Macquarie University 3-minute thesis competition

Competitors are allowed three minutes to deliver an engaging and dynamic talk on their thesis topic and its importance. Their talk is limited to a single slide and language appropriate to an intelligent but inexpert audience.

Macquarie University 3-minute thesis competition 2014 - The Faculty of Science and CCFS were represented by two outstanding PhD candidtates.  There presentations can be viewed here:

Irina Treriakova The Lithosphere shopping centre

Romain Tilhac - Sampling Earth's lifeblood

Macquarie University 3-minute thesis competition 2013 - In 2013 Chengxin Jiang from CCFS represented the Faculty in the University Finals. His impresive presentation can be viewed here:

Chengxin (Jason) Jiang - Imaging the Earth's Interior with seismic noise

News Archive

2017 CCFS Whole-of-Centre Meeting was held on the 27-29 November, Venue: Cairns

2016 CCFS Whole-of-Centre Meeting was held on the 21-22 November, Venue: Macquarie University

CCFS sponsored shortcourse: Raman, Luminescence Spectroscopy and Imaging in the Earth and Planetary Sciences was held on the 28 November - 1 December 2016, Venue: Macquarie University Details here

* Top geologist: Israel has major deposits of precious stones

* Craig O'Neill comments on how life effects planet habitability

A CCFS Short Course on Snowball Earth by Professor Paul Hoffman - was held on Friday 15th July 2016
* If you missed the event you can still view the webcast here.

Congratulations to CCFS PhD graduate Chris Grose who has been awarded the Seismology Laboratory Director's Postdoctoral Scholar position, a prize fellowship offered by vote amongst the Seismology Laboratory faculty at the California Institute of Technology. He will work with Paul Asimow and Mike Gurnis to develop the first grain-scale non-equilibrium thermodynamic numerical simulations of diffusion, phase transformation, grain coarsening, and deformation in the mantle. A prototype of such a model is shown in Figure A. Eventually, the grain-scale model will be coupled to geodynamic models to produce a next-generation tool for understanding the chemistry, petrology, and dynamics of the mantle (Fig. B).






How to build a diamond factory

Sue O’Reilly rocks!

Australian university confirms Israeli rare mineral discovery

CCFS PhD student, Beñat Oliveira Bravo attended an award ceremony in Barcelona, Spain on the 10th of April where he was officially presented with his "La Caixa" scholarship by the Queen of Spain.

Congratulations to CCFS Director, Professor Sue O'Reilly, who has been elected to represent the physical sciences as a member of the Australian Academy of Science's Council in 2015. Read more

Congratulations to Dr Heather Handley for receiving a Tall Poppy Science Award. This award is presented annually to New South Wales’ best young scientists. Read more

The EPS HDR Day, Session 1 was held Thursday the 11th June, 2015 at Macquarie University - 9:00 am, Lecture Theatre 1, Y3A


A CCFS sponsored workshop - 1st Australian Workshop for Early and Mid-Career Geoscientists was hosted at Macquarie University on the 1st - 2nd of December 2014.

PLUMES OR PLATES IN THE ARCHEAN: How far does uniformitarianism apply in Archean tectonics? Archean Tectonics Debate and Symposium - 27 & 28 November 2014
Presented by CET and in collaboration with Steve Barnes (CSIRO), CCFS & GSWA.  Flyer

A post-conference workshop “Recent advances on the interpretation of the global multiple sulphur isotope record: implications for the evolution of the Early earth and a wide range of ore-forming processes” was held on 11th of July 2014 after the Australian Earth Science Convention (, organised by Marco Fiorentini, Sue Golding, Boswell Wing, Pascal Philippot.

The 3 Australian Geoscientists listed in the recent Thomson Reuters report are all Chief Investigators in CCFS: William Griffin (Macquarie) Zheng-Xiang Li (Curtin) and Simon Wilde (Curtin).


GEOLOG, the official blog of the EGU, has featured an interview with Dr Juan Carlos Afonso: "Geotalk: The mantle and models and measurements, oh my! Talking geophysics with Juan Carlos Afonso"

4.43 b.y. old Martian meteorite provides new insights into ancient Martian crust

 Humayun, , Nemchin, A., Zanda, B., Hewins, R.H., Grange, M., Kennedy, A., Lorand, J.-P., Göpel, C., Fieni, C., Pont, S. and Deldicque, D.   2013.  Origin and age of the earliest Martian crust from meteorite NWA 7533.  Nature.  (image: LUC LABENNE) 

CCFS participants, Alex Nemchin and Marion Grange, are part of a team that examined a rare Martian breccia (NWA 7533). It is a unique regolith breccia similar in composition to soil samples analysed in Gusev crater by the Spirit rover and represents the still unknown southern and most ancient hemisphere of Mars.

The astonishing 4.43 b.y. age of the sample was obtained using SHRIMP U-Pb analyses of zircon at Curtin University’s John de Laeter centre and is an evidence of Martian crust early differentiation. The meteorite also provides evidence for the Martian crust thickness and suggests that the planet was fully differentiated in its first ~100 m.y., coeval with the early crust formation of both the Moon and the Earth. 

3.5 Billion year old Microbial ecosystems preserved in Western Australia’s ancient Pilbera

CCFS's David Wacey is part of a team of international scientists who have discovered evidence of complex microbial ecosystems preserved in the 3.48 billion year old Dresser Formation. Their recearch was recently published in Astrobiology.  

