The subfossil Huon pines (Lagarostrobos franklinii) excavated from flood plains in western Tasmania over 20 years ago offer a natural archive (biological record) of past climatic patterns and changes through tree-ring studies and radiocarbon (14C) dating. A supra-long tree-ring chronology has been developed from huon pine that extends back over 3500 years but there is then a short gap before another chronology of 1500 years. If ‘missing’ log samples could be found to fill the gap then this would establish the longest record in the Southern Hemisphere. Over 250 log samples were excavated yet less than half of them have been radiocarbon dated or the tree-rings measured.


This project aims to date the logs so that a more complete interpretation of fluvial and related environmental changes can be made, and priority samples identified for tree-ring analyses to hopefully bridge the gap.

Student benefits

Through this project, you will learn how to sample and radiocarbon date subfossil wood and analyse and interpret data.  You will also learn how to measure and crossdate tree-rings and how to write a scientific paper. You will be integrated in the Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, which has funding available for training and career development, as well as the Chronos 14Carbon-Cycle Facility as well as the Earth and Sustainability Science Research Centre.

Please email Chris ( for more details!

Get involved

To learn more about this project, contact Prof Chris Turney.