Pauline is Director of the WA Biogeochemistry Centre, and also leads the Ecosystems Research Group at UWA. She has extensive experience in the application of stable isotope methods (C, N, H and O) to examining ecosystem processes, particularly in assessing ecological water requirements of semi-arid ecosystems. Recent studies by her group and her collaborators also include elucidation of heterotrophic nitrification pathways in soil using 15N (Ecology, 2006) and the analysis of 18O and 13C in tree rings of Callitris for proxy climate data (Paleo Paleo Paleo 2006, Climatic Change 2007) and to better understand tree response to variable patterns temperature, humidity and rainfall across decades (Tree Physiology 2008). Most recently, she and her colleague Louise Cullen published the first multi-century reconstruction of rainfall patterns for south-west Australia, based on tree ring studies (Climate Dynamics 2009). These same tree rings are now being analysed for 18O in order to detect patterns of cyclone activity over recent centuries and to examine linkages between rainfall patterns in eastern China, north-west Australia and the south-west (with collaborators from CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology).
6488 4584 (office) / 6488 4586 (lab)
My current position is 80% research in stable isotope geochemistry is my main responsibility; 20% teaching. Other my key role is to oversee the stable isotope laboratory WABC. In addition, I provide advice to other researchers on the application and analysis of stable isotopes across a spectrum of disciplines while continuing my focus on my own studies.
My interest in stable isotope biogeochemistry stems from my research into ecosystem functioning in Pilbara region of Western Australia. My work within the WABC predominantly focuses on preparation and analysis for C, H, N, O and S isotopes on a variety of samples that come into our laboratory. I'm also involved in day to day lab managing and maintenance of our mass spectrometers and other intstruments we may use.