When rubbish enters the ocean what happens? Oceanographer Dr Erik Van Sebille says: “The plastic joins other rubbish ... and is eaten by thousands of sea animals, birds and fish who mistake the plastic for food.” Dr Van Sebille is using the NeCTAR Research Cloud to host http://www.adrift.org.au a research tool 'Adrift' to explore how objects drift through the ocean.
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Fascinated by the study of the earth's history
Sabin is fascinated by the study of the earth's history
Studying the collision between the Indian and Eurasian continent using supercomputer simulations and collaborating with an international team has been very rewarding and exciting, and exemplifies the great opportunities available for young scientists in Australia. I have been very fortunate to be a part of a very dynamic, enthusiastic and world-class research group in Australia that develops cutting-edge open source software for scientists around the world, while also leading research in the very competitive field of plate tectonics and geodynamics.
Sabin Zahirovic is a PhD candidate at the School of Geosciences in the University of Sydney conducting research on the plate tectonic history and evolving geography of our planet through geological time. Working as part of the EarthByte group, led by Professor Dietmar Müller, Sabin has studied the history of the collision between the Indian and Eurasian continent that was responsible for the uplift of the Himalayas and Tibet.
Name: Sabin Zahirovic
Where do you work? PhD candidate, University of Sydney
Discipline? Geoscience; plate tectonics and geodynamics
What is your research field and how did you become interested? I am currently working on reconstructing themotion and geography of continents with a global focus extending to 540 million years of Earth history. I have been fascinated by science and how the Earthworks since childhood, and studying geology at university enabled me to see the world from a different perspective.
What were your inspirations and influences? The pioneering idea of continental drift developed by Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist, is stunningly simple, and yet very advanced for its time. However, it was only the findings of Harry Hess, a US naval officer, decades later that helped improve the Wegener’s original ideas into a unifying theory of plate tectonics. These two individuals exemplify the multi-disciplinary nature ofgeosciences and its contribution to our understanding of how our planet (and other planets) formed and evolved.
What has been a highlight for you and your research? Studying the collision between the Indian and Eurasian continent using supercomputer simulations and collaborating with an international team has been very rewarding and exciting, and exemplifies the great opportunities available for your scientists in Australia.
What is a highlight about being an Australian researcher? I have been very fortunate to be a part of a very dynamic, enthusiastic and world-class research group in Australia that develops cutting-edge open source software for scientists around the world, while also leading research in the very competitive field of plate tectonics and geodynamics.
The research group also develops cutting edge open-source and cross-platform software called GPlates that allows scientists, educators and students to visualize the motion of the continents through time. The software is also a platform for developing new and more detailed models of plate tectonic evolution in order to understand and account for the geological structure of the Earth.
Although the theory of plate tectonics was initially developed several decades ago, researchers at EarthByte and their international collaborators are only now able to link the Earth’s churning internal heat engine with the motion of the plates on the surface by using GPlates, an open innovation platform, with high-performance computers running advanced numerical models that couple the fluid convection of the Earth’s deep interior to surface tectonics. Sabin used this approach to better constrain the nature and timing of the India-Eurasia collision to 40 million years ago, correlating with major changes in plate boundary forces, volcanism and the toothpaste-like lateral extrusion of theIndochinese continental block resulting from the northward impingement of Eurasia by India. To download GPlates go to www.gplates.org <http://www.gplates.org> , for more information on the EarthByte research group please visit www.earthbyte.org <http://www.earthbyte.org> and read Sabin’s paper here: www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011GC003883.shtml