Australian Organic Geochemistry Conference

Origins of oil, old organics and organisms

Australian National University, Canberra, 3-7 December 2018

The AOGC committee warmly invites you to participate in the 20th Australian Organic Geochemistry Conference to be held in Canberra from Monday 3 to Friday 7 December 2018.

The conference will take place in the John Curtin School of Medical Research (Finkel Theatre) at the Australian National University in Canberra and will begin with an ice-breaker on Monday, 3rd December at 5:30 pm. The conference dinner will be held on Wednesday 5th December 2018.

We welcome abstracts with any topic and application in the field of organic geochemistry and its fringes, including carbon sequestration, palaeobiogeochemistry, geomicrobiology, petroleum basin analysis, and the molecular and isotope geochemistry of source rocks, petroleum and gas.

A field trip is being planned for Friday, 7th December. The trip details will be announced later on this web site.

Please address all your enquiries to

AOGC 2018 Committee:

Other members in alphabetical order:

  • Chris Boreham (Geoscience Australia)
  • Junhong Chen (Geoscience Australia)
  • Ziqing Hong (Geoscience Australia)
  • Janet Hope (ANU)
  • Amber Jarrett (Geoscience Australia)
  • Tharika Liyanage (ANU)
  • Lennart van Maldegem (ANU)
  • Jacob Sohn (Geoscience Australia)

Current Sponsors

Abstracts and Posters

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 September 2018

Please see example abstract [DOCX 1120KB].

Maximum length: Two pages, including figures and tables.

If you submit more than one abstract, please indicate clearly which abstract you want to be accepted as an oral presentation or as a poster presentation.

Submit finalised abstracts to

The abstracts are to be collated in a digital Geoscience Australia Record for public release. Therefore, by submitting this abstract you agree to release the content under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

All enquiries should be also directed to

Presentation details

Presentations will presumably be 20 minutes (40 minutes for Keynote talks) including five minutes for discussions. However, exact times will be announced after all abstracts have been received.

Computer and data projector facilities will be available for all presentations.

Poster details

Poster size is A0 (1189mm high x 841mm wide) portrait. Total poster board area is 1200mm x 1200mm.


The Conference Program and Abstracts volume is available in hard copy and as a PDF file for download from this site.


Thanks to the generous donations by our sponsors and the support of Geoscience Australia and ANU, we are able to keep the registration fees at a reasonable level, particularly for students.

Registration is open on the AOGC 2018 webpage. A reduced early bird registration fee is available until September 30, 2018. After this deadline, fees will increase by $100 for full registration and $50 for students and seniors. Payment is made by credit card. Invoices will be automatically generated and sent to the participant’s email address after a successful payment.

Early bird specials (including field trip and dinner):
Full: $490 GST inclusive
Students and seniors: $245 GST inclusive
One day: $350 GST inclusive (excluding dinner and field trip)

You can purchase additional tickets for your partners and friends with your registration. If you want to purchase additional tickets for the dinner and field trip with a separate invoice, you need submit another booking by selecting 'Additional Tickets'.

Additional Dinner ticket: $80
Additional Field trip ticket: $50

Note: This conference is kids friendly and the Committee would like to arrange discounted dinner cost for participant's kids which can be paid at the dinner time, directly to the restaurant.

Field Trip Registration
The conference field trip is FREE and includes a light lunch. The trip will take us to the Mt Stromlo observatory, the Canberra Deep Space Communication complex and Tidbinbilla nature reserve. Short introductory talks will be provided by experts at each locality. The bus will stop at the Canberra airport at 4.40pm for the air travellers and return to ANU at 5 o’clock. If you want to participate in the field trip, please indicate this on the registration page. You can also purchase additional tickets for the trip for partners and friends ($50).


Abstract Volume with Program

You can find the AOGC 2018 Conference Abstract Volume with Program here.

Plenary Speakers

The Organising Committee is proud to confirm our Plenary Speakers:

Paula Welander is Assistant Professor of Earth System Science at Stanford University. She investigates the biosynthesis and physiological function of precursors of molecular fossils in extant bacteria. Paula's research utilizes a combination of bioinformatics, microbial genetics, physiology, and biochemistry to address three general questions about biomarkers: 1) What are their phylogenetic distributions in modern bacteria? 2) What are their physiological roles? 3) What is the evolutionary history of their biosynthetic pathways? Read more.

