At the present time (June 2007) I work in
the Australian geological survey. I lead
a project on natural hydrocarbon seepage.
I do a variety of things in this role.
I set the direction of the research and manage staff and project
goals. I work on geochemical data
looking at the chemistry of oil and gas and link this with the geology in our
study areas. This requires me to
undertake marine sea-bed surveys on different boats and work in the office and
The best thing about my job is the variety
of work that I have been able to do. I
have travelled to many countries and seen places I would never have seen
without this job. I have worked on
mineral deposits, petroleum geochemistry, early life, modern environmental
studies in estuaries and marine geology.
I have been able to do all of this because I work in a government
research organisation where there are lots of different projects.
Originally I went to University to do
Geology or Chemistry. I took both
subjects for two years but decided I preferred geology and finished with a
geology degree. As, I knew a geology degree would allow me to travel both for
fieldwork and employment.
I was still interested in Chemistry, so I
decided to do a PhD at Bristol
University in Organic
Geochemistry. This allowed me to combine
my interests in sedimentology, palaeo-environments and organic chemistry. During the PhD I worked in Europe and the USA and decided
that I wanted to work abroad for a while.
When I graduated I got a research job working on the
Precambrian-Cambrian boundary, a period when animal life started to flourish. I was able to do a lot of travel and spent
long periods in Australia. After 3 years I moved to Australia and
have worked in government research organisations for the last 12 years.
The need for oil and gas, plus mineral
resources, means that there are a lot of jobs for geologists in Australia and
around the world. As these resources are
used the need for skilled geologists is increasing, as it is becoming harder to
find these resources. Coupled with this,
climate and environmental changes and human impact also need geologists to work
on understanding the impact and assessing risks of these changes. All of this means that geologists are needed
by both government and industry in increasing numbers.
(a blog from a Geosciences research cruise off north-east Australia in