professor Keep is delighted that the PSP is now taking place onboard Chikyu in Shimizu Port, where scientists will take 18,300 samples from the cores. She says nothing replaces the opportunity to examine the sediments in real life.

“You can make all sorts of interpretations on screen or from remotely sensed data, but there’s no substitute for getting your hands on the rock: seeing it, feeling it, and then trying to put it together in context,” she says. 

“Interacting with the cores will enable me to better link the sediments to the horizons I can see in the imagery. It’s also very inspiring working alongside a brilliant international team across different fields and learning from each other; there are some really interesting ideas coming out of our discussions.”

What scientists hope to discover through Expedition 386 has direct relevance for offshore paleoseismology in Australia, and to Professor Keep’s own research into tectonics, fault reactivation and neotectonics along Australia’s North West Shelf.

“I’ve spent the last two decades looking at remotely imaged hydroacoustic and seismic data and documenting landslides in the region. Despite Australia supposedly not being particularly seismically active, and Western Australia in particular being a long way from a plate boundary, we’ve found a lot of unexpected activity,” she says.

“We have evidence of earthquakes young and old, and without those obvious plate tectonic drivers it’s difficult to explain them and understand how frequently they occur and where the stress is coming from. By looking at these sediments from an area where we know earthquakes are controlling them, we can compare this to our own data and see if there are any common characteristics.”

Professor Keep says continued international scientific ocean drilling collaboration is vital as we navigate a changing climate, growing urban populations and more frequent natural disasters with bigger impacts.

“Oceans make up 79 per cent of our planet, yet we know less about the deep ocean trenches than we do about Mars or Venus. We’re going to be looking increasingly to the oceans as our biggest unexplored resource; the more we know, the better we can understand the potential from a food security, health, and risk management perspective.”

Follow ANZIC on Twitter (@anzic_iodp) and Facebook (@ANZICIODP) for the latest news and discoveries from Expedition 386.

ANZIC’s Sarah Kachovich named Superstar of STEM

ANZIC Program Manager, micropaleontologist and self-described Time Lord, Dr Sarah Kachovich has been named by Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic MP as one of Australia’s newest Superstars of STEM

Dr Kachovich is one of 60 diverse brilliant scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians chosen from a highly-competitive national field to step into the media spotlight as STEM experts and inspire the next generation of diverse young Australians into STEM fields. She also plans to use the platform to highlight the critical importance of scientific ocean drilling in our national and international research infrastructure, and contribute to diversity and inclusion advocacy in the STEM fields. 

Drastic climate change recorded in a sediment core

“When we lack women in the STEM fields, when we do not encourage their leadership, vision and participation, we fail to bring the diversity of knowledge, skill sets and experiences needed to keep Australia innovative, creative, and competitive,” Dr Kachovich said.

“One of the best ways to close the gender gap and encourage girls into STEM fields, while also supporting early and mid-career women to thrive in their STEM journeys, is to give them role models. I am tremendously thrilled to join the next cohort of inspiring Superstars of STEM and to polish my communication and leadership skills to better serve the public and my science.”

Announcing the latest cohort on Friday 18 November, Minister Husic said that the need to boost diversity in our science, technology, engineering and mathematics sector is urgent.  

“There are huge skills shortages that can be addressed if we put our minds and collective effort to it – which means we have to draw deeply on our nation’s expertise from all corners of the community,” Mr Husic said. “By doing so, we can deliver a stellar boost to our national economy and enable Australia to meet the growing demand for STEM-trained workers.” 

“I’ve always been a fan of the way the Superstars of STEM program pushes to deliver a diverse STEM workforce and ensures the next generation of scientists and technologists have visible role models. I just know these talented experts and communicators will play their part inspiring Australia’s young people – from all backgrounds – into science and technology.”

Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert said the program gave women and non-binary talent in STEM crucial skills and confidence to step into expert commentary roles in the media. 

“We know it’s really hard to be what you can’t see,” Ms Schubert said. “That’s why this game-changing program is helping to smash stereotypes of what a scientist, technologist, engineer or mathematician looks like.”

“By becoming highly visible role models in the media, these Superstars of STEM are showing our diverse next generations of young people – especially our girls and non-binary kids – that STEM is for them.”

“Superstars of STEM is powerfully shifting the dial on diversity in Australia’s science and technology sectors. The Australian Government’s investment in this world-leading program is bolstering diversity in a sector that will shape our future economy. We are so grateful for it.”

Superstars of STEM is an initiative of Science & Technology Australia funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources. 

