Associate Professor Nerilie Abram



Career summary

My research goals are to build the knowledge of how the Earth’s climate has behaved in the past, and how its climate systems are now changing with anthropogenic greenhouse warming. My research involves using tropical coral reef and cave samples and polar ice cores to reconstruct past climates across a range of environments and time periods. My work utilises a wide array of chemical, isotopic and physical signals in these proxy records. I particularly enjoy being able to explain the direct human relevance of my research through scientific outreach and education.

My scientific work has taken me to Antarctica, Indonesia and Greenland. Outside of work I am also a mother of three children and I have a strong interest in helping to encourage women to excel in scientific careers.


Employment history

2011-present: Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University

QEII research fellow on the ARC-funded 2011-2016 discovery project "Climate and natural hazards in Australasia: a comprehensive impact analysis of prehistoric droughts, great earthquakes, and the Toba super-eruption" (DP110101161)


2004-2011: British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council (UK)

Post-doctoral researcher and work package manager in the ice core research team.


2000-2004: PhD, The Australian National University

PhD study at the Research School of Earth Sciences working on the project "Multi-proxy coral reconstruction of Holocene climate and reef growth in the eastern Indian Ocean". Awarded the Jaeger Scholarship and Robert Hill Memorial Prize.


1996-1999: BSc Advanced with honours and university medal, University of Sydney



Research interests

Tropical climate research (corals and speleothems)

Polar climate research (ice cores)

Please see my RSES profile page for more information.


Please contact me if you are interested in discussing student projects


See my researcher profile for an updated list

Updated:  22 February 2019/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Web Admin