Profiles

Joanne Whittaker

UTAS Home Dr Joanne Whittaker

Joanne Whittaker

Cross-disciplinary Theme Leader (Ocean-Earth System) and Senior Lecturer

Room Level 2, IMAS Waterfront Building, Hobart CBD Campuses

+61 3 6226 6367 (phone)

Jo.Whittaker@utas.edu.au

Around 200 million years ago, the super continent 'Gondwana' broke apart. The tectonic plates that cover the Earth's surface shifted. Lava erupted between the plates from the Earth's deep interior forming new ocean basins. Today the continents are slowly moving towards each other to eventually rest together once more. The question is why? The answers lie in the deep.

"The earth's special because the outer-most crust is able to move, and that gives us mountain ranges and ocean basins that move and change dynamically through time and that enables life to exist on our planet"

Joanne Whittaker - September 2013

Plate tectonics:
Piecing together a 200 million year old jigsaw puzzle

Marine Geophysicist, Dr Joanne Whittaker, is studying the fundamental processes that drive plate tectonics. She is interested in how the ocean basins form, how the continents move and how the Earth's surface motions react with the viscous interior.

'Essentially, I want to understand how the Earth works. But we are constrained by sparse and incomplete data,' she said.

'Plate tectonics has only been around as a theory since the 1950s. There is good surface data and old rock samples but relatively little data from the deep Earth ocean floor. We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the deep ocean. Underwater exploration is remote and time-consuming and it is expensive,' said Dr Whittaker.

Dr Whittaker is studying the past 200 million years, to try and understand where the plates were, why they shifted and what is happening now. The data is fed into modelling to map and reconstruct the movement of the plates.

'It is literally a giant jigsaw puzzle!' She said.

Dr Whittaker is well known for developing an understanding of the interaction between eruptions from the mantle, the earth's molten core, and the surface motions of the tectonic plates.

She studies satellite data of the ocean floor to look for interesting features that reveal information about ancient plate motions and their interaction with the hot, viscous mantle below.

'I love looking at unusual features under the water on satellite data. This is often what directs our research. We want to know what is that thing? How did it get there? Is it a seamount or could it be part of a continent?'

She led the team to explore two big underwater plateaus, together roughly half the size of Tasmania, off the coast of Western Australia, in 2011.

'We collected geological and geophysical data from the ocean floor, and what we found was that the plateaux are little pieces of India that were left behind when it broke off from Western Australia 100-104 million years ago,' she said.

Dr Whittaker is particularly interested in the movement of Australia away from Antarctica around 35 million years ago. She has been collaborating to look at how this separation influenced paleo ocean circulations. Taking core samples from sediments on the ocean floor, they are analysing fossilised fish teeth to determine what the ocean currents and circulations were doing around 35-30 million years ago, and how this was influenced by the position of Australia and Antarctica.

'It provides us with another piece of the jigsaw puzzle. The teeth are like little tape recorders that can tell us a lot about the ocean currents at that time. The currents were effected by the separation of the continents, and the latitude that the continents were at,' said Dr Whittaker.

Understanding the evolution of continents over millions and billions of years can also identify the likely location of mineral, oil and gas deposits. The data collected and models produced by Dr Whittaker are used by industry to inform further exploration.

'If we had funding to not only collect, but process the data, with the increasing power of computer models and simulations, I believe in my lifetime we will become so much closer to understanding the Earth.'

Career summary

Qualifications

  • PhD (2008)  Tectonic consequences of mid-ocean ridge evolution and subduction -  University of Sydney
  • Master of Geophysics (2005)  Late Tertiary vertical movements and sedimentation, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica: The link to historic Antarctic climates - Victoria University of Wellington
  • BSc (Hons)/Bachelor of Commerce - (2003) University of Sydney

Biography

Jo Whittaker joined the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Science (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania in January 2013. Her research interests are predominantly in plate tectonics, marine geophysics and geodynamics. Jo completed a combine science/commerce undergraduate degree with Honours in Geophysics from the University of Sydney in 2003, followed by a Masters in Geophysics from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. She received her PhD, on the tectonic consequences of mid-ocean ridge formation, evolution and subduction, from the University of Sydney in 2008. Following graduation she worked both for industry (GETECH in the UK) and academia (post-doc, University of Sydney).

Research Themes

Jo's research encompasses two of the University of Tasmania's research themes, the Marine, Antarctic and Maritime theme, aligning with IMAS and the ARC Antarctic Gateway Partnership Special Research Initiative, and the Environment, Resources and Sustainability theme, aligning with research strengths in the School of Physical Sciences and CODES. Her research interests are in the field of plate tectonics, geophysics and geology specifically looking at the formation and evolution of continental margins and oceanic crust. She uses marine geophysical and geological datasets to understand how the interaction of upper mantle convection patterns and surface plate tectonics shape the formation of the seafloor and ocean basins. Studying plate tectonic process and surface and basin geology in concert allows analysis of both horizontal plate tectonic driven vertical mantle driven processes that together control the evolution of ocean basins over millions of years.

Memberships

Professional practice

  • Geological Society of Australia
  • American Geophysical Union
  • European Geophysical Union

Committee associations

  • Member of the Australian Marine National Facility Scientific Advisory Committee

Administrative expertise

Jo is the Cross Disciplinary Theme Leader for Ocean Earth Systems at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

Teaching

Plate tectonics, mantle plumes, micro-continents, tectonic reconstructions, marine geophysics

Teaching expertise

Jo has experience teaching across a range of geoscience subject areas in both classroom and field based settings in areas such as the fundamentals of plate tectonics, ocean basin formation and morphology, isostacy,mantle plumes, magnetics and marine sedimentation patterns. She also has experience teaching intensive courses, e.g. the use of GMT (a specialised set of open source command line tools widely used in the geosciences), and Gplates (open source plate tectonic reconstruction software).