Through a highly competitive selection process, the program selects 60 women and non-binary STEM experts and gives them the training, confidence, networks and experience to become sought-after media commentators as experts in their fields. This latest group of Superstars of STEM will join the program in 2023 and 2024. 


About Science & Technology Australia 
Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 105,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our  flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.   

ARC LIEF success! ANZIC secures funding for its next phase

ANZIC (Australian & New Zealand IODP Consortium) is delighted to confirm the securing of operational funding until 2024, following the announcement of its successful ARC LIEF bid on 16 November. 

Professor Steve Eggins (ANU Research School of Earth Sciences) wearing his thankyou gift of an IODP jacket for all his work on ANZIC’s ARC LIEF application.

The grant, which provides $4,378,196 in funding – the largest single LIEF grant – over two years, will ensure ANZIC’s ongoing membership and participation in the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), the world’s largest and longest-running collaborative research program in Earth and ocean sciences. The successful bid is the product of a great deal of work by many people, and was led by ANU Research School of Earth Sciences Professors Steve Eggins and Eelco Rohling. 

“Award of this LIEF project will ensure continuation of our participation in the International Ocean Discovery Program for another two years,” Professor Rohling explains. 

“This will not only allow participation in the Program’s globally unique drilling expeditions, but also supports continuing research based on those expeditions, and training and international network development for early-career researchers.” 

ANZIC Director Dr Ron Hackney says this membership is crucial in providing ANZIC member institutions across Australia and New Zealand with access to global-ranging geoscience research infrastructure. 

“IODP membership delivers unique enabling capabilities to explore, sample and monitor geological and biological activity deep beneath the seafloor,” Dr Hackney explains. 

“It facilitates research into past global environmental change on multiple time scales, the deep biosphere, plate tectonics, formation and distribution of resources, and generation of hazards, addressing multiple national science and research priorities and underpinning future societal and economic prosperity.” 

Confirmation of funding for from 2023-24 will enable ANZIC to push forward with a diverse array of planned initiatives to expand marine geoscience research capability in our region and support researchers of all stages to participate in offshore and onshore science.  

With its immediate future secured, ANZIC is progressing an ambitious vision for the future that places scientific drilling – both at sea and on land – at the heart of our national research infrastructure. Central to this strategy is aligning with AuScope through a potential NCRIS partnership to bolster our region’s integrated research infrastructure and provide enhanced access to the subsurface and advance scientific knowledge across diverse fields. ANZIC is also exploring opportunities in continental drilling afforded by partnering with the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). 

Call for abstracts: ANZIC-IODP session at AESC 2023

ANZIC will host a session titled ‘The science behind the next phase of the International Ocean Discovery Program‘ at the Australian Earth Sciences Convention, taking place in Perth in June 2023.

The International Ocean Discovery Program is a research collaboration that addresses fundamental questions about the interconnected processes that characterise the complex Earth system and shape our planet’s future. We invite submissions on the broad Earth science research being done with scientific ocean drilling material.

This session is highly interdisciplinary and welcomes presentations focused both on past accomplishments as well as those that form the foundation of scientific ocean drilling through to 2050: ground truthing future climate change; probing the deep Earth; assessing earthquake and tsunami hazards; diagnosing ocean health; exploring life and its origins. We encourage submissions that bring together partnerships and collaborations with organisations that have complementary goals to the future of scientific ocean drilling, including continental drilling, technology development, and big data analytics.

The session will take place in the Surface Processes theme and be chaired by Dr Sarah Kachovich (ANZIC/Australian National University) and Dr Agathe Lise-Pronovost (University of Melbourne).

THE CALL FOR ABSTRACTS IS NOW OPEN. Submissions close 1 March 2023.

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Unlocking six million years of detailed climate records: Professor Jimin Yu on IODP Expedition 397

Deep sea sediments hold the secrets of Earth’s past changing climate and help scientists understand what the future may hold. Because they trap ancient air, ice cores from polar regions have become the benchmark in measuring past changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas contents. But what we can learn from them is limited, with the oldest ice cores currently cataloguing only the last one million years or so. 

That’s all about to change thanks to International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 397: Iberian Margin Paleoclimate, which will extend previous sub-seafloor drilling records from the region to enable resolution of climate events on timescales of up to six million years. 

“Currently drilled fast-accumulation sediments from the Iberian Margin only date back around 1.45 million years, so we don’t have the high-resolution data to reconstruct detailed past climate changes over a longer period of time,” explains Professor Jimin Yu, who joins the expedition’s sedimentology team via the Australian & New Zealand IODP Consortium (ANZIC).

