ANZIC Director – Position

ANZIC Director

Apply now Job no: 544271
Work type: Fixed Term
Location: Canberra / ACT
Categories: Academic

Classification: Academic Level D / E
Salary package: $149,002 – $194,637 (pro rata for part-time) per annum plus 17% Superannuation
Term: Part-time / Full-time, Fixed Term until December 2023

The Area

The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is the world’s largest scientific geoscience program, providing drilling vessels capable of coring and inserting downhole observatories far below the seabed in most water depths and water conditions. The IODP also hosts giant regional core repositories located in the USA, Europe and Japan.

Australia and New Zealand form the Australia and New Zealand IODP Consortium (ANZIC) within IODP and contribute to drilling platform operating costs in exchange for scientific participation on the expeditions, ability to submit expedition proposals, and priority access to sampled material and data. ANZIC is responsible for fostering and broadening national interest and participation in IODP research, and for managing and funding Australian and New Zealand researcher participation in IODP activities.

ANZIC is hosted at the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences, Australia’s leading academic research institution for Earth sciences, and home to the largest concentration of Earth scientists in Australia.

The Position

The ANZIC Director provides leadership and management for ANZIC, and is accountable to and works to implement ANZIC’s strategy and directions as set by the ANZIC Governing Council. The ANZIC Director is responsible for effective and efficient operation of ANZIC (specifically for the budget, leadership, and operational management of the ANZIC office, including supervision of office staff) as well as promoting ANZIC and growing effective engagement with the Australian research community, and key stakeholders.

This position is based at the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences, and is available on a part or full time appointment. The ANZIC Director reports to Director, Research School of Earth Sciences and is expected to act in accordance with the polices determined by the ANZIC Governing Council and the policies and procedures of the ANU.

The Person

To excel in this role you will have a PhD and have a track record of independent research in the field of marine geoscience and/or equivalent experience in research infrastructure management in a field that can be related to scientific ocean drilling. The ability to lead by example, coupled with excellent communication and interpersonal skills will enable you to foster respectful and productive working relationships with staff, students and colleagues at all levels in line with the RSES Culture Statement

The Australian National University is a world-leading academic institution and provides a range of lifestyle, financial and non-financial rewards and programs to support staff in maintaining a healthy work/life balance whilst encouraging success in reaching their full career potential. For more information, please click here. To see what the Science at ANU community is like, we invite you to follow us on social media at Instagram and Facebook.

For more information about the position please contact Professor Stephen Eggins on T: +61 2 6125 3420 or E:

More Information:

CALL – IODP Environmental Protection and Safety Panel (EPSP)

Role background and work of the IODP EPSP

The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Environmental Protection and Safety Panel (EPSP) is an advisory body of the JOIDES Resolution Facility Board (JRFB) which is composed of volunteer domain experts from IODP member countries. The EPSP primarily carries out a site-by-site review of proposed or scheduled IODP expeditions from the point of view of safety and environmental protection. The ECORD Facility Board and Chikyu IODP Board (non-riser projects only) also use EPSP as an advisory body.

The EPSP’s work is organized by its panel Chair, working closely with the platform Science Operators and the Facility Board Chairs. The date of the EPSP’s annual meeting is determined by the scheduling needs of the platforms.

Expedition proposal proponents are notified in advance by the IODP Science Support Office if their proposal is scheduled for EPSP review. Proponents are required to prepare and submit a Safety Review Report two months before the meeting. EPSP protocol requests that one proponent representative (usually the data lead) attend the meeting to give a presentation based on their report and interact with the panel. EPSP review often requires modification to the drilling plan (for example, relocation of sites) and submission of new Site Forms via a proposal Addendum.

Responsibilities of the ANZIC EPSP representative

The ANZIC representative’s role on the EPSP panel is of high importance within the IODP and is expected to deliver benefits to the ANZIC community not only through actively representing ANZIC, but also by providing advice to the ANZIC community who intend to or are developing proposal submissions to IODP.

The ANZIC Governing Council and ANZIC Office require a brief post-meeting report of your activities, highlighting issues of relevance to ANZIC or that may be of general advice to the ANZIC community.

Desired ANZIC representative expertise and contributions to EPSP

The ANZIC representative must have expertise relevant to the work of the EPSP and be willing to openly express their views to the EPSP. Preference may be given to individuals who have expertise in shallow hazards, hydrates, and geophysical interpretation.  

ANZIC support provided for the EPSP representative

The ANZIC Office will support your success in the role by providing appropriate resources and insights to the work of ANZIC and more broadly the IODP, including connecting you with relevant experts in the international scientific ocean drilling network should you require help with a task. ANZIC also covers the cost of economy airfares (organised through ANZIC’s ANU travel consultant), accommodation at the EPSP nominated lodging (includes meals/wi-fi), local transfers between the airport and your residence, and meals during transit. Any additional costs are at your institution’s or your own expense.

Submission of Expressions of Interest

ANZIC community members interested in serving on EPSP should submit an expression of interest to the ANZIC Office by COB (AEDT) November 15, 2021.