Noffke, N. Christian, D. Wacey, D. and Hazen, R.M.  2013.  Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures Recording an Ancient Ecosystem in the ca. 3.48 Billion-Year-Old Dresser Formation, Pilbara, Western Australia.  Astobiology, 13, 1-22.

Nature Geoscience highlights CCFS research:

Continental-root control on the genesis of magmatic ore deposits, W. L. Griffin, G. C. Begg and Suzanne Y. O'Reilly, Nature Geoscience

As traditional methods of targeting economically significant ore deposits provide fewer and fewer rewards, GEMOC, CCFS and collaborators (initially WMC, followed by BHP and, later, private consultancies) have developed a 4D predictive framework with the potential to revolutionise the mineral exploration industry.

The CCFS paper looks at the effect deeper, sub-contenental lithospheric mantle architecture has on focussing giant magma related ore systems. The paper describes the evolution of a predictive framework with the potential to transform contemporary methods used to target large sub-surface ore bodies in Australia and abroad. The methodology combines geological and geophysical data, and has resulted in the development of several outputs from the long term project such as Re-Os sulphide dating and the patented TerraneChron methodology (


A Tectonic History of South China in Nine Days – a CCFS Joint Field Workshop, 7–15 December, 2013

A biannual field workshop on tectonic history of South China was jointly conducted by CCFS CI Professor Zheng-Xiang Li of Curtin University (, Professor Hanlin Chen and Dr Fengqi Zhang of Zhejiang University, and Professor Xian-Hua Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences between 7–15 December 2013. It consisted of a one-day indoor lecture by Zheng-Xiang Li on the tectonic history of South China, followed by a 8-day field excursion from eastern Zhejiang Province to central Jiangxi Province.

The traverse stretches from the Cathaysia Block close to the coastal zone, to the southern margin of the Yangtze Block, covering key geotectonic features such as basement rocks of the Cathaysia Block, record of the early Neoproterozoic Sibao orogeny that led to the amalgamation of the Cathaysia and Yangtze blocks during the assembly of the supercontinent Rodinia, development of the Neoproterozoic continental rift basins related to the breakup of Rodinia, the early Palaeozoic intraplate Wuyi-Yunkai orogeny, Mesozoic Indosinian orogeny and related large magmatic and mineralisation events (both interpreted to be related to flat-slab subduction and foundering), foreland basin records of orogenic progression, and two major episodes of post-orogenic marine transgression in the region.  Targeted participants: Researchers and research students from collaborating institutions who are interested in tectonic analysis.

The CCFS Science Advisory Committee Meeting was be held from Tuesday the 11th - Friday the 14th of June at Macquarie University. Meet our Science Advisory Committee members...


 CCFS participant Stephen Foley is co-author of a recently published SCIENCE paper drawing media attention to how natural dust reduces the cooling effect of sulphur in clouds: Macquarie Newsroom feature article: New research shows natural dust reduces cooling effect of sulphur in cloudsOriginal Publication:  “Enhanced role of transition metal ion catalysis during in-cloud oxidation of SO2”: Eliza Harris et al., Science Vol. 340, 727-730, doi: 10.1126/science.1230911, Published May 10th, 2013. 

Professor Sue O'Reilly was interviewed for a article titled "Hard Core" which appeared on p. 62 of the recent issue of Discovery Channel Magazine.

CCFS is organised a successful Workshop on Lithosphere Dynamics 4-6 November 2013 at the University of Western Australia. Convenors were WeronikaGorczyk and Juan-Carlos Afonso. More information is available at:

Congratulations to Juan Carlos Afonso who was announced as the recipient of the European Geosciences Union (Outstanding Young Scientist Award (Geodynamics Division). He will receive his award at the 2013 EGU General Assembly to be held in Vienna on 7-12 April.

Congratulations to our successful ARC Future Fellowships recipients: Heather Handley and Dorrit Jacob!  (July 2012)

 Dr Craig O'Neil was a guest on the ABC's 'Starstuff'  (June 6th 2012talking about the transit of Venus:

The accompanying story is available here: 

 On Thursday the 31st May 2012, CCFS's Craig O'Neill participated in the official launch of the Australian Seismometers in Schools Network (AuSIS). The network forms part of the AuScope Australian Geophysical Observing System - Geophysical Education Observatory. Among the Invited guests were the Chair and Directors of AuScope, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research and Senator the Hon Christopher Evans. Melrose High School in the ACT hosted the event.

 An UNCOVER WORKSHOP was hosted by CCFS and Macquarie University on behalf of the National Accademy of Sciences on the 24 May 2012. The event was part of a nationally run series of workshops to Facilitate discussion of the Exposure Draft: "Searching the Deep Earth: A vision for exploration geoscience in Australia". Speakers were Dr Robert Hough (CSIRO) and Professor Dietmar Müller (Sydney University). The event was well attended and guests included two representatives from the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer.

 CCFS August 2012 Science Advisory Committee Meeting Photos

CCFS Official Launch 

On behalf of the Collaborating Partners, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research at Macquarie University, Professor Jim Piper, officially launched the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems on November 11, 2011. Our special guest for the afternoon was Professor Margaret Sheil, Chief Executive Officer of the ARC. We would like to thank Margaret Sheil, Jim Piper, Stephen Thurgate, and all those who were able to join us to celebrate this momentous occasion.

CCFS Launch


Simon Wilde, Suzanne O'Reilly, Margaret Sheil, Campbell McCuaig and Jim Piper
Photographed by Effy Alexakis, photowrite



More photographs of the launch are available here