Julie Trotter

Dr, BSc MSc Macq. , PhD ANU

  • The University of Western Australia (M470), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile

Biography

Julie has a diverse science background, having held positions in both research and management at various Australian universities and the CSIRO.

Julie currently holds a research position at UWA as an ARC Future Fellowship, at the level of Principal Research Fellow. She has also held an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Award and other externally funded research positions while at UWA. Julie's current research employs a suite of geochemical proxies to deconvolve seawater chemistry from modern and fossil marine biogenic carbonate and phosphates, to better understand environmental change and system processes on modern and geological timescales. She is involved in cross-disciplinary research programmes that bring together geochemists, physical and chemical oceanographers, and biologists, to elucidate the likely effects of ocean acidification on modern marine calcifiers. Recently, this research has made new advances in understanding the relationship between boron isotope systematics, seawater carbonate chemistry, and coral calcification, which has significant implications for predicting the effects of ocean acidification on modern marine calcifiers. Her research has been published in 49 papers, many in high calibre journals (eg. Science, Nature Climate Change), which have gained over 3460 citations. When arriving at UWA (2009), Julie assisted in establishing the multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art Geochemistry and Mass Spectrometry Facility in the School of Earth Sciences at UWA, from the planning and design to setup and operation stages, as well as jointly managing the facility. This facility has underpinned the geochemistry research undertaken at UWA.

Julie's early research (Macquarie and Sydney universities) focused on the biostratigraphy and palaeoecology of Palaeozoic invertebrate marine faunas from eastern Australia. While at CSIRO Petroleum she managed numerous geochemical projects that underpinned large-scale exploration programmes for the petroleum industry, utilising Sr isotope stratigraphy to deconvolve basin architecture in complex terrains (PNG, Asia, and western Canada). During her PhD (The Australian National University) she pioneered the application of high spatial resolution in-situ microanalytical geochemical (elemental and isotopic) studies of conodont microfossils using excimer laser-ICPMS and ion microprobe (SHRIMP) systems. This has led to significant advancements and new opportunities to characterise palaeoclimate and environmental change throughout the Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic. Julie also held the positon of Executive Officer to the CSIRO's Energy Group Executive (2007-08), which played a primary support role in the management and administration of CSIRO's energy portfolio.

Roles and responsibilities

Julie currently holds a research only position as an ARC Future Fellow (2017-2021). Her research project, Decoding deep-sea coral ocean-climate records of the Last Glacial Maximum and Anthropocene, aims to resolve some key questions of ocean-climate interactions and trends which are key to predicting the long-term capacity of the ocean CO2 sink and future trajectories of global warming and increasing CO2. This involves extracting high temporal resolution seawater proxy records from deep-sea coral archives for the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), pre-industrial, and modern era, at key sites in the mid to deep waters of the Southern Ocean.

For the past 10 years, Julie has overseen the specialisd Clean Laboratory and co-managed the Advanceed Geochemical Facility for Indian Ocean Research in the School of Earth Sciences.

Julie routinely assists postdoctoral and student projects in the marine environmental geochemistry group, and other users of the geochemistry facility.

Funding overview

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

Decoding deep-sea coral ocean-climate records of the Last Glacial Maximum and Anthropocene (ARC Future Fellowship)

Julie's ARC Future Fellowship aims to resolve some key questions of ocean-climate interactions and trends that are key to predicting the long-term capacity of the ocean CO2 sink and future trajectories of global warming and increasing CO2. This involves extracting high temporal resolution seawater proxy records from fossil and live deep-sea corals collected from intermediate deep waters in the southeast Indian and Southern Oceans (Perth Canyon & Antarctica). The isotope and trace element geochemical compositions of these archives are providing new environmental records of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), pre-industrial period, and modern era.

Ocean acidification and Climate Change

I collaborate in a number of research projects with both local and international (Italy, France, Germany) colleagues. These are focused on measuring trace element and isotope compositions (eg. boron) in tropical, temperate, and cold water corals (modern and fossil), which record ambient seawater conditions as the coral skeletons grew. These records are used to understand how climate change and ocean acidification might affect these different coral groups calcifying in vastly different environments. This work also includes coral calcification studies, measurements of ambient seawater conditions (seawater chemistry, temperature, nutrients), and local hydrodynamics, to better understand the relationship between the uptake of ions during biomineralisation and hence the calcification process. 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'. This includes high resolution, stable isotope thermometry of biogenic apaitites to provide new palaeoclimate records which are central to better understand the evolution of our biosphere. The data are interpreted in the context of pCO2 records, major bioevents, and geological processes.

Research

My research projects encompass the application of isotope and trace element geochemistry to marine carbonates (modern and fossil) and fossil bio-apatites 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 coldwater, 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, Sr flux) 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,
  • Sr isotopes in marine carbonates and apatites to reconstruct basin architecture.

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).

Research expertise keywords

  • Climate change
  • Environmental geochemistry
  • Paleoclimatology
  • Isotope geology

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