Your EOI should comprise a letter that states (1) your reasons for interest in serving ANZIC on the EPSP and (2) the expertise and experience you would bring to the position, and be accompanied by a brief (2-3 page) supporting CV that summarizes and documents key achievements, attributes and relevant expertise to the role of ANZIC representative on EPSP.

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.

ANU RSES Seminar: Dr Peter Bijl – 10 November

The Cenozoic sea surface temperature evolution offshore Tasmania

4pm AEDT, Thursday 10 November 2022 
Jaeger 1 Seminar Room, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University

During the Cenozoic (66–0 Ma) Tasmania has continuously been at a crucial geographic location. It represented the final tectonic connection between Australia and Antarctica before complete separation of both continents in the late Eocene, and therefore a barrier for circumpolar flow. Since the Eocene-Oligocene transition, the northward drifting Tasmania was bathed by the throughflow of the subtropical front, but remained an obstacle of the ideal flow path of strengthening ocean currents. The sedimentary record around Tasmania thus represents a perfect archive to record the oceanographic consequences of this regional tectonic change.

This research presents a new TEX86 and UK37-based SST compilation from 4 sediment cores: ODP Site 1172 (East Tasman Plateau), Site 1170 and 1171 (South Tasman Rise) and Site 1168 (western Tasman margin). These reconstructions were paired with microplankton (dinoflagellate cyst) assemblage data which reflect qualitatively the surface water conditions: nutrients, temperature, salinity. Together, the >1.300 samples portray the SST evolution around the island, from the time it was still connected to the Antarctic continent in the Paleocene to its near-subtropical location today.

Trends in the SST compilation broadly follow those in benthic foraminiferal stable isotope compilations, but with some interesting deviations. The expected warming due to northward tectonic migration of the island during the Cenozoic is largely compensated for by the general Cenozoic cooling trend. The mid-Paleocene is characterized by cool temperatures and sw Pacific surface waters were remarkably fresh, suggesting abundant riverine input. This diminished when Tasmania migrated northward during the early Eocene, warmed, and the hinterland dried up. Differences in SSTs on either side of the Tasmanian Gateway are small, even when the Tasmanian Gateway is considered closed. Widening of the Tasmanian Gateway around the Eocene-Oligocene transition immediately allows throughflow of what later becomes the Leeuwin Current, which warms the sw Pacific. Oligocene and Neogene SST trends follow those of the benthic d18O, and with continuous influence of the proto-subtropical front. Comparing Tasmanian SSTs to those from the wider sw Pacific region allows for a reconstruction of the evolution of Oligocene-Neogene Southern Ocean latitudinal SST gradients. While the SST evolution of Tasmania is remarkably stable in most of the Oligocene, prominent cooling steps are inferred in the Late Oligocene (26 Ma), at the MMCT (~14 Ma), in the mid-to-late Miocene (9 Ma, 7 Ma and 5.3 Ma) and in the Pliocene (2.8 Ma). Pleistocene SST variability is strong over glacial-interglacial cycles.

Taken together, the sites portray a complete overview of local environmental change of the subtropical front area, and provides crucial context to the history of Southern Ocean heat transport and regional climate.

Dr Peter Bijl is an Assistant Professor at Utrecht University, Netherlands, with unique expertise in climatic and environmental evolution of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. His research predominantly draws on sedimentary archives from successive IODP scientific ocean drilling programs, and he has participated in IODP Expedition 318: Wilkes Land Glacial History in Antarctica and IODP Expedition 392: Agulhas Plateau Cretaceous Climate

Visit the RSES Seminar program page for further details and the livestream link.

ANU RSES Seminar: Professor John Dodson – 1 November

Weihe Basin Drilling Project (Phase I): Mio-Pleistocene Asian hydroclimate variability and dynamics

4pm AEDT, Tuesday 1 November 2022
Jaeger 1 Seminar Room, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University

The Weihe Basin in NW China is close to the city of the ancient capital of China, Xi’an. It contains about 7 km of sediment which has been deposited since the early Eocene. Some pilot studies have been made on the sediments and a team has been assembled to examine the full potential of their contents. These are expected to provide evidence of the effects of uplift of the Qinling Mountains and perhaps even the Tibetan Plateau, and hence the evolution of the East Asian Monsoon system, the development of the modern biogeography of eastern Asia, and life systems in the deep earth.

A team of scientists from China, Australia, USA, Switzerland and Germany form the core of the research team. The initial phase of the analysis will be based on a 3 km core. Some analyses will take place on site (about 100 km from Xi’an) and core materials will be trucked to a core store being built in the Institute of Earth Environment (IEE, Chinese Academy of Science), in the SW of the City. From there analyses will take place in the Institute and in the home countries of the participants. The first phase is funded by ICDP, the Chinese Government and (hopefully) with help from external partners.

Due to COVID the start of the drilling has been delayed, and hopefully will begin in 2023.

John Dodson has a PhD from ANU, and has held academic posts at University of Canterbury (NZ), University of NSW (Sydney) and has been Head of Department at UWA (Perth), Head of Institute of Environment (Brunel University, London), Head of Environmental Research (ANSTO), Inaugural Head of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences (Wollongong) and is currently a Professor in IEE, Xi’an. He has also served on several national and international scientific organisations.