Teaching responsibility

  • KEA270 Marine Geosciences
  • KSA205 Introduction to Oceanography
  • JFA114 Introduction to Oceanography
  • KSA306 Advanced Oceanography
  • KSA418 Marine and Antarctic Environments

Research Appointments

  •  2008-present: Honorary Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK

Research Invitations

  • 2014: Invited speaker, European Geophysical Union General Assembly
  • 2011: Invited speaker, 36th Professor Harry Messel International Science School: Light and Matter, Sydney
  • 2010:  Invited speaker, Austral Portals Symposium, New York, USA
  • 2009:  Invited speaker, Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium, Washington DC, USA
  • 2007:  Invited speaker, Emerging Plays in Australasia, Geological Society of London

View more on Dr Jo Whittaker in WARP

Expertise

Jo is an academic in the field of marine geoscience. Her research focuses on understanding fundamental Earth system processes and mechanisms, with a focus on understanding the evolution of Australia, Antarctica, the Southern Ocean, and the Eastern Indian Ocean.

Jo has expertise in:

  • using geophysical and geological datasets to understand how surface plate tectonics and convection patterns interact to shape the the seafloor, ocean basins, continental margins
  • reconstructing relative and absolute plate tectonic motions
  • the interaction between surface tectonic processes, deep mantle processes and Large Igneous Province formation
  • the formation of micro-continents 
  • the interaction between plate tectonic motions and paleo-ocean circulation patterns

Awards

  • 2013 L'Oreal 'For Women in Science' Award
  • 2012 Edgeworth David Medal, Royal Society of NSW
  • 2010 NSW Tall Poppy Award, Australian Institute of Policy & Science
  • 2008 Awarded 'Best Oral Presentation' at the Third Eastern Australian Basins Symposium, Sydney
  • 2007 Postgraduate Research Prize, The University of Sydney

Collaboration

Jo's research style is strongly collaborative, manifested by a wide range of national and international co-authors. Nationally, she has robust and productive collaborations, co-authorship, and co-led grants with the EarthByte Group led by ARC Laureate Fellow Professor Dietmar Müller at the University of Sydney, Professor Louis Moresi's group at the University of Melbourne, and Geoscience Australia. She collaborates with leading geophysicists and geodynamicists internationally, e.g. at the California Institute of Technology, University of South Carolina, the University of Hawaii, and University of Oslo.

Current projects

  • ARC Discovery Project 150102887: The global consequences of subduction zone congestion
  • ARC Antarctic Gateway Special Research Initiative: Theme 3
  • Seed Grant University of New England: Geochemical constraints on the affinity and origin of rocks from the Perth Abyssal Plain
  • UTAS REGS: Reconstructing the submarine and subglacial East Gondwanan mountain chain
  • Australian Antarctic Science Grant 4355: Reconstructing East Antarctica in Gondwana: ground-truthing a new tectonic model
  • Australian Antarctic Science Grant 4338: Submarine volcanism and hydrothermalism around Heard and McDonald Islands

Fields of Research

  • Marine Geoscience (040305)
  • Tectonics (040313)
  • Geodynamics (040402)
  • Geochronology (040303)
  • Basin Analysis (040301)
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (040304)
  • Surveying (incl. Hydrographic Surveying) (090906)
  • Palaeoclimatology (040605)
  • Geology (040399)
  • Isotope Geochemistry (040203)
  • Exploration Geochemistry (040201)
  • Inorganic Geochemistry (040202)
  • Stratigraphy (incl. Biostratigraphy and Sequence Stratigraphy) (040311)
  • Sedimentology (040310)
  • Structural Geology (040312)
  • Volcanology (040314)
  • Pattern Recognition and Data Mining (080109)
  • Oceanography (040599)
  • Chemical Oceanography (040502)
  • Geophysics (040499)
  • Biological Oceanography (040501)
  • Physical Oceanography (040503)

Research Objectives

  • Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences (970104)
  • Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments (960507)
  • Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments (excl. Social Impacts) (960306)
  • Copper Ore Exploration (840102)
  • Precious (Noble) Metal Ore Exploration (840105)
  • Natural Hazards in Marine Environments (961006)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences (970105)
  • Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. climate related) (969902)
  • Mineral Exploration (840199)
  • Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Oceanography (969901)

Publications

Jo regularly publishes papers on topics such as plate tectonics, marine geophysics and mantle-surface interaction in journals including Nature, Science, Nature Geoscience, and Earth and Planetary Science Letters papers, and a first-author manuscript is currently under review with Nature Geoscience. In 2009, she was invited to write a News and Views piece for Nature Geoscience. Jo regularly acts as a reviewer, for journals including Nature Geoscience, Geology, Geophysical Research Letters, Gondwana Research, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, Geophysical Journal International, and the Journal of Biogeography.

Total publications

62

Highlighted publications

(8 outputs)
YearTypeCitationAltmetrics
2015Journal ArticleScher HD, Whittaker JM, Williams SE, Latimer JC, Kordesch WEC, et al., 'Onset of Antarctic Circumpolar Current 30 million years ago as Tasmanian Gateway aligned with westerlies', Nature, 523, (7562) pp. 580-583. ISSN 0028-0836 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/nature14598 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 16Web of Science - 14

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2015Journal ArticleSeton M, Flament N, Whittaker J, Muller RD, Gurnis M, et al., 'Ridge subduction sparked reorganization of the Pacific plate-mantle system 60-50 million years ago', Geophysical Research Letters, 42, (6) pp. 1732-1740. ISSN 0094-8276 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063057 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 22Web of Science - 20

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2015Journal ArticleWhittaker JM, Afonso JC, Masterton S, Muller RD, Wessel P, et al., 'Long-term interaction between mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes', Nature Geoscience, 8, (6) pp. 479-484. ISSN 1752-0894 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2437 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 16Web of Science - 15

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2014Journal ArticleHalpin JA, Jensen T, McGoldrick P, Meffre S, Berry RF, et al., 'Authigenic monazite and detrital zircon dating from the Proterozoic Rocky Cape Group, Tasmania: links to the Belt-Purcell Supergroup, North America', Precambrian Research, 250 pp. 50-67. ISSN 0301-9268 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.precamres.2014.05.025 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 26

