At UNSW, honours projects in the Palaeo, Earth and geoscience focus on the evolution of the Earth and its landscapes. It also looks at the emergence and diversification of life, including humans. The study of Earth history opens windows into conditions, worlds and systems of the past, present and future. It offers new insights into a range of critical areas with practical consequence, including climate change, landscape and resource use and management, species and ecological community conservation, and human health.

View our current projects and connect with an honours project supervisor to learn how you can get involved.

Impact of wave climate on a small ‘mystery’ beach

Explore a range of techniques to determine when a beach existed at McKenzies. Supervisor: Prof Rob Brander

Mineralisation & alteration of epithermal sphalerite-rich Strauss deposit

Determine the structural evolution of the Strauss deposit. Supervisor: Dr Ian Graham

Secondary copper mineralisation in Gladstone Hill & All Nations deposits

Explore copper mineralisation in the Drake goldfield in northern NSW. Supervisor: Dr Ian Graham

Stromatolites of the 3.5 billion–year–old Dresser Formation

Examine the unweathered stromatolite materials of Dresser Formation for evidence of primordial life. Supervisor: Prof Martin Van Kranendonk

The first whiffs of oxygen

Gain a better understanding of the occurrence of anhydrite in thinly bedded marine carbonates of the Hamersley Group. Supervisor: Prof Martin Van Kranendonk

Volcanic stratigraphy & alteration in the Western Copper Deeps

This project uses analytics and statistics to characterise volcanic facies, determine the alteration of mineralogy and the paleotemperatures of fluids. Supervisor: Dr Ian Graham

The cave climate of Australasian show caves

Examine the natural variability of cave climate of Australasian show caves and the impact of tourism. Supervisor: Prof Andy Baker

Getting more out of charcoal: Has fire severity changed in the recent past?

Use the physical and chemical characteristics of charcoal to consider the simple question: have fires in the Blue Mountains become more severe over the last few decades? Supervisor: A/Prof. Scott Mooney

Past climate changes of the Falklands

Produce a climate reconstruction using testate amoebae as a palaeoenvironmental indicator for the Falkland Islands, covering the last 10,000 years. Supervisors: Dr Zoë Thomas and Dr Michelle McKeown

Tracing isotopes in lake sediments for climate reconstructions

Produce a climate reconstruction using lake carbonate sediments. Supervisors: Dr Zoë Thomas and Dr Bill Hiscock