This talk will be preceded by a short introduction from Ron Hackney, Director of the Australia/New Zealand IODP Consortium, outlining ANZIC’s strategy to incorporate membership of the International Continental Drilling Program as part of future NCRIS support for Australian access to scientific drilling infrastructure.

Visit the RSES Seminar program page for further details and the livestream link.


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.

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.

Inaugural Leanne Armand Travel Award recipient discovers new species

University of Queensland PhD candidate Vikki Lowe has been named as the first recipient of the Leanne Armand Travel Award.

Vikki’s thesis is focused on reconstructing paleoceanography of the Southern Ocean using radiolaria. Her research project is providing the first radiolarian records from the South Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean over the last glacial cycle, and will play a crucial role in enhancing our understanding of the changes in temperature and sea ice concentrations in this region. 

Established in memory of the late Professor Leanne Armand (1968-2022) – former ANZIC Director and Professor of Micropaleontology at ANU – the award will enable Vikki to travel to GNS Science in New Zealand to work with radiolarian expert Dr Giuseppe Cortese, take high quality images and write a taxonomy paper.

Leanne was a world-leading expert on marine diatoms, which she used to reconstruct the waxing and waning of sea ice in the Southern Ocean. Vikki credits meeting Leanne with inspiring her current path.

“I met Leanne in 2012 when I began my Marine Science undergrad at Macquarie University,” she recalls.

“She gave a lecture about her work in Antarctica in one of my first-year subjects, and I thought: ‘I don’t know what she does, but whatever it is, I want to do that!’. So, I knocked on her door and asked if I could work with her on whatever project she had available. Since then, I have been very single minded in where my career will head.”

Vikki’s research is progressing well. She has recently discovered a new species of radiolaria in core sediments from the Southwest Pacific Sector of the Southern Ocean covering the last glacial cycle, and is choosing to name it in Leanne’s honour.

“It is exciting to be able to describe a new species and dedicate its naming to Leanne, who left such a strong legacy in the paleoceanography and micropaleontology fields,” says Vikki.

“I feel so privileged to have had Leanne’s guidance and that she was the example I looked towards as I learned what being a scientist was about. Now, I hope this small gesture of naming a species after her will in some way pay tribute to the amazing scientist and person that she was.”

The AQUA Leanne Armand Travel Award provides AU$3,000 to one Australia-based postgraduate or early to mid-career researcher annually, with preference given to applicants seeking to learn microfossil identification or advanced techniques from an expert. 

AQUA is seeking ongoing donations to sustain the fund, with options also available for international transfers. Please contact AQUA or the ANZIC Office for details on how you can help continue Leanne’s legacy in training the next generation of scientists.

Learn more about the Leanne Armand Travel Award here.

**POSTPONED – new date to be announced** RSES Seminar: Dr Carmine Wainman – Late Cretaceous turmoil in the southern high latitudes

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has unfortunately been postponed. New dates will be advised as soon as possible.

Join ANZIC for this special hybrid RSES Seminar featuring Dr Carmine Wainman, Basin Analyst at Geoscience Australia, as he explores what we’ve learned from IODP Site U1512 in the Bight Basin. The event will be held in the Jaeger 1 Seminar Room at the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU Acton campus. Join us there at 4pm on Tuesday 11 October and connect with Dr Wainman and the ANZIC team over free pizza and refreshments, or follow the link to attend online.


Dr Carmine Wainman holds an MSci in Geology from the University of Southampton, UK and a PhD in Geosciences from the University of Adelaide. He currently works at Geoscience Australia since November 2021 as a Basin Analyst in the Advice, Investment Attraction and Analysis Branch in the Minerals, Energy and Groundwater Division and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London. Carmine has over nine years of industry and research experience both in Australia and the UK including with the RSK Group, Woodside Energy and the University of Adelaide. He participated on the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 369 in late 2017, investigating Australian Cretaceous climate and tectonics.


Five years ago, the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 369 was in the middle of drilling at hole at Site U1512 in the Great Australian Bight. Despite the recovery of a near-complete 700 m succession of silty claystone, the core yielded few secrets as to what it represented, much to the frustration of everyone on board at the time. The core subsequently lost attention with more impressive results emanating from drill sites in the Mentelle Basin. However, subsequent multi-disciplinary analysis of the core has revealed a rich, comprehensive story of marginal marine settings in the southern high latitudes and the response of the Bight Basin to the Cretaceous Greenhouse. 

In this talk, Dr Wainman will share the latest findings of the lower Turonian to upper Santonian silty claystone succession, including what it can tell us about environmental instability in the basin and fluctuating sedimentary provenance as Australia slowly broke away from Antarctica. The talk will also explore life on board the JOIDES Resolution during the two-month expedition and the importance of continuing the scientific ocean drilling program from an ECR’s perspective.

Click here to find out more and access the live stream.


IODP Expedition Call 402: Tyrrhenian Continent-Ocean Transition


Information webinar: 15 November, 11am Eastern Time (16 November, 3am AEDT – session will be recorded for replay). REGISTER HERE

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


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 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 Thursday 1 December 2022