Co-authors: Halpin JA; McGoldrick P; Meffre S; Berry RF; Thompson J; Goemann K

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2009Journal ArticleWhittaker J, 'The hydrangeas of plate tectonics', Nature Geoscience, 2, (4) pp. 246-247. ISSN 1752-0894 (2009) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/ngeo492 [eCite] [Details]

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2008Journal ArticleWhittaker J, Muller RD, Roest WR, Wessel P, Smith WHF, 'How supercontinents and superoceans affect seafloor roughness', Nature, 456, (18/25 December 2008) pp. 938-942. ISSN 0028-0836 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/nature07573 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 14Web of Science - 14

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2007Journal ArticleWhittaker J, Muller RD, Leitchenkov G, Stagg H, Sdrolias M, et al., 'Major Australian-Antarctic Plate Reorganization at Hawaiian-Emperor Bend Time', Science, 318 pp. 83-86. ISSN 0036-8075 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1126/science.1143769 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 118

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2007Journal ArticleWhittaker J, Muller RD, Sdrolias M, Heine C, 'Sunda-Java trench kinematics, slab window formation and overriding plate deformation since the Cretaceous', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 255 pp. 445-457. ISSN 0012-821X (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2006.12.031 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 45

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Journal Article

(32 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2017Burton-Johnson A, Halpin JA, Whittaker JM, Graham FS, Watson SJ, 'A new heat flux model for the Antarctic Peninsula incorporating spatially variable upper crustal radiogenic heat production', Geophysical Research Letters, 44, (11) pp. 5436-5446. ISSN 0094-8276 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073596 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Halpin JA; Graham FS; Watson SJ

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2017Watson SJ, Whittaker JM, Lucieer V, Coffin MF, Lamarche G, 'Erosional and depositional processes on the submarine flanks of Ontong Java and Nukumanu atolls, western equatorial Pacific Ocean', Marine Geology pp. 1-59. ISSN 0025-3227 (In Press) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2017.08.006 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Watson SJ; Lucieer V; Coffin MF

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2016Whittaker JM, Williams SE, Halpin JA, Wild TJ, Stilwell JD, et al., 'Eastern Indian Ocean microcontinent formation driven by plate motion changes', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 454 pp. 203-212. ISSN 0012-821X (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.09.019 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3

Co-authors: Halpin JA

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2016Watson SJ, Whittaker JM, Halpin JA, Williams SE, Milan LA, et al., 'Tectonic drivers and the influence of the Kerguelen plume on seafloor spreading during formation of the early Indian Ocean', Gondwana Research, 35 pp. 97-114. ISSN 1342-937X (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.gr.2016.03.009 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4

Co-authors: Watson SJ; Halpin JA

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2015Gibbons AD, Zahirovic S, Muller RD, Whittaker JM, Yatheesh V, 'A tectonic model reconciling evidence for the collisions between India, Eurasia and intra-oceanic arcs of the central-eastern Tethys', Gondwana Research, 28, (2) pp. 451-492. ISSN 1342-937X (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.gr.2015.01.001 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 29Web of Science - 27

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2015Matthews KJ, Williams SE, Whittaker JM, Muller RD, Seton M, et al., 'Geologic and kinematic constraints on Late Cretaceous to mid Eocene plate boundaries in the southwest Pacific', Earth Science Reviews, 140 pp. 72-107. ISSN 0012-8252 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2014.10.008 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 14

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2015Scher HD, Whittaker JM, Williams SE, Latimer JC, Kordesch WEC, et al., 'Onset of Antarctic Circumpolar Current 30 million years ago as Tasmanian Gateway aligned with westerlies', Nature, 523, (7562) pp. 580-583. ISSN 0028-0836 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/nature14598 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 16Web of Science - 14

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2015Gardner RL, Daczko NR, Halpin JA, Whittaker JM, 'Discovery of a microcontinent (Gulden Draak Knoll) offshore Western Australia: implications for East Gondwana reconstructions', Gondwana Research, 28, (3) pp. 1019-1031. ISSN 1342-937X (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.gr.2014.08.013 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 5

Co-authors: Halpin JA

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2015Wessel P, Matthews KJ, Muller RD, Mazzoni A, Whittaker JM, et al., 'Semi-automatic fracture zone tracking', Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 16, (7) pp. 2462-2472. ISSN 1525-2027 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/2015GC005853 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 8

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2015Whittaker JM, Afonso JC, Masterton S, Muller RD, Wessel P, et al., 'Long-term interaction between mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes', Nature Geoscience, 8, (6) pp. 479-484. ISSN 1752-0894 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2437 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 16Web of Science - 15

Tweet

2015Seton M, Flament N, Whittaker J, Muller RD, Gurnis M, et al., 'Ridge subduction sparked reorganization of the Pacific plate-mantle system 60-50 million years ago', Geophysical Research Letters, 42, (6) pp. 1732-1740. ISSN 0094-8276 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063057 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 22Web of Science - 20

Tweet

2014Halpin JA, Jensen T, McGoldrick P, Meffre S, Berry RF, et al., 'Authigenic monazite and detrital zircon dating from the Proterozoic Rocky Cape Group, Tasmania: links to the Belt-Purcell Supergroup, North America', Precambrian Research, 250 pp. 50-67. ISSN 0301-9268 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.precamres.2014.05.025 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 26

Co-authors: Halpin JA; McGoldrick P; Meffre S; Berry RF; Thompson J; Goemann K

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2014Seton M, Whittaker J, Wessel P, Muller RD, DeMets C, et al., 'Community infrastructure and repository for marine magnetic identifications', Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 15, (4) pp. 1629-1641. ISSN 1525-2027 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/2013GC005176 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 16Web of Science - 14

