A/PROF Russell Drysdale

A/PROF Russell Drysdale




  • Russell specialises in the study of Earth's past climate using geochemical proxies from cave carbonate deposits (speleothems). His particular focus is investigating the nature and causes of major climate transitions and events during the Quaternary Period, especially glacial terminations, and climate teleconnections between the tropics and middle/high latitudes (cave sites in Italy, France and SE Australia). Some of his work also involves rainfall reconstructions over the past few thousand years (eastern Australia, Indonesia, French Polynesia). Russell has built a fully equipped microsampling and stable isotope laboratory dedicated to the study of speleothem climate records, and is part of a cross-faculty speleothem research group (with the School of Earth Sciences) that hosts a comprehensive suite of analytical instrumentation for conducting cave-based palaeoclimate research. The group's equipment includes two Nu Instruments "Plasma" multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers for U-Th and U-Pb dating and Sr isotope analysis; an Agilent quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer coupled to a laser-ablation system for trace element analyses; an AP2003 continuous-flow stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer for measuring carbon and oxygen isotope ratios on carbonates; and a Picarro cavity-ring down isotope analyser for measuring oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios in waters. Next year, the group will acquire a new Nu Instruments "Perspective" dual-inlet isotope ratio mass spectrometer, coupled to a crushing/cryotrap unit and pyrolysis furnace, which will be configured to measure oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios on speleothem fluid inclusions, carbon and oxygen isotopes on ultra-small carbonates, and clumped-isotopes (delta-47) on carbonates. Russell is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the European Geosciences Union, the Australasian Quaternary Association, the Geochemical Society, and the Australian Ca   


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, University of New South Wales 1995
  • BA(Hons), University of New England 1990
  • BA, University of New England 1989


Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Russell is willing to supervise research projects under the broad themes of palaeoclimatology and Quaternary science, particularly in the area of climate reconstruction using speleothems, as well as karst geomorphology and hydrology, and stable isotope geochemistry/hydrology.