Dr Jonathan Tyler

Jonathan Tyler
School of Physical Sciences
Faculty of Sciences

Dr. Jonathan Tyler is a 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.

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Dr Jonathan Tyler

Dr. Jonathan Tyler is a 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.


Date Position Institution name
2013 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 Amount
2009 Fellowship Fellow, Wolfson College Wolfson College, Oxford
2005 Scholarship Marie Curie Postgraduate Scholarship University of Bergen


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

Climate Change Processes, Isotope Geochemistry, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Sedimentology


Year Citation
2017 Tyler, J., Sloane, H., Rickaby, R., Cox, E. & Leng, M. (2017). Post-mortem oxygen isotope exchange within cultured diatom silica. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 31, 20, 1749-1760.
2017 Schlolaut, G., Brauer, A., Nakagawa, T., Lamb, H., Tyler, J., Staff, R. ... Tarasov, P. (2017). Evidence for a bi-partition of the Younger Dryas Stadial in East Asia associated with inversed climate characteristics compared to Europe. Scientific Reports, 7, 1-7.
2017 Emile-Geay, J., McKay, N., Kaufman, D., Von Gunten, L., Wang, J., Anchukaitis, K. ... Nakatsuka, T. (2017). A global multiproxy database for temperature reconstructions of the Common Era. Scientific Data, 4, -.
2016 Tibby, J., Barr, C., McInerney, F., Henderson, A., Leng, M., Greenway, M. ... McNeil, V. (2016). Carbon isotope discrimination in leaves of the broad-leaved paperbark tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia, as a tool for quantifying past tropical and subtropical rainfall. Global Change Biology, 22, 10, 3474-3486.
2016 Sniderman, J., Woodhead, J., Hellstrom, J., Jordan, G., Drysdale, R., Tyler, J. & Porch, N. (2016). Pliocene reversal of late Neogene aridification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113, 8, 1999-2004.
2016 Kiem, A., Johnson, F., Westra, S., van Dijk, A., Evans, J., O Donnell, A. ... Mehrotra, R. (2016). Natural hazards in Australia: droughts. Climatic Change, 139, 1, 37-54.
2016 Rudd, R., Tyler, J., Tibby, J., Yokoyama, Y., Tavernier, I., Verleyen, E. ... Takano, Y. (2016). A diatom-inferred record of lake variability during the last 900 years in Lützow-Holm Bay, East Antarctica. Journal of Quaternary Science, 31, 2, 114-125.
2016 Smith, R., Tyler, J., Reeves, J., Blockley, S. & Jacobsen, G. (2016). First Holocene cryptotephras in mainland Australia reported from sediments at Lake Keilambete, Victoria, Australia. Quaternary Geochronology, Online, 1-10.
2015 Tyler, J. J., Mills, K., Barr, C., Sniderman, J. M. K., Gell, P. A. & Karoly, D. J. (2015). Identifying coherent patterns of environmental change between multiple, multivariate records: an application to four 1000-year diatom records from Victoria, Australia. Quaternary Science Reviews, 119, 94-105.
2015 Tyler, J., Jones, M., Arrowsmith, C., Allott, T. & Leng, M. (2015). Spatial patterns in the oxygen isotope composition of daily rainfall in the British Isles. Climate Dynamics, Online, 5-6, 1-17.
2014 Stevenson, E., Hermoso, M., Rickaby, R., Tyler, J., Minoletti, F., Parkinson, I. ... Burton, K. (2014). Controls on stable strontium isotope fractionation in coccolithophores with implications for the marine Sr cycle. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 128, 225-235.
2014 Barr, C., Tibby, J., Gell, P., Tyler, J., Zawadzki, A. & Jacobsen, G. (2014). Climate variability in south-eastern Australia over the last 1500 years inferred from the high-resolution diatom records of two crater lakes. Quaternary Science Reviews, 95, 115-131.
2014 Pearson, E., Juggins, S. & Tyler, J. (2014). Ultrahigh resolution total organic carbon analysis using Fourier Transform Near Infrarred Reflectance Spectroscopy (FT-NIRS). Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15, 1, 292-301.
2014 Schlolaut, G., Brauer, A., Marshall, M. H., Nakagawa, T., Staff, R. A., Bronk Ramsey, C. ... Suigetsu 2006 project members, (2014). Event layers in the Japanese Lake Suigetsu ‘SG06’ sediment core: description, interpretation and climatic implications. Quaternary Science Reviews, 83, 157-170.
2014 Mills, K., Ryves, D., Anderson, N., Bryant, C. & Tyler, J. (2014). Expressions of climate perturbations in western Ugandan crater lake sediment records during the last 1000 years. Climate of the Past, 10, 4, 1581-1601.
2013 Staff, R., Schlolaut, G., Bronk Ramsey, C., Brock, F., Bryant, C., Kitagawa, H. ... Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2013). Integration of the old and new Lake Suigetsu (Japan) terrestrial radiocarbon calibration data sets. Radiocarbon, 55, 4, 2049-2058.
2013 Staff, R. A., Nakagawa, T., Schlolaut, G., Marshall, M. H., Brauer, A., Lamb, H. F. ... Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2013). The multiple chronological techniques applied to the Lake Suigetsu SG06 sediment core, central Japan. Boreas, 42, 2, 259-266.
2013 Nakagawa, T., Kitagawa, H., Payne, R., Tarasov, P., Demske, D. & Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2013). A standard sample method for controlling microfossil data precision: a proposal for higher data quality and greater opportunities for collaboration. Quaternary International, 290-291, 239-244.
2013 von Gunten, L., Anderson, D. M., Chase, B., Curran, M., Gergis, J., Gille, E. P. ... Willard, D. (2013). The backbone of PAGES 2k: data management and archiving. PAGES News, 21, 2, 87-87.
