Jonathan Tyler

Dr Jonathan Tyler


School of Physical Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD, but is currently at capacity - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Dr. Jonathan Tyler is a senior lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences with a PhD from University College London and research experience from the Universities of Tokyo, Oxford and Melbourne. His teaching and research revolve around climate variability past and present and the way Earth surface processes can be deciphered using chemical signatures.

When not working, Jonathan is being re-educated about the world via his two young children. He tries to spend as much time as he can outside, but otherwise indulges in following the travails of the English cricket team whilst listening to '90s alternative rock.

I am a palaeoclimatologist and isotope geochemist. That means I am interested in past climates and the use of chemical tracers in sediments to develop our understanding of past climate changes. I mostly work with lake sediments, but am branching out to work with marine and cave deposits.

Mainly, I'm interested in developing the tools used to reconstruct past climates through field and experimental studies on modern systems. Recently, my focus has been on the last 2000 years of climate variability in southern Australia and on period known for the end of the last ice age (the last 50,000 years). I continue to work on projects aimed at understanding climate variability and landscape change in Antarctica, Japan and the United Kingdom.

West Basin

During my career I have worked with a variety of techniques, both geochemical and palaeoecological, including oxygen and silicon isotopes in biogenic silica, carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of sedimentary chlorins and branched GDGTs as a proxy for surface air temperature and soil pH. Recent projects involve the use of 'clumped isotope' palaeothermometry and sub-annual geochemical analysis of fossil and modern bivalves.

My work has involved sediment analysis, field monitoring of modern lake systems and experimental analysis of diatoms and haptophytes (siliceous and calcareous algae) in culture. I am increasingly concerned with the numerical analysis of sedimentary timeseries and contemporary data, and have recently conducted a large scale data synthesis of Australian climate records for the last 2000 years.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 Senior Lecturer, Earth Sciences University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2013 - 2017 Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2012 - 2013 Research Fellow University of Melbourne
    2009 - 2012 NERC Research Fellow University of Oxford
    2009 - 2009 NERC Research Fellow Natural History Museum
    2008 - 2009 JSPS Research Fellow University of Tokyo
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2009 Fellowship Fellow, Wolfson College Wolfson College, Oxford United Kingdom
    2005 Scholarship Marie Curie Postgraduate Scholarship University of Bergen Norway
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2004 - 2008 University College London United Kingdom PhD
    2002 - 2003 Royal Holloway, University of London UK MSc
    1998 - 2001 University of Leeds UK BSc
  • Research Interests

  • ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grant (LE180100185): 'Mass spectrometry for next generation isotope analysis of silicate minerals'. Lead CI with 14 additional collaborators at 9 institutions. $784,351. 2018. 
  • ARC Discovery Project (DP140104093): ‘The application of clumped isotope thermometry to the terrestrial environment’. With Allan Chivas (Lead CI; Wollongong) and Russell Drysdale (Melbourne). $450,000. 2014-2017.
  • Adelaide University Environment Institute Grant: ‘Refining the timing and palaeoenvironmental context for megafauna extinction records at Naracoorte, South Australia’. Lead CI: Liz Reed, $75,000. 2015.
  • Adelaide University Environment Institute Grant: ‘Development of a new method for cromium isotope analysis’. Lead CI: Juraj Farkas, $15,000. 2015.
  • AINSE Honours awards to Briony Chamberlayne and Eliza Lockier, 2015.
  • AINSE Postgraduate award to Georgina Falster, 2015.
  • Adelaide University Environment Institute, ECR Grant: ‘An annual record of climate variability spanning several millennia from mainland Australia’. $18,000. 2014.
  • Adelaide University Environment Institute Grant: ‘Discovery and identification of microscopic volcanic ash remains in southeastern Australian lake sediments: towards improved palaeoclimate chronologies and volcanic histories’. $21,000. 2014.
  • Adelaide University Environment Institute, Interdisciplinary Research Fund: ‘Leaves as rain gauges: ancient hydrology from the isotopic signatures of leaves’. With Cesca McInerney (Lead CI), John Tibby, Seth Westra and Mark Thyer. $30,000. 2014.
  • Sir Mark Mitchell Research Foundation Award: ‘Mollusc shell geochemistry as a tool for reconstructing past climate, pollution and life history’. With Bronwyn Gillanders and Chris Izzo. $8,000. 2014.
  • AINSE Research Award: ‘Sub-decadal climate variability during the Holocene: radiocarbon age constraints for ITRAX geochemical data from West Basin Lake, Victoria (ALNGRA13510)’. $10,275. 2013.
  • AINSE Research Award: ‘Sub-decadal climate variability during the last 3000 years: ITRAX geochemical records from western Victorian maar lake sediments (ALNGRA13006).’ AU$12,550. 2013.
  • NERC Small Grant (as CI with Dr. David Ryves, Loughborough): ‘Critically testing the role of d30Sidiatom as a novel productivity signal in lakes (NE/H011978/1).’ £69,246. 2010-2012.
  • NERC Fellowship: ‘Calibrating the fractionation of stable oxygen and silicon isotopes in diatom silica through laboratory culture experiments (NE/F014708/1).’ £305,190.02. 2009-2012.
  • JSPS Bridge Fellowship. Funding a 6 week research visit to Tokyo to facilitate collaborative discussions and paper writing. JP¥892,000. Nov 2010 - Jan 2011.
  • NERC Isotope Geoscience Facilities grant in kind for isotope analysis of diatom silica (culture samples). £30,500.
  • NERC Isotope Geoscience Facilities grant for isotope analysis of diatom silica (Rostherne Mere; as co-investigator with Dr. David Ryves, Loughborough). £22,980.
  • JSPS Fellowship: ‘Late Quaternary environmental change at Lake Suigetsu, central Japan: organic geochemical evidence for past primary productivity (PE07622)’. JP¥4,608,500. 2008-2009.
  • Centre for Advanced Marine Core Research, Kochi, grant in kind for 500 organic carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses. AU$27,500 (approx. value).

