School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Leaders in our field, nationally and internationally, our graduates have real world skills to tackle current and future global challenges. Access to rare specialist equipment and techniques, and opportunities to acquire practical and application-based learning through fieldwork.

13 March 2018
Ancient humans survived supervolcano eruption

Zenobia Jacobs - thumb

The eruption of the Mount Toba supervolcano (also known as a caldera) in Sumatra 74,000 years ago was one of Earth’s most explosive volcanic events. It threw a massive amount of ash and dust into the atmosphere, disrupting the climate to the extent that it may have caused a global volcanic winter lasting several years, leading to widespread population crashes and possibly pushing some species – including humans – to the brink of extinction. 

However, in a paper published online in Nature this week, researchers show that at least one group of early humans managed to flourish through the period of the eruption and its after effects.

The scientists, including Professor Zenobia Jacobs from the University of Wollongong (UOW), studied two archaeological sites on the southern coast of South Africa – Pinnacle Point and Vleesbaai – that have been dated to around the time of the Toba eruption. There is evidence that people occupied the sites continuously from 90,000 to 50,000 years ago. Read more... 

5 February 2018
Call for scientists to lead action on climate change

Rachelle Balez & Sarah Hamylton - thumbIn Nature column, Dr Sarah Hamylton urges scientists to take a stand

In an opinion piece in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, University of Wollongong researcher Dr Sarah Hamylton writes about the emotional challenges facing environmental scientists as the effects of climate change become more obvious and more widespread. She urges more scientists to take a stand on the issue. Read more...


The Mike Morwood Memorial Website

A dedicated website has been developed and will be used as a memorial to Mike and the legacy he has left. Visit Mike's memorial website.