Neil standing on a lava dome on the border of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Despite being born and bred in the big smoke of Melbourne, I have always been interested in the great outdoors, particularly beautiful and remote areas. And given my great interest in science at school, studying geology as part of my Bachelor of Science at Monash University was a natural fit for me. It was during a 14-day mapping field trip to Broken Hill that I discovered my passion for understanding the processes that melt rocks within the crust.

My interest was further heightened during research for my Master of Science degree at Monash University. My research looked at the igneous and structural evolution of granites formed within an arc environment to produce out cropping along the coast of South Australia. With the aid of field mapping, mineral dating (geochronology) and geochemistry, I established that the igneous rocks had crystallised, remelted and remobilised to form new, more highly evolved magmas.

I applied for the Geoscience Australia Graduate Program after finishing my Master’s degree because I wanted to keep developing the skills I had learnt during my studies. I was also greatly excited by the opportunity to work in such a range of fields and applying my knowledge to practical geological problems.

My first Graduate Program rotation involves using passive seismic methods to determine the depth of sedimentary layers over basement rocks. This work will involve measuring ground waves from natural or anthropogenic sources such as traffic, ocean waves, trees or industrial machinery and modelling the signal to create a velocity profile with depth. This is a relatively cheap and simple method to locate the depth of sedimentary cover and could potentially be used to aid resource exploration. This work will hopefully provide me with the opportunity to develop data analysis and modelling skills while investigating an innovative geophysical technique.

Meet the 2014 graduates