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2013Gibbons AD, Whittaker JM, Muller RD, 'The breakup of East Gondwana: Assimilating constraints from Cretaceous ocean basins around India into a best-fit tectonic model', Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 118, (3) pp. 1-5. ISSN 2169-9313 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/jgrb.50079 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 50Web of Science - 54

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2013Hosseinpour M, Muller RD, Williams SE, Whittaker J, 'Full-fit reconstruction of the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay', Solid Earth, 4 pp. 461-479. ISSN 1869-9510 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.5194/se-4-461-2013 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 17

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2013Whittaker J, Goncharov A, Williams SE, Muller RD, Leitchenkov G, 'Global sediment thickness data set updated for the Australian-Antarctic Southern Ocean', Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 14, (8) pp. 3297-3305. ISSN 1525-2027 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/ggge.20181 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 50Web of Science - 46

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2013Whittaker JM, Williams SE, Muller RD, 'Revised tectonic evolution of the Eastern Indian Ocean', Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 14, (6) pp. 1891-1909. ISSN 1525-2027 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/ggge.20120 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 29Web of Science - 27

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2013Williams SE, Whittaker J, Granot R, Muller DR, 'Early India-Australia spreading history revealed by newly detected Mesozoic magnetic anomalies in the Perth Abyssal Plain', Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, 118, (7) pp. 3275-3284. ISSN 2169-9313 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/jgrb.50239 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 15Web of Science - 13

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2012Gibbons AD, Barckhausen U, van den Bogaard P, Werner R, Whittaker J, et al., 'Constraining the Jurassic extent of Greater India: Tectonic evolution of the West Australian margin', Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 13, (5) Article Q05W13. ISSN 1525-2027 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1029/2011GC003919 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 49Web of Science - 48

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2012Williams SE, Muller RD, Landgrebe TCW, Whittaker J, 'An open-source software environment for visualizing and refining plate tectonic reconstructions using high-resolution geological and geophysical data sets', GSA Today, 22, (4-5) pp. 4-9. ISSN 1052-5173 (2012) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 31

2012Zahirovic S, Muller RD, Seton M, Flament N, Gurnis M, et al., 'Insights on the kinematics of the India-Eurasia collision from global geodynamic models', Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 13, (4) Article Q04W11. ISSN 1525-2027 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1029/2011GC003883 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 26Web of Science - 16

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2012Mazur S, Green C, Stewart MG, Whittaker J, Williams S, et al., 'Displacement along the Red River Fault constrained by extension estimates and plate reconstructions', Tectonics, 31 Article TC5008. ISSN 0278-7407 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1029/2012TC003174 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 17

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2011Matthews KJ, Muller RD, Wessel P, Whittaker J, 'The tectonic fabric of the ocean basins', Journal of Geophysical Research-Space Physics, 116 pp. B12109. ISSN 0148-0227 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1029/2011JB008413 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 39

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2011Williams SE, Whittaker J, Muller RD, 'Full‐fit, palinspastic reconstruction of the conjugate Australian‐Antarctic margins', Tectonics, 30 pp. TC6012. ISSN 0278-7407 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1029/2011TC002912 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 39

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2010Whittaker J, Muller RD, Gurnis M, 'Development of the Australian‐Antarctic depth anomaly', Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 11, (11) pp. Q11006. ISSN 1525-2027 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1029/2010GC003276 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 14Web of Science - 13

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2009Whittaker J, 'The hydrangeas of plate tectonics', Nature Geoscience, 2, (4) pp. 246-247. ISSN 1752-0894 (2009) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/ngeo492 [eCite] [Details]

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2008Fielding CR, Whittaker J, Henrys SA, Wilson TJ, Naish TR, 'Seismic facies and stratigraphy of the Cenozoic succession in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica: Implications for tectonic, climatic and glacial history', Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology: An International Journal for The Geo-Sciences, 260 pp. 8-29. ISSN 0031-0182 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2007.08.016 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 59

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2008Whittaker J, Muller RD, Leitchenkov G, Stagg H, Sdrolias M, et al., 'Response to Comment on 'Major Australian-Antarctic Plate Reorganization at Hawaiian-Emperor Bend Time'', Science, 321 pp. 490d. ISSN 0036-8075 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1126/science.1157501 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5

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2008Whittaker J, Muller RD, Roest WR, Wessel P, Smith WHF, 'How supercontinents and superoceans affect seafloor roughness', Nature, 456, (18/25 December 2008) pp. 938-942. ISSN 0028-0836 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/nature07573 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 14Web of Science - 14

Tweet

2007Whittaker J, Muller RD, Leitchenkov G, Stagg H, Sdrolias M, et al., 'Major Australian-Antarctic Plate Reorganization at Hawaiian-Emperor Bend Time', Science, 318 pp. 83-86. ISSN 0036-8075 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1126/science.1143769 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 118

Tweet

2007Whittaker J, Muller RD, Sdrolias M, Heine C, 'Sunda-Java trench kinematics, slab window formation and overriding plate deformation since the Cretaceous', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 255 pp. 445-457. ISSN 0012-821X (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2006.12.031 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 45

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2006Whittaker J, Muller RD, 'Seismic stratigraphy of the Adare Trough area, Antarctica', Marine Geology: International Journal of Marine Geology, Geochemistry and Geophysics, 230 pp. 179-197. ISSN 0025-3227 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2006.05.002 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5

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Chapter in Book

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2015Coffin MF, Whittaker JM, 'Intraplate Magmatism', Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences, Springer Netherlands, J Harff, M Meschede, S Petersen, J Tiede (ed), Netherlands, pp. 1-12. ISBN 9789400762374 (2015) [Other Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-6644-0_19-1 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Coffin MF

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Conference Publication

(25 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2017Burton-Johnson A, Halpin J, Whittaker J, Watson S, 'The forgotten component of sub-glacial heat flow: upper crustal heat production and resultant total heat flux on the Antarctic Peninsula', Geophysical Research Abstracts, 23-28 April, Vienna, Austria, pp. 14314. ISSN 1607-7962 (2017) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Halpin J; Watson S