Elle Chimiak is a fifth-year graduate student in the department of Geology and Planetary Sciences at Caltech where she researches the formation of endogenous prebiotic molecules found on meteorites. To this end, she uses ultra high resolution mass spectrometry to conduct site-specific isotope ratio measurements on alanine produced by Strecker synthesis and alanine from Murchison meteorite. By combining these data with those in the literature, she investigates how Murchison's alanine was synthesized, its precursor's isotope ratios, and the reaction network of other small organics from these precursors.

Keynote Speakers

The Organising Committee is also proud to confirm three Keynote Speakers:

Roger Summons is Schlumberger Professor of Geobiology in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to taking up that appointment in 2001 he was at Geoscience Australia in Canberra. At MIT his research group studies the co-evolution of Earth's early life and environment, biosignatures of microbially-dominated ecosystems, the structures and biosynthetic pathways of membrane lipids, biological mass extinction events and the origins of fossil fuels. Summons is a collaborator on the SAM team of the Mars Science Laboratory mission and pursues his interest in Earth's early life as an investigator in the Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life. Read more.

Christopher Boreham has worked as a petroleum geochemist at Geoscience Australia for over three decades. He investigates the origin of gas and oil and its application to petroleum prospectivity studies across Australia's sedimentary basins. He also leads key aspects of the CO2CRC's studies on the injection of CO2 into a depleted natural gas field and a saline aquifer. To this end, he employs traditional organic geochemistry datasets (Rock Eval, kinetics, biomarkers, stable carbon and hydrogen isotopes on individual compounds) as well integrating newer, higher resolution methodologies involving clumped and site-specific isotopes.

Ilya Bobrovskiy is a PhD student at Research School of Earth Sciences of the Australian National University. His research is focused on the Ediacara biota, the oldest large complex organisms on Earth, which look completely alien compared to any Phanerozoic or modern creatures. Studying biomarkers, sedimentology and inorganic geochemistry, he is trying to understand what these organisms were, what environments they inhabited and how they got preserved in the fossil record.

VISA information

All travellers other than Australian and New Zealand citizens need a valid visa or authority to enter Australia (including electronic visas).

Please contact if you need a letter of participation for your visa application. For some nationalities, processing and issuance of visas can take several weeks/months, so apply well before your planned travel.

For more information please visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Travelling to Canberra

The Canberra Airport accommodates flights from most of the major cities in Australia by Virgin Australia, Tiger Air, Fly Pelican and Qantas. Canberra is connected internationally by direct flights from Singapore with Singapore Airlines and Doha with Qatar Airways. Methods to get to and from the airport include car rental, taxi, Uber and public transport ACTION buses.

Murray's Buses make 10+ trips between Sydney and Canberra a day. Greyhound Buses also offers services from Sydney to Canberra, as well as between Melbourne and Canberra. Both these bus services arrive and depart at the Jolimont Centre. The Jolimont Centre is located a short 10 min walk from the ANU campus.


Canberra is a rare treat among Australian cities, providing a kaleidoscope of colour, activity and experiences based around our four distinct seasons.

The weather does change markedly from season to season. In December it will be summer in Australia, and temperatures in Canberra will be on average 27ºC (80.6ºF).

Canberra generally has low humidity, with dry heat in summer and cool winters. Given the city’s average elevation of 570m (1870 feet), frosts are common in winter and UV radiation can be high.

Time zone

In December, Canberra will be on Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT), which is 11 hours ahead of GMT.

Childcare options

There are two childcare centres on the ANU campus that offer casual care for children from birth to 5 years. If you are interested in using this service, please let us know so we can work out numbers and availability in the centres.

Transport around Canberra

Canberra’s primary form of public transport is the ACTION Bus network. There are two bus stops within 200m of the conference venue - Garran Road New Graduate House (Stop ID 4624) and Garran Road opposite New Graduate House (Stop ID 4625) which are connected by the No. 3 (timetable) and No. 934 (timetable) ACTION buses. Bus stops on Liversidge Street - Liversidge Street after Garran Road (Stop ID 3486), Liversidge Street before Balmain Crescent (Stop ID 4628) and Liversidge Street after McCoy Circuit (Stop ID 4629) are also serviced by the No. 7 ACTION bus (timetable). Bus fares can be paid with cash or using a pre-purchased MyWay card.

