Julie Trotter

Dr, BSc MSc Macq. , PhD ANU

  • The University of Western Australia (M053), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Julie has held research positions at UWA, including ARC fellowships (Australian Postdoctoral Award and Future Fellowship). Her research is focused on developing and applying geochemical proxies to marine biogenic carbonates and phosphates to deconvolve seawater chemistry and environmental change through time. Proxy data is central to understanding environmental systems processes and changes over modern (pre-instrumental) and geological timescales. Her cross-disciplinary research brings together geochemists, physical and chemical oceanographers, and biologists. This research has advanced our understanding of the relationships between trace element and boron isotope systematics, seawater carbonate chemistry, and coral calcification, which has important implications for marine calcifiers to build skeletons under high CO2 conditions. Julie’s research has also included the application of high spatial resolution in-situ microanalytical geochemical systems to phosphatic microfossils that identified major climate events and established new approaches to characterise environmental changes in deep time.

Julie has also helped establish a major state-of-the-art geochemistry and mass spectrometry facility at UWA, which has underpinned many geochemical projects for students and reseachers.

Julie has undertaken several oceanographic research cruises to Australian submarine canyon systems, most recently during January-March 2020 when she led an international team to the previously unexplored Bremer Canyon group and Perth Canyon aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute's RV Falkor.

Roles and responsibilities

Julie holds an adjunct position with the Oceans Graduate School while completing her ARC fellowship and ARC DP research. She assists academics, students, and postdoctoral researchers with her specialist expertise and engages in school seminars and administrative matters as needed.

Funding overview

ARC Discovery Project DP210102896 (2021-2023). Deep-sea coral records of Southern Ocean climate and nutrient dynamics. Prof Malcolm McCulloch, Dr Julie Trotter, Dr Paolo Montagna, Dr Marco Taviani. $455,000.

AINSE Research Award (2020). Prof Malcolm McCulloch, Dr Julie Trotter, Dr Quan Hua. The radiocarbon signature of submarine canyon waters from south-western Australia as a tracer of the ocean uptake of anthropogenic CO2. $12,900

Schmidt Ocean Institute Research Proposal (2018). Dr Julie Trotter, Dr Paolo Montagna, Prof Malcolm McCulloch, Prof Charitha Pattiaratchi, Dr Aleksey Sadekov, Dr Marco Taviani, Dr Jane Fromont. ROV Exploration of Deep Water Coral Habitats of Southwest Australian Submarine Canyons. SOI provides their fully equipped Ocean Research Vessel R/V Falkor & resources including a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Approx. value $3,850,000 (AUD)

UWA Fellowship Support Scheme (2018). Dr Julie Trotter. Constraining ventilation ages, hydrodynamics, & CO2 flux in the ocean interior through time. $30,000

ARC Future Fellowship FT160100259 (2016). Dr J Trotter. Deep‐sea coral ocean‐climate records of the last glacial and recent eras. $776,000

AINSE Research Award (2016). Prof Malcolm McCulloch, Dr Julie Trotter, Dr Jim Falter, Dr Ron Thresher, Dr Marco Taviani, Dr Paolo Montagna. Tracing the Penetration of 14C Into the Deep Waters of the Perth Canyon. $14,000

Schmidt Ocean Institute (2013). Prof Malcolm McCulloch, Dr Ron Thresher, Prof Carlos Duarte, Prof Charitha Pattiaratchi, Ass/Prof Jim Falter, Ass/Prof Julie Trotter, Dr Paolo Montagna, Dr Jane Fromont, Prof Susana Agusti-Requena. ROV exploration the Perth Canyon and assessing the vulnerability of deep-sea corals to climate change and ocean acidification. SOI provides their fully equipped Ocean Research Vessel R/V Falkor & resources including a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Approx. value $1,000,000

CSIRO Flagship Collaboration Fund (2010). Prof M McCulloch, Asst Prof J Falter, Assoc Prof R Lowe, Asst Prof J Trotter. Project Title: Ocean acidification and environmental change across a widening tropical-subtropical gradient. $200,000

ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities Project LE100100203 (2010). Prof M McCulloch, Prof P Cawood, Prof M Lynch, Prof R Wasson, Prof P Lavery, A/Prof A Waite, Ass/Prof R Lowe, Dr M Kilburn, Dr J Trotter, A/Prof Clode, Dr J Falter, Prof N McNaughton, Dr K-H Wyroll, A/Prof L Collins. Project Title: Advanced Geochemical Facility for Climate and Environmental Change Research: a west Australian−Indian Ocean focus. $700,000

ARC Discovery Project DP1096252 (2010). Dr JA Trotter; Dr IS Williams, Em/Prof CR Barnes, Prof DJ Beerling, Dr CH Wellman, Project Title: Global Climate Change, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), and the Evolution of Life in the Palaeozoic and Early Mesozoic. $355,000

ARC Discovery Project DP0986505 (2009). Prof MT McCulloch, Dr JA Trotter, Prof RB Dunbar
Project Title: Ocean acidification in a Rapidly Increasing CO2 World. $670,000

ARC Linkage Project LP0883812 (2008). Prof PA Cawood, Prof K Grice, Mr R Hocking, Prof JL Kirschvink, Dr P Montgomery, Dr PE Playford, Mr T Playton, Mr N Thompson, Dr JA Trotter, Prof P Ward. Project Title: Chronostratigraphic Framework for the Devonian Canning Basin – A Multidisciplinary Record of Environmental Change. $580,000

Previous positions

Past 20 years:

2017 – 2021    ARC Future Fellow, School of Earth Sciences & Oceans Institute, University of Western Australia. Level D, Principal Research Fellow

2015 – 2017 Senior Research Fellow, School of Earth and Environ., Univ. of Western Australia

2013 – 2014 Ass/Professor School of Earth and Environment, Univ. of Western Australia

2010 – 2012 ARC Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Earth and Environ., Univ. of Western Australia

2009 (July+) Ass/Professor School of Earth and Environment, University of Western Australia

2008 – 2009 Research Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University.

2007 – 2008 Executive Officer, CSIRO Energy Group.

2005 – 2007 CSIRO Division of Petroleum Resources.

1994 – 2001 Project Leader, CSIRO Division of Petroleum Resources, North Ryde, NSW, Australia.

Current projects

Deep-sea coral records of Southern Ocean climate change and nutrient dynamics (ARC DP).
Decoding deep-sea coral ocean-climate records of the Last Glacial Maximum and Anthropocene (ARC Future Fellowship).
Other coral geochemistry projects: I also collaborate on a number of research projects with both local and international (Italy, France, Germany) colleagues, focused tropical, temperate, and cold water coral geochemistry. Research sites are mostly focused on the Indian and Southern Oceans, and Mediterranean Sea.
Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic climate change: I collaborate with colleagues in Italy and France researching environmental change in 'deep time', which includes high resolution, stable isotope thermometry of biogenic apaitites to establish new palaeoclimate records and bioevents to help understand the evolution of our biosphere. 


My research projects encompass the application of isotope and trace element geochemistry to marine carbonates (modern and fossil) and fossil bio-apatites to track environmental change over both recent and geological timescales. This research also provides important insights into better understanding biomineralisaton processes. 

The research includes:

  • applying a suite of geochemical proxies (eg. boron isotopes and various trace elements) to cold water, temperate, and tropical corals to extract records of environmental change over the pre- and post-industrial eras;
  • interpreting temporal changes in marine environments (eg. temperature, pH, pCO2, nutrients, ocean circulation) in the context of global climate change and major ocean-atmosphere and geological processes;
  • determining oxygen isotope records from ancient biogenic apatities to reconstruct palaeoseawater temperature records.

This research is typically dependent on high resolution analyses utilizing sensitive, state-of-the-art instrumentation, including in-situ laser ablation and ion microprobe techniques (eg. LA-MC-ICPMS and SHRIMP).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Research expertise keywords

  • Climate change
  • Environmental geochemistry
  • Paleoclimatology
  • Isotope geology


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