2017Mundana R, Johnson SC, Whittaker JM, Carey R, Sauermilch I, et al., 'Rocks from the Cascade Seamount: an archive of the unzipping of Gondwana and the initiation of the ACC?', AGU Chapman Conference 2017 Abstracts, 29 January-03 February, Hobart, Tasmania (2017) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Johnson SC; Carey R; Fox JM

2016Watson SJ, Coffin MF, Whittaker JM, Lucieer V, Fox JM, et al., 'Submarine geology and geomorphology of active Sub-Antarctic volcanoes: Heard and McDonald Islands', American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting abstracts, 12-16 December 2016, San Francicso, USA, pp. V43F-08. (2016) [Plenary Presentation]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Watson SJ; Coffin MF; Lucieer V; Fox JM; Carey R; Bowie AR; Chase Z

2016Watson SJ, Lucieer V, Coffin MF, Whittaker JM, 'The Ontong Java Plateau uncovered: evidence for mass wasting on the flanks of Ontong Java and Nukumanu atolls', Australian Earth Science Convention abstracts, 26-30 June, Adelaide (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Watson SJ; Lucieer V; Coffin MF

2016Reading A, Halpin J, Whittaker J, Cracknell M, Gal M, et al., 'An interdisciplinary approach to constructing models of the lithosphere across the Australia-Antarctica conjugate margin', Abstracts from the Australian Earth Sciences Convention (AESC 2016), 26-30 June 2016, Adelaide, South Australia, pp. 371. (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Reading A; Halpin J; Cracknell M; Gal M; Morse P

2015Coffin M, Adams N, Whittaker J, Lucieer V, Heckman M, et al., 'The world's largest submarine canyon Kroenke Canyon in the Western Equatorial Pacific', American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Program, 14-18 December, San Francisco, USA, pp. OS21A-1953. (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Coffin M; Lucieer V

2015Daczko NR, Halpin JA, Whittaker JM, Fitzsimons ICW, 'The Neoproterozoic East Gondwana suture: reconciling geological and geophysical evidence', Geological Society of Australia Abstract, November 2015, Caloundra, Queensland, pp. abstract 33. ISSN 0729-011X (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Halpin JA

2015Halpin JA, Daczko NR, Whittaker JM, Williams SE, Gardner RL, et al., 'Microcontinents offshore Western Australia: insights into the make-up and break-up of East Gondwana', Geological Society of Australia Abstracts, November 2015, Caloundra, Queensland, pp. abstract 34. ISSN 0729-011X (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Halpin JA; Quilty PG

2015Watson SJ, Whittaker JM, Halpin JA, Williams S, Milan LA, et al., 'Unraveling the unusual morphology of the Cretaceous Dirck Hartog extinct mid-ocean ridge', AGU 2015 Fall Meeting Programme, 14-18 December, San Francisco, USA, pp. V21A-3007. (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Watson SJ; Halpin JA

2015Halpin JA, Daczko NR, Whittaker JM, Williams SE, Gardner RL, et al., 'Micro-continents offshore Western Australia: insights into the make-up and break-up of East Gondwana', XII International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Science (ISAES 2015) Conference Program, 13-17 July, Goa, India (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Halpin JA; Quilty PG

2014Halpin JA, Jensen T, McGoldrick P, Meffre S, Berry RF, et al., 'Age constraints from the Rocky Cape Group: putting Tasmania on the Mesoproterozoic map', Abstracts of the 22nd Australian Earth Sciences Convention 2014, 7-10 July 2014, Newcastle, Australia, pp. 207-208. ISSN 0729-011X (2014) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Halpin JA; McGoldrick P; Meffre S; Berry RF; Thompson J; Goemann K

2014Whittaker J, Williams S, Halpin J, Daczko N, Gardner R, 'Micro-continents offshore Western Australia: implications for East Gondwana reconstructions', European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2014, 27 April - 2 May, Vienna, Austria, pp. 12573. (2014) [Keynote Presentation]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Halpin J

2013Hall LS, Gibbons AD, Bernardel G, Whittaker J, Nicholson C, et al., 'Structural Architecture of Australia's Southwest Continental Margin and Implications for Early Cretaceous Basin Evolution', The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia IV: Proceedings of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, 18-21 August 2013, Perth, WA, pp. 2-20. (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2013Whittaker J, Halpin JA, Williams SE, Hall LS, Gardner R, et al., 'Tectonic Evolution and Continental Fragmentation of the Southern West Australian Margin', The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia IV: Proceedings of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, 18-21 August 2013, Perth, WA, pp. 1-18. (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Halpin JA

