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Associate Professor Scott Bryan

Science and Engineering Faculty,
Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences,
Earth Systems


Associate Professor Scott Bryan
Associate Professor
Science and Engineering Faculty,
Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences,
Earth Systems
Discipline *
Geology, Geochemistry, Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
+61 7 3138 4827
+61 7 3138 2330
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Identifiers and profiles

Doctor of Philosophy (Monash University)


Crustal Evolution, Geochronology, Igneous Petrology, Precious Metal Epithermal Mineralisation, Sedimentology, Tectonics, Volcanic-Biotic Interactions, Volcanology

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008



Scott’s research interest and passion is in volcanism and the various ways volcanic activity has had an impact on Earth, its evolution, environment and atmosphere. This has taken Scott to all parts of the globe to see and work in beautiful places for both pure and applied research projects. Two particular areas of research focus are: 1) the largest igneous events in Earth history (known as Large Igneous Provinces), which have been linked to major biological extinctions and environmental/climatic change in Earth’s history as well as fundamental to major tectonic events such as the breakup of continents and the generation of mineral, and energy/hydrocarbon resources; and 2) Volcanic-Biotic Interactions, in particular floating masses of pumice (pumice rafts) produced by explosive volcanic eruptions – these have been important in dispersing a wide variety of marine biota over long distances (1,000’s km) and are potentially vital to contributing to the long-term resilience of coral reefs in our region.

 Past Positions 2009-2010: ResTeach Affliate, School of Earth Sciences, The University of Queensland 2008-2010: Principal Research Fellow, WH Bryan Mining & Geology Research Centre, The University of Queensland 2006-2008: Senior Lecturer, School of Geography, Geology & Environment, Kingston University 2003-2005: Damon Wells Fellow, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University 2000-2003: ARC Research Associate, Department of Earth Sciences, The University of Queensland Current Projects 2010-2013: Browse Basin Volcanics. Funding: Woodside Energy. Investigators: Bryan SE, Gust D. 2011: Ultra High Resolution and Advanced Analytical Scanning Electron Microscope Facilty. Funding: ARC Linkage (LE110100028; pending). Investigators: Drennan J, Whittaker A, Zhou J, Cribb B, Bryan SE, Northdurft L, Webb G, Motta N, Waclawik E, Blakey I. 2010-2012: Do Volcanoes Break up the World? Determining the Role of Magmatism in the Rupturing of Continents; Linking the Sierra Madre Occidental with the Opening of the Gulf of California. Funding: QUT. Investigators: Bryan SE, Ferrari L. 2010-2012: Understanding the geodynamic processes associated with the Permian mafic magmatic province of “northern India”. Funding: Hong Kong Research Council. Investigators: Ali J, Aitchison JC, Bryan SE, Lai X, Wignall P, Vadlamani R. 2010-2013: Petrological, geochemical and geochronological characterisation of heat-producing granites in Queensland. Funding: Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence, The University of Queensland. Investigators: Uysal T, Bryan SE, Siegel C, Marshall V,  Middleton A. 2009-2012: Evolution of the eastern margin of the Gulf of California Rift: An integrated study of Miocene deformation & magmatism in Sinaloa, Nayarit and their offshore extensions. Funding: CONACYT (Mexico). Investigators: Ferrari L, Cerca Martinez M, Orozco Esquivel T, López Martinez M, Bryan SE, Lonsdale P, & Corti G. 2007-2009: Pumice rafting and biota dispersal across the Southwest Pacific following the 9-11 August 2006 Home Reef submarine volcanic eruption, Tonga. Funding: NERC (UK). Investigators: Bryan SE, Cook A, Evans J, Jell JS. Invited Contributions 2012: Invited Paper, Episodes Oceania Geology Special Issue. 2011: Invited Speaker, International Union of Geodesy & Geophysics (IUGG), Melbourne. 2008: Invited Presentation and Paper, International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) 2008 General Assembly, on Silicic ‘mega-eruptions’ associated with the Paraná-Etendeka bimodal igneous province.

Awards and Recognition

2011: Vice Chancellor’s Performance Award, QUT 2010: Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellowship, QUT 2003: Research fellowship to Yale University 2001, 2003: Two papers nominated for the FL Stillwell Award as most outstanding paper by the editorial board of the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences. 1998: Monash University QANTAS Travel Award, Monash University 1993: Australian Postgraduate Award 1991: Carpentaria Exploration Company Honours Scholarship, The University of Queensland 1991: O.A. Jones Memorial Prize, The University of Queensland 1991: Metallgesellschaft-Lurgi Charles Rasp Travel Bursary Award, Certificate of Distinction 1990: Geological Society of Australia (Queensland Division) Gold Medal

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Scott Bryan.


Dr Bryan’s career objective is to undertake exciting, innovative and multi-disciplinary research in Earth Sciences, and communicate this through research publications and teaching. He looks to challenge existing paradigms and ideas, and devise new ways and models for studying volcanic processes and deposits, as well as applying new techniques to solve problems. In his teaching, Scott encourages students to take the same approach, and wanting students to ask: “why?”

Dr Bryan has taught at a number of institutions in a variety of environments and at different levels of acadmeic understanding, including classroom-based subjects to field courses for undergraduate/post-graduate students and professional (industry) geologists. He has previously contributed to undergraduate degrees in Geology, Earth Systems Science, Earth & Planetary Science and Environmental Hazards and Disaster Management. In his current position, Scott teaches into first, second and third year subjects in Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Basin Analysis and Plate Tectonics, and History of Life. From 2014 he will be coordinating a new 2nd year subject on Natural Hazards (Destructive Earth).

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Scott Bryan.


Dr Bryan has been based at a number of institutions, both in Australia and overseas, undetaking a number of roles including post-doctoral research, research fellowship and lecturing positions. In addition, he has undertaken contracted research projects with a number of industry partners. His research is international, having undertaken field research in many countries including: Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Argentina, Tonga, Namibia, China, the Canary Islands and UK.

The scope of Dr Bryan’s research is broad and deals with physical volcanology, volcaniclastic sedimentology, stratigraphy, igneous petrology, tectonics, geochronology, structure and mineralisation. Many research projects have involved collaboration with other departmental researchers and academics, national and international researchers, students and/or industry clients. Most research has been interdisciplinary and therefore team-based, with each member bringing a different skill set to the research project.  Dr Bryan aims to continue developing multi-disciplinary research programs involving several investigators, as it is the combined results from such integrated studies that yield the greatest research productivity.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Scott Bryan.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.