• Source: Scopus
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Personal profile

Research interests

I am an Earth Scientist with expertise in geochemistry, sedimentary geology and (palaeo)oceanography, as well as a background in soil and environmental science. In order to advance our understanding of the causes and consequences of environmental change, my research focusses on extracting records of palaeoenvironmental/climatic change from marine sedimentary rocks, and understanding the role of secondary (clay and metal oxide) mineral formation and dissolution on the cycling of elements in terrestrial and marine settings. I utilise a combination of fieldwork, analytical (esp. microbeam), experimental and modelling approaches to extract, validate, and interpret this information, often working with a diverse group of local and international collaborators.

Current research interests include:

  1. high resolution palaeorecords across time-periods of significant environmental change (Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles, Eocene-Oligocene Climate Transition, Mesozoic Greenhouse World and Ocean Anoxic Events, Ediacaran-Cambrian Transition);
  2. secondary mineral formation and alteration in terrestrial and marine settings – implications for biospheric evolution, climate, element cycling, geochronology and the interpretation of isotope proxy records;
  3. wildfires as agents of mineral alteration and geochemical differentiation at the Earth’s surface;
  4. development of novel applications combining high resolution, quantitative electron-based sedimentary petrography with microbeam geochemical and isotopic analysis to inform studies of palaeoenvironmental change.


Papers under review/accepted:

Redaaa A, Farkaš J, Gilbert S, Collins AS, Wade B, Löhr SC, Zack T and D Garbe-Schönberg. Assessment of elemental fractionation and matrix effects during in-situ Rb–Sr dating of phlogopite by LA-ICP-MS/MS: Implications for the accuracy and precision of mineral age. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry. Accepted 29 October 2020.

Rafiei M, Löhr SC, Baldermann A, Webster R and C Kong. Quantitative petrographic differentiation of detrital vs diagenetic clay minerals in marine sedimentary sequences: implications for the rise of biotic soils. Precambrian ResearchAccepted 18th Sept 2020.

Subarkah D, Blades ML, Collins AS, Farkas J, Gilbert S, Löhr SC, Redaa A, Cassidy E and T Zack. Unravelling the histories of Proterozoic shales through in-situ Rb-Sr and elemental laser ablation analysis. Geology. Submitted November 2020.

Abbot A, Löhr SC, Payne A, Kumar H, J Du. Widespread overprinting of authigenic neodymium isotope records: implications for paleoceanographic reconstructions. Earth & Planetary Science Letters. Submitted September 2020.

Löhr SC, Whittaker J, Mundana R, Carey R, Mabee A, N Daczko. Tasman Gateway at ~2 km water depth 7 Myr prior to Eocene-Oligocene climate transition. Nature Communications. Original submission August 2019, revisions invited October 2019.

Research student supervision

PhD students supervised (* denotes primary supervision):

*Current: Shujun Han - 'Diagnostic criteria for identifying alkaline lake deposits and implications for the earliest record of animal life in the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation'

Current: Hafiz Shahid Hussain (with April Abbott) - PETM in a new basinal transect of Pakistan

*Current: Mehrnoush Rafiei – 'Novel sedimentary petrography applied to the shale record of continental weathering in the Precambrian'

Current: Kristy Guerin (PhD) –  ‘Wildfires as an agent of high temperature geochemical and mineralogical differentiation at the Earth’s surface’ – with Drs David Murphy & Luke Nothdurft (QUT)

Current: Bronwyn Campbell (PhD) – ‘Geochemical changes during coal biodegradation to methane’ – with Professor Simon George

2016 – 2019: Huiyuan Xu – ‘Source rock development and organic matter inputs in the Dongying Depression of the Bohai Bay Basin’

2013 – 2018: Md Habibur Rahman – ‘Clay mineral catalytic influence on hydrocarbon generation in black shales’

MRes & BSc (Hons) students supervised (* denotes primary supervision):

*Current: Kaycee Handley - 'Massive subaerial volcanism trigger for Oceanic Anoxic Event 2' - joint supervision with Dr April Abbott

2018: Angela Mabee – ‘Eocene deepening of the Tasman Gateway & commencement of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current’

2015: Natalie Debenham – ‘An exotic source rock: drivers of organic carbon enrichment in the Permian Arckaringa Basin’

*2013: Robyn Williamson (BSc Hons, University of Adelaide) – ‘Organic carbon in Mediterranean sapropels: The interplay between anoxia, productivity and clay mineral association’

2012: Samuel Fraser (BSc Hons, University of Adelaide) – 'Nanoscale imaging of the Woodford Shale, Oklahoma, USA: Organic matter preservation as clay-organic nanocomposites'


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