2013Williams SE, Whittaker J, Muller RD, 'Newly-recognised Continental Fragments Rifted from the West Australian Margin', The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia IV: Proceedings of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, 18-21 August 2013, Perth, WA, pp. 1-9. (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2012Lane H, Muller RD, Totterdell JM, Whittaker J, 'Developing a consistent sequence stratigraphy for the Wilkes Land and Great Australian Bight margins', Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium IV, 10-14 September 2012, Brisbane, QLD, pp. 1-13. (2012) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2012Seton M, Flament N, Whittaker J, Muller D, Bower d, et al., 'A forward geodynamic modelling approach to understand the history of subduction along the east Asian margin', 6th eResearch Australasia Conference 2012, 28 October - 1 November 2012, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-2. (2012) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2012Whittaker J, Goncharov A, Williams SE, Muller RD, 'Crustal velocity and sediment thickness asymmetries along and between the conjugate Australian-Antarctic margins', Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium IV, 10-14 September 2012, Brisbane, QLD, pp. 1-6. (2012) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2012Williams SE, Whittaker J, Muller RD, 'Full-fit reconstructions of the southern Australian margin and Antarctica - implications for correlating geology between Australia and Antarctica', Proceedings of the Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium IV, 10-14 September 2012, Brisbane, QLD, pp. 1-8. (2012) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2010Fabian T, Whittaker J, Muller RD, 'Mapping Tertiary mid-ocean ridge subduction and slab window formation beneath Sundaland using seismic tomography', Preview Journal, 22-26 August 2010, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-4. ISSN 0956-540X (2010) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2010Gibbons A, Whittaker J, Muller RD, 'Revised plate tectonic history of the west Australian margin reveals how the Gascoyne Terrane docked at West Burma', Proceedings of the 21st Australian Society of Exploration Geophysics Conference and Exhibition, 30 August 2010, Sydney, pp. 1-4. (2010) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2010Whittaker J, Williams S, Kusznir N, Muller D, 'Restoring the continent-ocean boundary: constraints from lithospheric stretching grids and tectonic reconstructions', ASEG 2010 Proceedings, 22 August 2010, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-4. (2010) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2010Williams S, Whittaker J, Mazur S, 'What can potential field data really tell us about Continent-Ocean transitions?', Conference Proceedings, 22-26 August 2010, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-5. ISSN 1836-084X (2010) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2008Whittaker J, Muller RD, Goncharov A, 'Australian-Antarctic rifting', PESA Eastern Australasian Basins Symposium III, 14-17 September 2008, Sydney, Australia, pp. 271-274. (2008) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2007Henrys S, Wilson T, Whittaker J, Fielding C, Hall J, et al., 'Tectonic history of mid-Miocene to present southern Victoria Land Basin, inferred from seismic stratigraphy in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica', US Geological Survey, 26/08/2007-01/09/2007, Santa Barbara, California, United States, pp. 1-4. ISSN 0196-1497 (2007) [Refereed Conference Paper]

DOI: 10.3133/of2007-1047.srp049 [eCite] [Details]

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Contract Report, Consultant's Report

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2015Coffin MF, Adams N, Heckman M, Ketter T, Lucieer VL, et al., 'Deciphering Ontong Java Atoll, Nukumanu Atoll, and Kroenke Canyon, Western Equatorial Pacific final project report for RV Falkor FK141015 15 October - 3 November 2014', Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, FK141015 (2015) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Coffin MF; Lucieer VL

Other Public Output

(3 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2014Whittaker J, Williams S, 'What is it really like under the Indian Ocean', The Conversation, The Conversation Trust, Australia, 17 June (2014) [Newspaper Article]

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2013Whittaker J, 'How Australia and India broke up - 100 million years ago', L'Oreal For Women in Science Fellowship, Australia (2013) [Award]

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2012Whittaker J, 'Award in geophysics', The Edgeworth David Medal (2012) [Award]

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Grants & Funding

Jo has been awarded significant funding and research support, including a 2015 ARC Discovery Project and a 2014 ARC DECRA. Additionally, she has been highly successful in obtaining shiptime on large national and international scientific research vessels through competitive peer review processes.

  • 2012-2014: Chief investigator on three separate grants (from CSIRO and Schmidt Oceanographic Institute) for a total of 16 weeks' ship time (worth almost $5.5 million)
  • 2011:  Lead chief investigator on grant for three weeks' ship time (worth almost $1 million) on Australia's Marine National Facility research vessel Southern Surveyor, funded by CSIRO and Statoil

