Far North Queensland is a spectacular place to grow up, with a backyard full of beautiful landscapes. As an intuitive child growing up I had always shown a keen interest in rocks and how the world works, much to the annoyance of my parents. I have often been told stories where I have asked "Where do mountains come from?" or "What type of rock is this?". Often unsatisfied with their replies, it followed, then, that I chose a career in Geology.
In 2014 I completed a Bachelors Degree with Class I Honours (so I now have a pretty good idea about where mountains come from and a long list of rocks that I know). My research was on three particular formations in Porcupine Gorge, Northern Queensland. My focus was the Blantyre Sandstone, and I was able to determine the sedimentary history of this unit. Luckily, the rocks in my field area were very forthcoming with their stories, leading to success in my research, encouraging me to pursue human/rock relations as a hobby. I now continue my academic pursuits through a PhD, relying on a mutual understanding with the rocks.
The crux of my PhD research is to understand the sedimentology of the Hughenden Region in northern Queensland, and to determine the provenance of Mesozoic sedimentary basins in eastern Australia in an attempt to reconstruct the tectonic framework of the region. This has led me to some of the most beautiful landscapes in Australia, including a return to Porcupine Gorge, as well as visiting Carnarvon Gorge and the Flinders Island Group in Queensland (see some of the images below).
A side enterprise, involved the discovery and description of the oldest known evidence of fungus farming amongst insects, together with the Supreme Director as well as some of the Gravelmonkeys. This spectacular fossil was found as part of the East African Rift Project in Tanzania. Despite having gone slightly bug-eyed with the amount of work required for this paper, it has been published! Additionally, Eric and I wrote a magazine article on the subject available in the March/April 2017 edition of Australasian Science!
A view towards the famous Pyramid Rock in Porcupine Gorge.
Published Works 2016. Roberts, E.M., Todd, C.N., et al. Oligocene termite nests with in situ fungus gardens from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, support a Paleogene African origin for insect agriculture.PlosONE, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0156847.
Unpublished Works/Conference Abstracts 2017. Christopher Todd, Eric Roberts. Detrital zircon geochronology of late Palaeozoic to Mesozoic sandstones from northern Queensland: implications for the evolution of eastern Australian basins. Future Understanding of Tectonics, Ores, Resources, Environment & Sustainability (FUTORES II) (Accepted abstract - talk).
2017. Christopher Todd, Eric Roberts. Resolution of Permian & Triassic problems in Porcupine Gorge, Queensland. Future Understanding of Tectonics, Ores, Resources, Environment & Sustainability (FUTORES II) (Accepted abstract - poster).
2016. Christopher Todd, Eric Roberts, Carl Spandler. Reconstructing the tectonic history and palaeodrainage evolution of Mesozoic NE Australia. Australian Earth Sciences Convention, Adelaide (Accepted abstract - talk).
2014. Todd, C.N.. The stratigraphy and sedimentological history of the Jurassic Blantyre Sandstone of the NE Eromanga Basin and surrounding strata, Central Queensland. Unpublished Honours Thesis, James Cook University, Townsville.
For any questions about my research, or just to say hello, you can reach me by: Email - firstname.lastname@example.org LinkedIn - Christopher Todd Twitter - ChrisCrossGeo
Sedimentary Geology Research Group James Cook University Townsville, Australia