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Staff and students at the Paleomagnetic Research Facility


Professor Gary Wilson

Gary WilsonProfessor Gary Wilson

Gary graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with bachelor's degrees in Science and Music and a doctorate in Geology. Since graduating in 1993, he has taught in the USA at the University of Nebraska and The Ohio State University and, most recently, he comes to the University of Otago from the Oxford University in the UK.

His research interests focus on increasing the resolution of understanding of Antarctic ice sheet and climate history and their role in the evolution and development of global climate. Fieldwork takes him all over the Southern Hemisphere from the South Pole to the Atacama Desert. He has participated in more than a dozen scientific expeditions to Antarctica and is currently one of the lead proponents of the multinational ANDRILL (Antarctic drilling) project.

He has been the recipient of a Fulbright Award to teach at the University of Nebraska, USA; the Byrd Fellowship for Antarctic research at The Ohio State University; and a Foundation for Research, Science & Technology (FRST) Fellowship to study the role of Antarctica in the global climate system. He has been awarded a number of grants for his research from the US National Science Foundation, the UK Natural Environmental Research Council, the Royal Society and the NZ Foundation for Research, Science & Technology.

Dr Christian Ohneiser

Christian graduated from the University of Otago with PhD in Geology in 2012. After graduating he held a short research post at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) in Rome before joining Shell as an exploration geologist.
His research interests focus on developing precisely time calibrated, high-resolution paleoclimatic sedimentary records and understanding the rate of climate change. Current projects span from the Antarctic margin and Southern ocean to the Pacific equator. Recent work has focused on developing new paleomagnetic dating tools in the form of calibrated, high resolution, Relative PaleoIntensity (RPI) records for the Cenozoic which are the building blocks for stacked records from which to build precise chronologies in successions spanning periods with infrequent geomagnetic reversals.

Dr. Faye Nelson

Otago Paleomagnetic Research Facility supervisor/technician
BSc, MSc (Lethbridge), PhD (Otago)
Email: faye.nelson (at) otago ac nz


Current Students

  • Michael Bollen: Holocene-Pleistocene paleoceanography in the Ross Sea, Antarctica (MSc)
  • Rosie Cole: Glaciovolcanism in Tongariro National Park, North Island, New Zealand (PhD)
  • Donna Condon:
  • Henry Mannering: Pleistocene to Pliocene Deep Water Circulation, in the Southern Ocean offshore of the Pennell Coast (PGDipSci)
  • Nicole Stannard: Reconstructing ancient current strength in the Ross Embayment (PGDipsci)
  • Olivia Truax: A paleomagnetic, geochemical, and diatom based record of Holocene paleoclimate evolution from Robertson Bay, Antarctica (MSc)

Past Students

  • Guilia Airoldi: Magma injection dynamics in the shallow Ferrar LIP (South Victoria Land, Antarctica) (PhD 2011)
  • Genevieve Coffey: Investigating the timing and intensity of past earthquake activity on the southern Alpine Fault using soft-sediment deformation structures (MSc 2015)
  • Bob Dagg: Greensand at the Marshall paraconformity (MSc 2010)
  • Regan Dillon: Cyclostratigraphy of late Oligocene - early Miocene strata an example from the Waiau Basin, western Southland, New Zealand (MSc 2006)
  • Erin Dlabola: A post-glacial relative sea level curve for Fiordland, New Zealand (MSc 2014)
  • Luke Easterbrook-Clarke: The Alpine Fault Zone Along the Waitangi-taona River, West Coast, New Zealand (MSc 2010)
  • Vegar Einvik-Heitmann: Unravelling the Secrets of the Subantarctic Auckland Island Inlets: An Environmental Magnetic Study of a Holocene Sediment Core (PGDipSci 2015)
  • Beth Fox: Climate change at the Oligocene/Miocene Boundary (PhD 2013)
  • Hamish Fraser: Glacial extent on Campbell Island at the last glacial maximum (PGDipSci 2009)
  • Emilie Guégan: Shallow intrusion conditions in a flood-basalt province: Coombs Hills, Ferrar Province, Antarctica (MSc 2006)
  • Pont Lurcock: Palaeomagnetism of Palaeogene strata from southern Zealandia: Implications for ice in the greenhouse (PhD 2012)
  • Sam Maloney: Volcanology of the Lake Wanaka diatreme in the Alpine Dike Swarm, New Zealand (MSc 2016)
  • Jasmine Mawson: Paleomagnetism of the Waipiata Volcanics at Mt Mackenzie (BSc(Hons) 2016)
  • Faye Nelson: Paleomagnetic records of the last two million years of climate and oceanographic change in the New Zealand sector of the South Pacific (PhD 2011)
  • Christan Ohneiser: Chronology of the middle Miocene climatic deterioration (MSc 2006); Late Neogene evolution of the Antarctic cryosphere as derived from paleo- and environmental- magnetic studies of New Harbour drill cores (PhD 2012)
  • Alissa Quinn: High resolution environmental magnetism of short sediment cores from Lake Tekapo, New Zealand (PGDipSci 2004); Environmental magnetic signature of the Waipaoa system, offshore Hawkes Bay, over the last few millenia (MSc 2007)
  • Peppe Re: Evolution and dynamics of a monogenetic volcanic complex in the southern Hopi Buttes Volcanic Field (AZ, US): magma diversion and fragmentation processes at the
    Jagged Rocks Complex (PhD 2017)
  • Jesse Robbins: Global relative paleointensity & regional paleosecular variation: high resolution signals in New Zealand marine sediments (MSc 2006)
  • Rosalie Steffen: Malaspina Fiord (PGDipSci 2012)
  • Claudio Tapia: Calibrating the Southern Hemisphere Glacio-Eustasy Record (PhD 2013)
  • Kirsty Tinto: A geophysical investigation of the Marshall Paraconformity in South Canterbury, New Zealand (PhD 2010)
  • Christian Zeeden: Application of paleomagnetic methods to identify and date the Matakaoa submarine avalanche, offshore East Cape, New Zealand (BSc(Hons) 2006)