Earth Systems I (GEOLOGY 1103)

This course draws from all fields of geoscience to explore the evolution of Planet Earth. My lectures introduce students to the energy balance on Earth, the fundamentals of atmospheric and ocean circulation and their effects on the hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere.

Geochemistry II (GEOLOGY 2505)

This course focuses on the chemistry of the natural world and the chemical evolution of the Earth over geological time. I coordinate this course and my lectures include the partitioning of elements on Earth, low temperature geochemical processes and the fundamentals of stable isotope geochemistry.

Earth Systems History III (GEOLOGY 3505)

This course focuses on the chemistry of the natural world and the chemical evolution of the Earth over geological time. I coordinate this course and my lectures primarily cover climate variability during the late Cenozoic and Quaternary up to present day, including the various techniques used to reconstruct climate change over those timescales.

Structural Geology II (GEOLOGY 2501)

This year (in 2016) I'll be joining my first Pichi Richi field camp with Structural Geology. I'm really looking forward to spending a week out in the Flinders Ranges, and being part of one of Adelaide's longest running geology traditions. 

Principles and Practice of Research II and III (SCIENCE 2300 and 3100)

I regularly contribute to the PPR courses for the BSc Advanced program, leading tutorials and supervising research projects.

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Co-Supervisor Palaeontological and Isotopic Analysis of a Late Quaternary Cave Deposit at Naracoorte Caves Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Tiah Louise Bampton
    2019 Co-Supervisor Forensic techniques for tracing wildlife in illegal trade Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Katherine Georgia Weston Hill
    2018 Co-Supervisor The Hydroclimatic History of Subtropical Australia Inferred for North Stradbroke Island Lake Sediments Doctor of Philosophy under a Jointly-awarded Degree Agreement with Doctorate Full Time Mr Charles Reynolds Maxson IV
    2017 Principal Supervisor Metal Isotope Tracers to Reconstruct Hydrological and Climate History of the Coorong-Murray Mouth System Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Yuexiao Shao
    2016 Principal Supervisor Late Quaternary climate variability from mollusc geochemistry Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Briony Kate Chamberlayne
    2016 Co-Supervisor Palaeoenvironmental Analysis of Australia during the Late Cenozoic Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jake William Andrae
    2016 Co-Supervisor Human Arrival and Environmental Change Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Haidee Rochelle Cadd
    2016 Principal Supervisor Hydrologic-Isotopic Modelling for Palaeoclimate Application Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Martin James Ankor
    2015 Principal Supervisor A Quantitative Assessment of Climate Variability in Southern Australia During the Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Georgina Maja Falster
    2015 Principal Supervisor Analysing Antarctic Lake sediments for climate reconstruction Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Rachel Claire Rudd
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2015 - 2014 Member PAGES Aus2k - Data Manager
    2015 - ongoing Member PAGES Iso2k PAGES
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2015 - ongoing Member American Geophysical Union
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2016 - ongoing Associate Editor Geoscience Frontiers China
  • Position: Lecturer
  • Phone: 83132810
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Mawson Laboratories, floor G
  • Room: G 06
  • Org Unit: Earth Sciences

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