2013 Smith, V. C., Staff, R. A., Blockley, S. P. E., Bronk Ramsey, C., Nakagawa, T., Mark, D. F. ... Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2013). Identification and correlation of visible tephras in the Lake Suigetsu SG06 sedimentary archive, Japan: chronostratigraphic markers for synchronising of east Asian/west Pacific palaeoclimatic records across the last 150 ka. Quaternary Science Reviews, 67, 121-137.
2013 Demske, D., Tarasov, P. E., Nakagawa, T. & Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2013). Atlas of pollen, spores and further non-pollen palynomorphs recorded in the glacial-interglacial late Quaternary sediments of Lake Suigetsu, central Japan. Quaternary International, 290-291, 164-238.
2013 Nakagawa, T. & Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2013). Lake Suigetsu 2006 Varved Sediment Core Project. PAGES News, 20, 2, 70-71.
2012 Nakagawa, T., Gotanda, K., Haraguchi, T., Danhara, T., Yonenobu, H., Brauer, A. ... Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2012). SG06, a fully continuous and varved sediment core from Lake Suigetsu, Japan: stratigraphy and potential for improving the radiocarbon calibration model and understanding of late Quaternary climate changes. Quaternary Science Reviews, 36, 164-176.
2012 Takano, Y., Tyler, J., Kojima, H., Yokoyama, Y., Tanabe, Y., Sato, T. ... Fukui, M. (2012). Holocene lake development and glacial-isostatic uplift at Lake Skallen and Lake Oyako, Lutzow-Holm Bay, East Antarctica: based on biogeochemical facies and molecular signatures. Applied Geochemistry, 27, 12, 2546-2559.
2012 Marshall, M., Schlolaut, G., Nakagawa, T., Lamb, H., Brauer, A., Staff, R. ... Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2012). A novel approach to varve counting using μXRF and X-radiography in combination with thin-section microscopy, applied to the Late Glacial chronology from Lake Suigetsu, Japan. Quaternary Geochronology, 13, 70-80.
2012 Schlolaut, G., Marshall, M. H., Brauer, A., Nakagawa, T., Lamb, H. F., Staff, R. A. ... Suigetsu 2006 project members, (2012). An automated method for varve interpolation and its application to the Late Glacial chronology from Lake Suigetsu, Japan. Quaternary Geochronology, 13, 52-69.
2011 Kossler, A., Tarasov, P., Schlolaut, G., Nakagawa, T., Marshall, M., Brauer, A. ... Suigetsu 2006 project members, (2011). Onset and termination of the late-glacial climate reversal in the high-resolution diatom and sedimentary records from the annually laminated SG06 core from Lake Suigetsu, Japan. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 306, 3-4, 103-115.
2011 Chapligin, B., Leng, M., Webb, E., Alexandre, A., Dodd, J., Ijiri, A. ... Yam, R. (2011). Inter-laboratory comparison of oxygen isotope compositions from biogenic silica. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75, 22, 7242-7256.
2011 Staff, R., Ramsey, C., Bryant, C., Brock, F., Payne, R., Schlolaut, G. ... Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2011). New 14C Determinations from Lake Suigetsu, Japan: 12,000 to 0 cal BP. Radiocarbon, 53, 3, 511-528.
2011 Smith, V. C., Mark, D. F., Staff, R. A., Blockley, S. P. E., Ramsey, C. B., Bryant, C. L. ... Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2011). Toward establishing precise ⁴⁰Ar/³⁹Ar chronologies for Late Pleistocene palaeoclimate archives: an example from the Lake Suigetsu (Japan) sedimentary record. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30, 21-22, 2845-2850.
2010 Staff, R. A., Bronk Ramsey, C., Nakagawa, T. & Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2010). A re-analysis of the Lake Suigetsu terrestrial radiocarbon calibration dataset. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 268, 7-8, 960-965.
2010 Tyler, J., Kashiyama, Y., Ohkouchi, N., Ogawa, N., Yokoyama, Y., Chikaraishi, Y. ... Nakagawa, T. (2010). Tracking aquatic change using chlorin-specific carbon and nitrogen isotopes: The last glacial-interglacial transition at Lake Suigetsu, Japan. G3: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 11, 9, 1-19.
2010 Tyler, J., Nederbragt, A., Jones, V. & Thurow, J. (2010). Assessing past temperature and soil pH estimates from bacterial tetraether membrane lipids: evidence from the recent lake sediments of Lochnagar, Scotland. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, G1, G01015-1-G01015-11.
2009 Leng, M., Swann, G., Hodson, M., Tyler, J., Patwardhan, S. & Sloane, H. (2009). The potential use of silicon isotope composition of biogenic silica as a proxy for environmental change. Silicon, 1, 2, 65-77.
2009 Francus, P., Lamb, H., Nakagawa, T., Marshall, M., Brown, E. & Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, (2009). The potential of High-resolution X-ray fluorescence core scanning: applications in paleolimnology. PAGES News, 17, 3, 93-96.
2008 Tyler, J., Leng, M., Sloane, H., Sachse, D. & Gleixner, G. (2008). Oxygen isotope ratios of sedimentary biogenic silica reflect the European transcontinental climate gradient. Journal of Quaternary Science, 23, 4, 341-350.
2008 Brewer, T., Leng, M., Mackay, A., Lamb, A., Tyler, J. & Marsh, N. (2008). Unravelling contamination signals in biogenic silica oxygen isotope composition: the role of major and trace element geochemistry. Journal of Quaternary Science, 23, 4, 321-330.
2007 Tyler, J. J., Leng, M. J. & Sloane, H. J. (2007). The effects of organic removal treatment on the integrity of δ18O measurements from biogenic silica. Journal of Paleolimnology, 37, 4, 491-497.
2007 Tyler, J. J., Leng, M. J. & Arrowsmith, C. (2007). Seasonality and the isotope hydrology of Lochnagar, a Scottish mountain lake: implications for palaeoclimate research. The Holocene, 17, 6, 717-727.

