School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Helen McGregorHelen McGregor

Phone:  +61 (0) 432 897 139
Twitter:  @DrHelenMcgregor
Room:  B41.G20

  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow 

Professional Profile

Climate of the past to better understand present‐day climate, particularly tropical climate and ocean‐atmosphere processes such as El Niño. This research improves our ability to forecast climate change and addresses key questions on the origins of natural climate variations.

  • ARC Future Fellow, University of Wollongong (UOW), 2015-present
  • Previous positions: Fellow, The Australian National University, 2014; AINSE Research Fellowship, UOW, 2008-2013; CEC Guest Researcher Fellowship, Lund University, Sweden, 2013; Marie Tharp Visiting Fellowship, Columbia University, USA, 2012; Associate Research Fellow, joint appointment ANSTO and UOW, 2006-2008; Postdoctoral Scientist, MARUM, University of Bremen, Germany, 2004-2006
  • PhD The Australian National University, Australia, 2004

Research Interests
  • Improve understanding of the El Niño‐Southern Oscillation (ENSO). I use fossil corals to extend ENSO records, explore its long-term variability, and reconstruct the seasonal evolution of individual ENSO events.
  • Past tropical climatology and oceanography, investigating the deglacial climatic history of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Understanding the role of the ocean in global for the past few thousand years and for the present day.
Current Projects
  • El Niño in a changing climate: novel long-term perspectives from Pacific corals and model simulations (ARC Future Fellowship FT40100286)
  • PAGES Ocean2k Phase 2, which aims to place observed historical marine conditions into the context of climatic variations over the past 2000 years.
  • IODP drilling in the Great Barrier Reef: unlocking the causes, rates and consequences of abrupt sea level and climate change (ARC Discovery Project DP1094001)
  • Untangling the links between El Nino and the changing global climate (ARC Discovery Project DP1092945) ]

Potential Honours and PhD Topics 
  • El Niño and rainfall: Reconstruct past interactions to inform the present day
  • Global climate change and the role of the ocean over the pre-Industrial Common Era
  • The climate evolution of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Climate insights from data-model comparisons

Selected Key Publications

Searchable Publications List 

For full list see: Google Scholar - Researcher ID: I-1479-2013

  • Abram, N.J., McGregor, H.V., Tierney, J.E., Evans, M.N., McKay, N.P., Kaufman, D.S., PAGES 2k Consortium (2016) Early onset of industrial era warming across the oceans and continents. Nature, doi: 10.1038/nature19082
  • Manaa, A., Jones, B.G., McGregor, H.V., Zhao, J.X., Price, D.M. (2016) Dating Quaternary raised coral terraces along the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast. Marine Geology, 374:59-72, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2016.02.002
  • Emile-Geay, J., Cobb, K., Carré, M., Braconnot, P., Leloup, J., Zhou, Y., Harrison, S.P., Corrège, T., McGregor, H.V., Collins, M., Driscoll, R., Elliot, M., Schneider, B., Tudhope, A. (2016) Links between tropical Pacific seasonal, interannual and orbital variability during the Holocene. Nature Geoscience, 9:168–173, doi: 10.1038/NGEO2608
  • McGregor, H.V., Evans, M.N., Goosse, H., Leduc, G., Martrat, B., Addison, J., Mortyn, P.G., Oppo, D.W., Seidenkrantz, M.-S., Sicre, M.-A., Phipps, S.J., Selvaraj, K., Thirumalai, K., Filipsson, H.L., Ersek, V. (2015) Robust global ocean cooling trend for the pre-industrial Common Era. Nature Geoscience, 8:671–677
  • Carilli, J.E., McGregor, H.V., Gaudry, J.J., Donner, S.D., Gagan, M.K., Stevenson, S., Wong, H., Fink, D. (2015) Reply to comment on “Equatorial Pacific coral geochemical records show recent weakening of the Walker Circulation,” by Karnauskas et al. Paleoceanography, doi: 10.1002/2015PA002783.
  • Carilli, J.E., McGregor, H.V., Gaudry, J.J., Donner, S.D., Gagan, M.K., Stevenson, S., Wong, H., Fink, D. (2014) Equatorial Pacific coral geochemical records show recent weakening of the Walker Circulation. Palaeoceanography, 29:1031–1045, doi: 10.1002/2014PA002683.
  • McGregor, H.V., O'Shea, B., Brewer, C., Abuodha, P., Pharo, E. (2014) Internationalisation of the curriculum through student-led climate change teaching activity. Journal of Geoscience Education, 62:353–363, doi: 10.5408/13-033.1
  • Felis, T., McGregor, H.V., Linsley, B.K., Tudhope, A.W., Gagan, M.K., Suzuki, A., Inoue, M., Thomas, A.L., Esat, T.M., Thompson, W.G., Tiwari, M., Potts, D.C., Mudelsee, M., Yokoyama, Y., Webster, J.M. (2014) Intensification of meridional temperature gradients in the Great Barrier Reef following the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature Communications, 5:4102, doi: 10.1038/ncomms5102.
  • Head, L., Adams, M., McGregor, H.V., Toole, S. (2014) Climate change and Australia. WIREs Climate Change, 5:175-197, doi: 10.1002/wcc.255.
  • McGregor, H.V., Fischer, M.J., Gagan, M.K., Fink, D., Phipps, S.J., Wong, H., Woodroffe, C.W. (2013) A weak El Niño/Southern Oscillation with delayed seasonal growth around 4,300 years ago. Nature Geoscience, 6:949-953, doi: 10.1038/ngeo1936.
  • McGregor, H.V., Dupont, L., Stuut, J.-B., Kuhlmann, H. (2009) Vegetation change, goats, and religion: A 2000-year history of land use in southern Morocco. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28:1434-1448.
  • Abram, N.J., McGregor, H.V., Gagan, M.K., Hantoro, W.S., Suwargadi, B.W. (2009) Oscillations in the southern extent of the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool during the mid-Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28:2794-2803.
  • McGregor, H.V., Gagan, M.K., McCulloch, M.T., Hodge, E., Mortimer, G. (2008) Mid-Holocene variability in the marine 14C reservoir age for northern coastal Papua New Guinea. Quaternary Geochronology, 3:213-225, doi: 10.1016/j.quageo.2007.11.002.
  • McGregor, H.V., Dima, M., Fischer, H.W., Mulitza, S. (2007) Rapid 20th-Century increase in coastal upwelling off northwest Africa. Science, 315:637-639, doi: 10.1126/science.1134839.
  • McGregor, H.V., Gagan, M.K. (2004) Western Pacific coral d18O records of anomalous Holocene variability in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters, 31:L11204, doi: 10.1029/2004GL019972.


Last reviewed: 25 August, 2016