I am an experienced academic and industry leader. A former ARC Laureate Fellow, I am currently Director of the UNSW Earth and Sustainability Science Research Centre (the ESSRC) and Director of the UNSW Chronos 14Carbon-Cycle Facility where I bring together interdisciplinary teams to tackle global environmental challenges of societal importance in the Anthropocene. I champion the value
of science in decision-making, and work with scientific agencies and governments to inform on national and global policy and management.
Fields of Research (FoR)Carbon sequestration science, Environmental biogeochemistry, Climate change processes, Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation, Other earth sciences, Palaeoclimatology, Physical geography and environmental geoscience, Oceanography
Chris is a recently completed Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change and Earth Science at the University of New South Wales. Chris is an experienced science and industry leader who brings together interdisciplinary teams to tackle global environmental challenges of societal importance in the Anthropocene. Chris champions the value of science in decision-making, and work with governments, industry, the Third...view more
Chris is a recently completed Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change and Earth Science at the University of New South Wales. Chris is an experienced science and industry leader who brings together interdisciplinary teams to tackle global environmental challenges of societal importance in the Anthropocene. Chris champions the value of science in decision-making, and work with governments, industry, the Third Sector and communities to inform on national and global policy and technology deployment. He is Director of Earth and Sustainability Science Research Centre (ESSRC) and Director of the Chronos 14Carbon-Cycle Facility. He is also UNSW Node Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) and is a member of the International radiocarbon Calibration group (IntCal). To help do something positive about climate change, he was a Founding Director and Inventor of New Zealand-based clean tech company CarbonScape which has developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products including sustainably-produced bioengineered graphite for Li-ion batteries. Chris co-ordinates and teaches on GEOS3761 ‘Environmental Change’.
Chris has over 32,000 citations listed in Google Scholar with an h-index of 63 (56 reported in Scopus) and a Scopus Field-Weighted Citation Impact of 5.9 (2016-2021) – that is, outputs have been cited over 5.9 times the world average for similar publications. These statistics have been generated from over 220 scientific papers (11 papers in Nature and Science, 1 in Science Advances, 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 3 in Nature Geoscience, 5 in Nature Communications), 1 textbook and 5 books. Described by the UK Saturday Times as the ‘new David Livingstone’, Chris’ team communicate their findings in the field as Intrepid Science, reporting discoveries when they happen, where they happen. Chris has received numerous awards, including the Australian Academy of Sciences Frederick Stone Award (2014), the Geological Society of London’s Bigsby Medal (2009), the Philip Levehulme Prize (2008), and the inaugural Sir Nicholas Shackleton Medal (2007) from the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA).
Chris is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, the Royal Meteorological Society, the Geological Society of London, the Royal Geographical Society and the Advance HE.
Recent Grant Funding
2020 Turney, C.S.M., Thomas, Z., Becerra-Valdivia, L., Fogwill, C., Golledge, N., Weber, M., Davies, S. Back to the Future: Interglacial Warming and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. ARC Discovery Project. A$590,000.
2020 Rohling, E., Bostock, H., George, S., Foden, G., Gallagher, S., Grice, K., McGregor, H., Nebel, O., O’Leary, M., Sloss, C., Turney, C., Webster, J. and Whittaker, J. (alphabetical) Australian Membership of the International Ocean Discovery Program. ARC Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities. A$3 million.
2018 Turney, C.S.M. Chronos 14Carbon-Cycle Facility: A new carbon dating facility for UNSW. University of New South Wales. A$7.9 million
- 2017 Roberts, R., Brook, B., Johnson, C., O’Connor, S., Lawson, J., Bird, M., Cooper, A., Turney, C.S.M., David, B. and others (alphabetical). ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage. A$34 million.
- 2017 Turney, C.S.M., Cooper, A., Hughen, K., Muscheler, R. and Hogg, A. Testing the mechanisms and impacts of abrupt and extreme climate change. ARC Discovery Project. A$1 million.
PhD in Geography
1994 to 1998 ROYAL HOLLOWAY, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, Egham, U.K.
Ph.D. in 'Stable isotope stratigraphy and tephrochronology of the last glacial-interglacial transition (14-9 ka 14C BP) in the British Isles.’ Supervisors Prof. J.J. Lowe and Dr D.D. Harkness (NERC Radiocarbon Laboratory, East Kilbride).
B.Sc. (Hons.) in Environmental Science
1991 to 1994 UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA, Norwich, U.K.
B.Sc. (Hons.) in Environmental Science. Grade 2:1.
- 2014 Frederick White Prize, The Australian Academy of Science
- 2011 Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship
- 2009 Bigsby Medal, The Geological Society of London
- 2008 Philip Leverhulme Prize, The Leverhulme Trust
- 2007 Sir Nicholas Shackleton Medal for Most Outstanding Quaternary Scientist, International Union for Quaternary Research (first recipient)
- 2004 J.G. Russell Award, Australian Academy of Science
- 2002/2003 Teaching Award, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK (first in the Science Faculty)
My Research Activities
I am an internationally recognized Earth scientist and research leader at the University of New South Wales. My research cuts across traditional discipline divides, and is focussed on understanding the Earth system and using this knowledge to mitigate the impacts of future projected environmental change. I firmly believe it is only through bringing together different disciplines can we successfully meet the challenges of the future. I am privileged to lead an amazing group of transdisciplinary researchers and teachers as Director of the Earth and Sustainability Science Research Centre and Director of the UNSW Chronos 14Carbon-Cycle Facility, working to find global environmental solutions in this all important next decade. I champion the value of science in decision-making, and work with governments, industry, the Third Sector and communities to help achieve this aim.
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
- Nature-based solutions for managing climate change
- Negative Emission Technologies
- Carbon Cycle
- Sustainable Development Goals
- Abrupt and extreme environmental change
- Tipping points in the Earth system
- Antarctic Science
- Climate Impacts
- Global Teleconnections
- Radiocarbon (14C)
- Human-Environment Interactions
- Model-Data Comparisons
2020-present Salman Sharifazari 'Climate change impacts on water resources for Indian Ocean island Communities.' University of New South Wales.
2019-present Matthew Harris ‘A Southern Ocean Solution: reconstructing past Weddell Sea ocean productivity using a novel biomarker proxy.’ University of Keele, UK.
2018-present Philippa Higgins ‘Improving our understanding of climate change-groundwater interactions in the Pacific.’ University of New South Wales.
I co-ordinate and teach on GEOS3761 ‘Environmental Change’.
Past environmental changes and their impacts are increasingly providing valuable insights into how our planet works. And it’s becoming evermore clear that nowhere is really isolated from anywhere else. From Sydney to the Arctic, seemingly unrelated parts of the world are connected in one way or another. The course GEOS3761 ‘Environmental Change’ is on offer at the University of New South Wales and designed to provide you with a critical understanding of past environmental change and what this means for the future.
I hope you can join us.