Canberra has excellent cycling infrastructure and is a great way to commute around town. Cycle Canberra have bikes for hire for short and long-term stays, which can be delivered to central hotels for free. If you’re looking to use a bike just for an hour or so, there are two bike-share stations near the ANU - NewActon Bike Hire in New Acton and Share A Bike outside the Novatel Hotel.

If you’ve hired a car, there are several parking areas near the conference venue. The ANU uses CellOPark to pay for short-term parking. Please register an account with CellOPark online or by downloading the app on your smartphone before attending the conference. A guide for using CellOPark can be found here. Please adhere to all parking rules and park in the designated zones as parking inspectors regularly patrol the campus.

What to do in Canberra

Canberra was recently named 3rd on the Lonely Planet’s list of Best Cities to Visit in the world! The Bush Capital is a family-friendly destination, a cosmopolitan city surrounded by nature reserves where kangaroos and politicians are your neighbours!

The Australian National University is located in the heart of the Canberra, with the city centre being within a 15-minute walk from the ANU. There is a strong coffee and food culture in Canberra. The Canberra Centre, the main shopping complex, contains diverse range of shops, cafés and restaurants. Braddon’s Lonsdale Street is a short walk from the city centre and is another food and culture hub with even more places for delicious breakfast and lunch as well as trendy bars and restaurants. Canberra’s nightlife is concentrated in the City and Braddon, making it super easy to hop between bars and clubs. If you’re staying south of the lake, check out the Kingston Foreshore and Manuka for even more dining and nightlife options.

There are a number of free cultural institutions located near the city. The National Museum of Australia is a 20 min walk from the conference venue and houses a number of travelling and permanent collections in an iconic building overlooking Lake Burley Griffin. The Parliamentary Triangle, just south of the lake, includes a number of museums and galleries within walking distance of each other including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library, Questacon - the National Science and Technology Centre, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and the Australian Parliament House.  The Australian War Memorial houses an extensive collection about Australia’s military history in a beautiful art deco building.

If you feel like stretching your legs in the beautiful Canberra sunshine, there a number of options close to the conference venue. For something super easy, stroll or ride along Lake Burley Griffin. The National Botanic Gardens is just a 20 min walk from the conference venue and boasts an extensive collection of living Australian native plants. The Gardens sit at the base of Black Mountain, which also has a number of trails to the top where you’ll find Telstra Tower and gorgeous panoramic views of Canberra. Mount Ainslie and Mount Majura also offers some spectacular views of the lake and the Parliamentary Triangle. There are several short walks in National Arboretum through large collections of rare and significant trees. There is also a fantastic playground for the kids! A short distance from the National Arboretum is the National Zoo and Aquarium, where you can Meet a Cheetah or feed a White Lion! There are also loads of bushwalking trails in and around the Canberra region which can be reached by car.

For more attractions, latest events and information about Canberra, check out the Visit Canberra website, the HerCanberra website and the Lonely Planet website.


University House ~ 150$ per night 0.4 km Located on the ANU campus
Canberra Rex Hotel ~ 170 $ per night  2.2 km  
Mercure Canberra ~ 200 $ per night 2.6 km  
Peppers Gallery Hotel > 200 $ per night 0.8 km  Located next to the ANU campus
Novotel ~ 200 $ per night 1.4 km Located near the city center
Avenue Hotel > 250 $ per night 1.6 km Located near the city center
Crowne Plaza > 250 $ per night 1.8 km Located near the city center
Apartment hotels
Adina Serviced Apartments ~200 $ per night 1.6 km  
Capital Executive Apartment hotel  ~175 $ per night 1.9 km 2 person room
Capital Executive Apartment hotel  ~200 $ per night 1.9 km 4 person room
Canberra City YHA  < 100 $ per night 1.5 km Located near the city center
Canberra has a variety of different apartments for various group sizes at various prices ranges