Monash Earth scientist elected as fellow to Australian Academy of Science

The Australian Academy of Science has elected an internationally renowned geologist as Fellow to the Academy.

The Academy announced today the election of 21 distinguished Australian scientists as new Fellows – which includes ARC Laureate Fellow, Professor Peter Cawood, from the Monash Faculty of Science.

Professor Cawood is one of only five scientists in the State of Victoria to be appointed Fellow this year.

A field geologist whose research is concerned with the evolution of continental crust over our planet’s 4.5 billion year history, Professor Cawood’s major research contributions include establishing that continental fragments periodically amalgamate into supercontinents.

“My research deals with the interactions between the Earth’s crust and the way the atmosphere and biosphere has evolved over time,” Professor Cawood said.

“One of the problems in studying the record is that it’s very incomplete so there is a lot of uncertainty.

“My work is to delve into reducing that uncertainty so that we can gain a fuller understanding of the Earth’s evolution.”

Professor Cawood’s research contributions include: the role and timing of initiation of plate tectonics in the early Earth and continental crust generation; innovative studies on how the supercontinent cycle has biased the rock record; a new model for the deformation and stabilisation of convergent plate margins and relations to collisional mountain building; and the application of micro-analytical techniques to unravel the provenance history and paleogeography of sedimentary basins and orogenic belts.

Professor Cawood is currently ARC Laureate Fellow at Monash University and has previously held academic positions at University of St Andrews in Scotland, University of Western Australia, Curtin University, and Memorial University in Canada. He is a past President of the Geological Society of Australia and he has received the Carey Medal from the Geological Society of Australia and the Mawson Medal from the Australian Academy of Sciences.

Professor Peter Cawood

“I’m absolutely delighted to be elected to the Australian Academy of Science,” Professor Cawood said.

“Science helps us to understand this magnificent planet we live on – the only habitat we’re ever likely to have - and I think we are beholden to try and understand its evolution.”

The Australian Academy of Science is a prestigious not-for-profit organisation of individuals elected for their outstanding contributions to science and research.

Welcoming the Academy’s announcement Faculty of Science Dean Professor Jordan Nash said the appointment of the Professor Cawood as Fellow was an outstanding achievement.

“Professor Cawood is undoubtedly an outstanding geologist and one of the top in his field,” he said.

“The election of Professor Cawood as Fellow to the Academy recognises his excellence and leadership in geology.”

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