When in the Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences, Professor Yu’s career to date has been focused on using sediments to reconstruct paleoclimate, and he brings deeply relevant expertise to aid the Iberian expedition’s scientific objectives.

“I use microfossil shells called foraminiferal tests, and measure the chemical composition of foraminifera based on proxies such as magnesium to calcium ratio, boron to calcium ratio, and boron isotopes,” Professor Yu says.

“From these we can reconstruct sea water chemistry and conditions such as temperature, pH and pCO2 – all important variables in understanding past climate. By reconstructing ocean acidity in the past, we can better understand variations in the carbon cycle and the ocean’s effects on atmospheric CO2 and climate through time. Advancing our paleoclimate knowledge is thus crucial to better understanding past, current, and future carbon cycle.”

Professor Jimin Yu with the ‘heart core’, one of the early sediment cores to come up on Expedition 397

The Iberian Margin, off the coast of Portugal, is uniquely positioned to unlock detailed histories of past carbon cycles. Sediments are deposited at nearly ten times the rate of other deep-sea locations, so climate changes can be detected with much greater time resolution. An Iberian Margin sediment archive also contains signals of marine, atmospheric, and terrestrial changes in a single core, enabling investigation of the relative timing of various changes within the ocean-climate system to reconstruct high-resolution climate signals over millennia.

The Iberian Margin holds the secret to high-resolution climate change data, and this fresh drilling is already revealing surprises; one of the first cores to come up on Expedition 397 – the now Twitter-famous ‘heart core’, pictured here with Professor Yu – revealed incredibly rare soft sediment deformation and complex stratigraphy.

Professor Yu has worked extensively with Iberian Margin sediments, including in his recent Australian Research Council Discovery Project ‘Deep Atlantic’s role in millennial atmospheric carbon dioxide changes’.The research aims to substantially improve our understanding of the mechanisms governing the global carbon cycle by generating the first high-resolution deep Atlantic carbon ion and nutrient records over the last 150,000 years. The expedition comes at the perfect time.

“The Discovery Project supports us to work on sediments from the Iberian Margin from the last glacial and interglacial cycle. We already have gained great data from cores and our results are currently under review. With continued funding, my students and I will be able to put the sediments from Expedition 397 to use for further breakthroughs,” shares Professor Yu.

Expedition 397 sailed from Lisbon, Portugal on JOIDES Resolution on 13 October. From now until 11 December, crews will collect cores from four primary drill sites across a varied water depth transect of up to 4.7 kilometres, including going deeper into U1385 (Expedition 339). The sediment samples within are expected to extend our geologic history by three to six million years, dramatically enhancing our capability to project future climate change.

Professor Yu says what the team hopes to find will prove a valuable relevance for the Southern Ocean.

“The Southern Ocean is a critical region for climate change and the carbon cycle, including atmospheric CO2variations, but at high latitudes – such as the Antarctic Zone – it can be very difficult to find foraminifera shells,” Professor Yu explains.

“We work around this by looking at physical and chemical condition changes in downstream sites and use combined proxies to infer what happened in the Southern Ocean. So Iberian Margin sediments are invaluable in helping us understand Southern Ocean processes and their role in controlling past carbon cycle and climate change over a longer timescale.”

Expedition 397 is Professor Yu’s maiden IODP expedition, and he is excited at the prospect of this extraordinary learning experience. 

“The JOIDES Resolution is like a floating university. I will be one of eight scientists in the sedimentology team and one of 26 international scientists on board, and I am looking forward to collaborating with them during the expedition. I am also hoping to generate further collaborations after the expedition ends,” he adds.

As the current phase of the scientific ocean drilling program nears its conclusion, and the future of JOIDES Resolution remains unclear, Professor Yu is hopeful that this vital international collaboration can continue, enabling future generations of scientists to experience the career-changing opportunities it offers.

“As a scientist, I think it is very important to have a continued scientific drilling project and to retain an international effort to push science forward and collaborate in a synergistic way to make better science for all of us.”

Follow Professor Yu and the Expedition 397 crew as they break new ground at sea! Head to Twitter and follow ANZIC (@anzic_iodp) and JOIDES Resolution (@TheJR) for the latest news and discoveries as the cores come up.

SHIP-TO-SHORE: FREE LIVE VIDEO BROADCASTS FROM EXPEDITION 397 
Connect your students, teachers, visitors, or community groups with Professor Jimin Yu and the
Expedition 397 crew and take a live virtual tour of the JOIDES Resolution via Zoom! You will be guided
by the ship’s Outreach Officer to learn more about the ship, how scientific ocean drilling works,
and what scientists are discovering in the cores. Book here.