Funding Summary

Number of grants

13

Total funding

$2,074,602

Projects

East Tasman Plateau - key to unravelling the onset of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (2017)$19,180
Description
The onset of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current was controlled by the Eocene rifting of Tasmania from Antarctica and evolution of the deep Tasman Gateway (e.g. Stickley et al. 2004; Scher et al. 2015). However, the exact mechanism enabling the onset of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current through the Tasman Gateway remains controversial, with rapid Eocene deepening (Stickley et al. 2004) and northward migration (Scher et al. 2015) both implicated. The source of controversy lies in alternative interpretations of the paleoenvironment and subsidence of the East Tasman Plateau, and the Cascade Seamount that sits upon it. Driven by interpretations of IODP drill site 1172 on the East Tasman Plateau, which was used as the type example for the region, the South Tasman Rise region (Fig. 1) is thought to have deepened rapidly in the late Eocene enabling formation of the deep oceanic gateway (Stickley et al. 2004; Hill and Exon, 2004). In this interpretation, the East Tasman Plateau was close to sea level during the Late Eocene and has subsided ~2 km since then to its present depth. However, the subsidence history inferred from dredge samples from the Cascade Seamount, a ~2000 m seamount sitting atop the East Tasman Plateau is significantly different (summarised in Figure 2). Here, dredged volcanic samples recovered opportunistically by fishing vessels also indicate near sea level conditions in the Late Eocene (Fig. 2; Quilty, 1997; 2001), but are located ~2 km shallower than the shallow marine Late Eocene sediments in IODP core 1172. Options to resolve this observed discrepancy include: 1) An alternative interpretation of the shallow marine siliciclastic sediments below 356 m in site 1172. Instead of being deposited in-situ as proposed by Stickley et al. (2004), these sediments may have been first deposited on the top/flank of the Cascade seamount and subsequently transported to site 1172 in sediment gravity flows (e.g. Hill and Exon, 2004; Scher et al. 2015). 2) Existing age and paleo-environment constraints for the Cascade Seamount rely heavily on rocks opportunistically provided by fishing vessels. As such, there is a possibility that these samples were not accurately located. 3) The glauconitic sand/silt unit in Site 1172 was formed in-situ, though at a greater depth than suggested by Hill and Exon (2004).
Funding
Australian and New Zealand Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Consortium ($19,180)
Scheme
Grant
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Daczko N; Whittaker J; Carey RJ; Scher H; Halpin JA
Year
2017
Antarctic / Indian Ocean Geophysics Research (2016)$14,009
Funding
Donation via University of Tasmania Foundation ($14,009)
Scheme
Donation - Individual
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Whittaker J; Halpin JA
Year
2016
Ore deposits and tectonic evolution of the Lachlan Orogen, SE Australia (2016 - 2019)$793,000
Description
South-east Australia has a complex and fragmented geological history. Over the past 550 million years platetectonic processes have resulted in the formation of metal-rich mineral deposits. This project aims to develop andtest models for evaluating past tectonic processes and configurations, using both new and existing geological,geophysical and isotopic data. The information gained will be used to identify areas of high potential foreconomically valuable ore deposits, thereby enabling more efficient prioritisation of mineral exploration efforts.This will increase the probability of significant ore deposit discoveries leading to national economic benefit.
Funding
Australian Research Council ($418,000)
Collaborators
Alkane Exploration NL ($30,000); AngloGold Ashanti Australia Limited ($30,000); CMOC Mining Services Pty Ltd T/A Northparkes Mines ($30,000); Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources ($15,000); Department of State Growth (Tas) ($15,000); Emmerson Resources Limited ($30,000); Evolution Mining ($45,000); Geological Survey of New South Wales - Department of Industry ($30,000); Geoscience Australia ($30,000); Heron Resources Limited ($30,000); New South Resources Limited ($30,000); Rio Tinto Limited ($30,000); Sandfire Resoures NL ($30,000)
Scheme
Grant-Linkage Projects
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Meffre SJM; Whittaker J; Norman M; Cracknell M; Belousova E; Collins W; Arundell M; Cooke DR; Maas R
Period
2016 - 2019
Grant Reference
LP160100483
East Tasman Plateau - Key to unravelling the onset of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (2016)$0
Description
This frontier work will address first-order geoscientific questions on the evolution of the Tasman Seaway, a critical component in the onset of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Today, this current helps keep Antarctica cool, but its onset and role in stabilising icesheets on Antarctica remains controversial. This work will utilise marine geological data to resolve these outstanding tectonic and oceanographic questions around the evolution of key changes in past climatic and oceanographic conditions.
Funding
CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation ($0)
Scheme
Grant-Marine National Facility
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Whittaker J; Carey RJ; Halpin JA; Williams Simon; Daczko N; Stilwell J
Year
2016
Submarine volcanism and hydrothermalism around Heard and McDonald Islands (2015 - 2016)$65,600
Description
The scarcity of iron limits biological productivity and carbon uptake in the nutrient rich waters of the Southern Ocean. This project will explore for the first time the role of undersea "hotspot" volcanoes in supplying iron to surface waters, thus linking the solid earth and the biosphere. Existing data indicate that fields of submarine volcanoes extend for several hundred kilometres from Heard and McDonald islands, among the world's most active hotspot volcanoes. We will produce a three dimensional, high-resolution bathymetric and backscatter map of the seafloor surrounding the islands. We will map the water column for chemical signatures of hydrothermal activity. From this mapping we will identify and sample candidate active submarine volcanoes, a first for this region. We will measure iron abundance, and reactivity in buoyant plumes over and downstream of these volcanoes, and evaluate physical mixing processes that might deliver this iron to surface waters.
Funding
Department of Environment and Energy (Cwth) ($65,600)
Scheme
Grant-Australian Antarctic Science
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Coffin MF; Chase Z; Bowie AR; Whittaker J; Phillips HE; Noble T; Arculus R; Trull T
Period
2015 - 2016
Reconstructing the submarine and subglacial East Gondwanan mountain chain (2015)$25,495
Description
This project will refine the plate model for the configuration, amalgamation and dispersal of East Gondwana, with implications not only for understanding the bedrock of Antarctica, but also the evolution of the Australian continent.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($25,495)
Scheme
Grant-Research Enhancement (REGS)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Halpin JA; Whittaker J
Year
2015
Reconstructing East Antarctica in Gondwana: ground-truthing a new tectonic model (2015)$35,624
Description
The!sub4glacial!geology!of!East!Antarctica!remains!one!of!the!most!mysterious!frontiers!on!Earth.!Yet!the!underlying!tectonic!architecture!records!evidence!of!repeated!supercontinent!cycles!and!provides!the!template!for!palaeo4!and!modern!topography!and!heat!flow!crucial!to!the!evolution!of!the!Antarctic!ice!sheet.!The!Queen!Mary!Land!and!Wilkes!Land!sectors!are!particularly!poorly!understood.!The!continental!crust!here!comprises!fragments!that!collided!to!form!part!of!the!East!Gondwana!continent!~500!million!years!ago.!In!this!project!we!will!analyse!key!rock!samples!previously!collected!near!the!collision!zone.!We!will!derive!new!age!and!geochemical!constraints!allowing!us!to!ground4truth!domains!delineated!by!recent!geophysical!surveys!and!apply!these!datasets!to!a!revised!tectonic!model.!Quantifying!terranes!in!this!sector!of!East!Antarctica!will!lead!to!a!greater!appreciation!of!the!role!of!tectonic!boundaries!and!geothermal!heat!flow!on!the!behaviour!of!the!Antarctic!ice!sheet.!
