• The University of Western Australia (M010), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


I am an ARC Future Fellow researching the origin and evolution of life. I obtained my D.Phil. from Oxford University in 2004 studying the effects of sulfate-reducing bacteria on biomineralization. My current research focuses on morphological, chemical and isotopic tracers of primitive Archean life, using cutting edge techniques such as NanoSIMS and Transmission Electron Microscopy. I am also the author of an introductory textbook on Archean life entitled ‘Early Life on Earth: A Practical Guide’.

Previous positions

Editorial Board of Nature Scientific Reports
Editorial Board of Geobiology

Current projects

1. Remarkable preservation of Precambrian organic material
2. Linking ancient, modern and potential extra-terrestrial biosignatures
3. Nano-signatures of microbial life in volcanic ecosystems
4. Investigation of life in a 3.5 billion-year-old sandstone
5. Life in the Proterozoic - Gunflint and Torridon biotas


My research seeks to elucidate how and when life originated on Earth and whether it could have originated on other planets such as Mars. Within this framework, I am part of a multidisciplinary team based jointly at the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation & Analysis and the School of Earth & Environment.

I use a variety of research tools, including field based mapping and sample collection in Australia, optical and electron microscopy, state of the art computer based imaging, microbiology and high resolution geochemistry.

Research expertise keywords

  • Early life on Earth
  • Microfossils
  • Stromatolites
  • Carbon and sulphur isotope geochemistry
  • Pilbara Archean geology
  • Palaeontology


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