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Biographical entry Carter, Robert Merlin (Bob) (1942 - 2016)

9 March 1942
Reading, United Kingdom
19 January 2016
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
Marine geologist and Palaeontologist


Bob Carter made significant contributions to advancing knowledge and understanding of the geosciences of New Zealand and the southwest Pacific region, especially in the areas of palaeontology, palaeoecology, stratigraphy, marine geology, and environmental and climate change science. His published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and books. After more than a decade at the University of Otago in New Zealand, he was appointed Professor and Head of Department of Geology at James Cook University in 1981. Carter held strong views on the science of global warming, discounting the effect of human activity on climate change, and appeared as an expert witness at a number of inquiries. He was associated with several think tanks including the Institute of Public Affairs and the International Climate Science Coalition, and made regular contributions on contemporary environmental issues in newspapers and other public media.



Life event - Migrated to New Zealand with family
Education - BSc (hons), University of Otago, New Zealand
1963 - 1964
Career position - Assistant Lecturer, University of Otago, New Zealand
1964 - 1967
Award - Commonwealth Scholarship, British Council, University of Cambridge
Education - PhD, University of Cambridge
1968 - 1980
Career position - Lecturer (later Senior Lecturer), University of Otago, New Zealand
Award - Nuffield Fellowship, University of Oxford
Award - Hochstetter Lecturer, Geological Society of New Zealand
1981 - 1999
Career position - Professor and Head of Department of Geology, James Cook University
1986 - 2013
Career position - Member, Editorial Board, Geo-Marine Letters
1987 - 1992
Career position - Member, later Chair), Earth Sciences Discipline Panel, Australian Research Council
Award - Bennison Distinguished Overseas Lecturer, American Association of Petroleum Geologists
1995 - 1997
Career position - Director, Australian Office of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP)
Career position - Chair, Australian Marine Sciences and Technologies Advisory Committee
1996 - 2005
Career position - Member, Editorial Board, New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics
Career position - Vice-President, Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
1997 - 2016
Award - Chair, Australian Marine Sciences and Technologies Advisory Committee
Career position - Co-Chief Scientist, Ocean Drilling Program Leg 181 (Southwest Pacific Gateways)
Award - Special Investigator Research Award, Australian Research Council
1999 - 2013
Career position - Adjunct Professor, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University
2000 - 2005
Career position - Adjunct Professor, Geology and Geophysics, University of Adelaide
2007 - 2016
Career position - Chief Science Advisor, Science and Public Policy Institute, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
2010 - 2013
Award - Emeritus Fellow, Institute of Public Affairs
2011 - 2015
Career position - Director, Australian Environment Foundation, Melbourne
Award - Lifetime Achievement Award, Heartland Institute, U.S.A.

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Nelson, Cam compiler, 'Remembering Bob Carter: a GSNZ tribute', Geosciences Society of New Zealand Newsletter, 19A (Supp.) (2016), 1-74. Details


Helen Cohn