Funding
Department of Environment and Energy (Cwth) ($35,624)
Scheme
Grant-Australian Antarctic Science
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Halpin JA; Whittaker J; Daczko N; Fitzsimons I
Year
2015
Geochemical affinity of dredged rocks from the Perth Abyssal Plain (2015)$19,755
Description
The Perth Abyssal Plain is a poorly understood ocean basin located offshore of Perth, WA, thathosts a critical early record of the continental breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana at ~130 100 million years ago. This record elsewhere has been destroyed or overprinted. Our proposalinvestigates the affinity and origin of seafloor basalts and continental granites that have beendredged from the seafloor. We will apply state-of-the-art geochemical tools as part of anintegrated geological and geophysical study. We aim to produce a plate tectonic model for therifting of India-Australia-Antarctica and the birth of the Eastern Indian Ocean.
Funding
University of New England ($19,755)
Scheme
Grant
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Milan L; Whittaker J; Halpin JA; Daczko N
Year
2015
The global consequences of subduction zone congestion (2015 - 2019)$712,600
Description
We will use a combination of 3D geodynamic modelling, plate kinematic reconstruction and geological and geophysical synthesis to determine how congested subduction zones influence plate kinematics, subduction dynamics, and tectonic evolution at orogen and global scales. We will deliver a transformation change in understanding the links between congested subduction, mantle flow, trench migration, crustal growth, transitions between stable convergent margin configurations, and deformation in the overriding plates of subduction zones. Determining these relationships is significant because it will provide dynamic context to interpret the geological record of ancient convergent margins, which host a large percentage of Earth's metal resources.
Funding
Australian Research Council ($712,600)
Scheme
Grant-Discovery Projects
Administered By
University of Melbourne
Research Team
Whittaker J
Period
2015 - 2019
Grant Reference
DP150102887
Deciphering Ontong Java Atoll, Nukumanu Atoll, and Kroenke Canyon, Western Equatorial Pacific (2014)$0
Description
Using the Schmidt Ocean Institutes research vessel (RV) Falkor, this project will investigate three prominent, yet unmapped and poorly known features on the Ontong Java Plateau (OJP) in the western equatorial Pacific Ocean: Ontong Java Atoll, Nukumanu Atoll, and Kroenke Canyon and Fan. The primary aims of the project are: to test potential genetic relationships between a) the atolls and the OJP, and b) the atolls and Kroenke Canyon; to understand and model how atolls and canyons form and evolve on oceanic plateaus, isolated from terrestrial influences and subject to sea level fluctuations; and to contribute to understanding tsunami risk on low-lying atolls. During the 30--day RV Falkor research expedition, research will acquire multibeam bathymetric and sub--bottom profiling data for the first time from Ontong Java Atoll, Nukumanu Atoll, and Kroenke Canyon and Fan. Multibeam bathymetric data will elucidate the morphology of the seafloor around the atolls, including their volcanic foundations, and along the Kroenke Canyon and Fan system. Sub--bottom profiling data will reveal the nature of the seafloor (sediment vs igneous rock) and its shallow stratigraphy. Together, the multibeam bathymetry and sub--bottom profiles will enable identification of promising sampling (dredging, coring, drilling, ROV) locations for future research expeditions.
Funding
Schmidt Ocean Institute ($0)
Scheme
Grant-Oceanographic Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Coffin MF; Whittaker J
Year
2014
Episodic mantle plumes: driving plate tectonics and continental margin evolution? (2014 - 2016)$389,339
Description
Plumes of molten rock rise from deep within the Earth resulting in massive surface eruptions that can lead to global mass extinction events. Despite their size, the role plumes play in driving movements of the continents is poorly understood. This project combines independent global and Australian geological and geophysical data with open software systems to link deep Earth and surface geological processes. This approach will result in a clearer understanding of how the internal workings of our planet drive and interact with surface geological processes, and how these interactions shape the environmentally important, and resources rich, continental margins and ocean basins.
Funding
Australian Research Council ($389,339)
Scheme
Fellowship-Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Whittaker J
Period
2014 - 2016
Grant Reference
DE140100376
Keystone of East Gondwana: Unravelling the tectonic and geodynamic evolution of' Gulden Draak Ridge (2014)$0
Description
The aim of this cruise is to collect geological and geophysical data over a recently discovered submerged fragment of continental crust (Gulden Draak Ridge) left behind as India and Antarctica rifted away from Australia some 130-100 million years ago. Collection of these data will allow us to address key knowledge gaps regarding (1) the crustal nature and affinity of the Gulden Draak Ridge, (2) the tectonic mechanism/s responsible for formation of the ridge, and (3) the timing of exhumation during Cretaceous continental breakup. The detailed geophysical program will determine both the surface topography and deep structure of the submerged continental fragment. The complementary dredging program will reveal lithological composition and variation across this enigmatic feature. Recovery of continental basement, sedimentary strata and volcanic rocks will allow correlation with both neighbouring plateau and ridges, and onshore terranes in Western Australia, Antarctica and India. This project contributes to Australia's national benefit under National Research Priority Goal 1.6, developing deep earth resources, by mapping and sampling areas of unexplored seafloor offshore the Western Australian coast.
Funding
CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation ($0)
Scheme
Grant-Marine National Facility
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Whittaker J; Halpin JA; Williams Simon; Daczko N; Coffin MF; Goncharov A; Baxter Alan; Milan L
Year
2014
The Perth Abyssal Plain: Understanding Eastern Gondwana Break-up (2011)$0
Description
This project will characterise the poorly known Perth Abyssal Plain passive margin by collecting new magnetic anomaly tracks from the oceanic crust and directly sampling rifted continental fragments such as the Dirck Hartog Ridge, Batavia Knoll and Gulden Draak Ridge. The new magnetic anomaly data will enable resolution of the controversial seafloor spreading history of the Perth Abyssal Plain, where currently there are two competing interpretations. This revised reconstruction will enable the development of regionally consistent plate reconstructions resolving the current poor fit between India, Australia and Antarctica. Geochronology and geochemistry on dredged samples will determine the affinity of these rocks for the first time, characterising the key tectonic features offshore southwest Australia.
Funding
CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation ($0)
Scheme
Grant-Marine National Facility
Administered By
University of Sydney
Research Team
Whittaker J; Halpin JA; Muller D; Daczko N; Williams Simon
Year
2011

Research Supervision

Jo has a history of successfully supervising research thesis students in a range of plate tectonic and marine geophysical topics. She is always keen on hearing from students interested in global and regional marine geophysics, plate tectonics, and the interaction between the deep Earth and the surface, for example around topics such as Large Igneous Province formation, micro-continent continental margin evolution. There are regularly opportunities to participate in research voyages.

Current

5

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDUnderstanding the evolution of East Gondwana breakup and the influence of the Kerguelen plume2014
PhDThe Evolving Paleo-Bathymetry of the Southern Ocean2016
PhDSeismic and Geological Constraints on the Lithospheric Structure of Antarctica2016
PhDHigh Resolution Acoustic Mapping in Extreme Marine Environments2016
PhDAntarctic Heatflux from Regional and Global Geophysical Constraints in a Plate Reconstruction Framework?2016