Book Chapters

Year Citation
2013 Tyler, J. J. (2013). Silicon isotopes in diatoms. In S. Elias (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science
2007 Flower, R. J., Monteith, D. T., Tyler, J. J., Shilland, E. & Pla, S. (2007). The aquatic flora of Lochnagar. In N. L. Rose (Ed.), Lochnagar: the natural history of a mountain lake Dordrecht: Springer.

Conference Items

Year Citation
2016 Andrae, J., McInerney, F., Tyler, J. & Hall, P. A. (2016). The Neogene expansion of C4 dominated ecosystems: an Australian perspective.. Australian Organic Geochemistry Conference 2016. Freemantle.
  • 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.

PhD Supervision

Bronwyn Dixon (2014 -  ; University of Melbourne): Climate variability in southern Australia during the last 2000 years: a combined speleothem and data synthesis approach (co-supervisor with Russell Drysdale).

Georgina Falster (2015 -  ): Lateglacial climate variability in southeastern Australia - application of clumped and conventional isotope geochemistry to lake sediments.

Rachel Rudd (2015 -  ): Late Holocene climate variability in Lutzow-Holm Bay, Antarctica: evidence from lake sediments

Martin Ankor (2016 -  ): Coupled isotopic-hydrological modelling of lake environments

Haidee Cadd (2016 -  ): Climate-biosphere interactions following megafaunal extinction in eastern Australia (co supervisor with John Tibby)

Briony Chamberlayne (2016 -  ): Reconstructing sub-annual climate variability using freshwater bivalve sclerochronology

Jake Andrae (2016 -  ): Neogene ecosystem change in Australia: documenting the rise of C4 vegetation (co-supervisor with Cesca McInerney and Tony Hall)


Honours Supervision

Haimish Prodan (2014): Micro-facies analysis of lake sediments from West Basin - on the occurence of varves in Australia

Rachel Rudd (2014): Climate variability in coastal Antarctica: a diatom record from Lake Abi, Lutzow-Holm Bay

Kiana Day (2014): On the potential for sub-annual environmental reconstruction using growth increments from Velesunio ambiguus

Katherine Klocke (2014): A lake sediment climate reconstruction from North Stradbroke Island, Queensland (co-supervisor with John Tibby)

Briony Chamberlayne (2015): Late Holocene seasonal and multicentennial hydroclimate variability in the Coorong Lagoon, South Australia.

Eliza Lockier (2015): Hydroclimate variability through the last millennium: a new record from West Basin, Victoria

Martin Ankor (2015): A coupled isotopic-hydrologic model for lake environments

Isaac Kell-Duivestein (2015): Partitioning surface and groundwater flows into the Coorong Lagoon using Sr isotopes (co-supervised with Juraj Farkas)

Andrew Chapman (2016): Holocene climate and the intensification of ENSO: new evidence from western Victoria

Zoe Petrinolis (2016): Silica condensation in diatoms: a matter of life and death

Olly Tsimosh (2016): Towards an organic geochemical tracer of terrestrial biomass change

Benjamin Koch (2016): The palaeohydrology of Lake Torrens, South Australia (co-supervised with Lee Arnold)



Date Role Membership Country
2015 - ongoing Member American Geophysical Union

Committee Memberships

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

Editorial Boards

Date Role Editorial Board Name Country
2016 - ongoing Associate Editor Geoscience Frontiers China
North Terrace
Mawson Laboratories
Room Number
1 13
Org Unit
Earth Sciences