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Kelly-Anne Lawler

Silica School 2021

Kelly-Anne Lawler & Riteshma Devi are PhD Students at RSES and are attending this years online Silica School.


Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earths crust (after oxygen) and is found in rocks, soils and biota. We (Riteshma and Kelly) work with diatoms and radiolarians (microscopic siliceous plankton) in our PhD studies, and wanted to learn more about silica – so we are participating in a four-week online Silica School “Silica: from stardust to the living world”.

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RSES Recommends: Books, Part 2

Many people will spend their August under ‘stay at home’ orders due to Covid-19, and many more are choosing to spend more time at home than they usually would, just as a precaution. Time at home, especially in the cold winter weather, is often spent reading books – so for those of you looking for new reading material, here are some new book recommendations!

The following books were brought to my attention by RSES colleagues after our first On Circulation book recommendation post.

By Kelly-Anne Lawler.

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Time to Get #SoMe help navigating online academic life?

In pre-Covid times, building an online academic presence was becoming more important by the year. Blogging and social media are great (and usually free) ways to gain exposure for yourself, your research output, or hopefully both. Sharing your research online has become even more important now that travelling domestically and internationally for conferences, lab visits and field work (all great networking opportunities) is difficult, if not impossible.

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Science on film: The Wave

Kelly-Anne Lawler is a PhD candidate studying Southern Ocean palaeoclimate. So far, her only experience of Norway has been a bank holiday long weekend spent in Oslo.


The Wave is a Norwegian disaster film, set in the beautiful Geiranger Fjord. The hero of the day is Kristian the geologist – need I say more on an Earth Science blog!

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Antarctic mega icebergs

Kelly-Anne Lawler is a PhD student at the Research School of Earth Science studying Southern Ocean palaeoclimate.


From the large iceberg that made the news as it neared South Georgia island, to the RV Polarstern sailing between iceberg A-74 and the Brunt Ice Shelf, large icebergs calved from the Antarctic ice shelf are of great interest to scientists and non-scientists alike.

The U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) monitors snow and ice in the Arctic, Antarctic, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions. Since 1978 it has been  naming, tracking, and documenting large Antarctic icebergs. Icebergs with an area greater than 20 square nautical miles, or that are at least 10 nautical miles on their longest axis, are of interest to the USNIC and are named according to their origin and the order in which they calved from the ice shelf.

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RSES Recommends: Books, Part 1

Looking for something to read that isn’t directly related to your own scientific work? Try some of the books recommended by RSES PhD students and complied by Kelly-Anne Lawler.


Two books that should be on everyone’s reading list (these books are definitely not just for scientists!) are Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, and Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil. Bad Science deals with the, well, bad science, that occurs in industries as varied as pharmaceuticals (he has written an entire book on this topic – Bad Pharma), the beauty industry, education and homeopathy. According to Ben Goldacre himself it is a ‘book about the misuse of science by quacks, journalists, and big pharmaceutical companies’.

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Science on television: The Head

Kelly-Anne Lawler is a PhD candidate in the palaeoenvironments group at RSES. She loves everything Southern Ocean and Antarctic, and enjoys a good murder mystery novel…


If you like Antarctica, murder mysteries, and bingeable television shows then The Head might be right up your alley!

The series begins when the summer crew of a Danish Antarctic base arrive to find a quiet, empty station. The ten overwinterers (the team of people who conduct research and take care of the base during the dark Austral winter) have disappeared. Communications are down, vehicles are missing, and, at first, there is no sign of life. A series of flashbacks reveal the events in the weeks leading up to the summer crew’s arrival… but with conflicting accounts of what happened, who are we to believe?

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Tidy Tuesday for earth scientists: A treasure trove of datasets to practice coding and data visualisation

Kelly-Anne Lawler is a PhD candidate in the Palaeoenvironments group and is one of the few people at RSES who prefers R to Python (if there are more of you out there, get in touch)!

What is Tidy Tuesday?

Each Tuesday, the R4DS Online Learning Community posts a raw dataset on their Github site, along with an article or chart relating to the data. The intention is that we (scientists, coding enthusiasts, data visualisation fans) can use the datasets to explore, wrangle, and create data visualisations using R software, or any other coding language that we like! So even if you prefer to use something like Python or Matlab, these datasets are an interesting way to practise your data wrangling and visualisation skills, especially if you don’t have any data of your own to work with yet.

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Marine microfossils – Earth’s microscopic climate recorders

17 September 2020

Kelly-Anne Lawler is a second-year PhD candidate in the Palaeoenvironments and Biogeochemistry groups at RSES. Her research focuses on Southern Ocean palaeoclimate reconstructions.

Popular science articles about Earth’s climate in the past, like this one about Hothouse Earth, or this one about past carbon dioxide levels, encourage us to take a mental trip back in time and imagine what Earth was like thousands, to millions, of years ago. However, if you are not a climate scientist you may wonder how we calculate environmental characteristics like the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, or the ocean temperature, for times prior to the collection of instrumental data. The answer is that we use climate proxies.  

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On Circulation is back in circulation

1 September 2020

Welcome to the revival of the On Circulation blog! This blog is run by PhD candidates currently undertaking research at The Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES). We have a team that includes an experimental petrologist, a rock physicist and mathematical geophysicist, two climatologists (modern and palaeo) and two geodesists, as well as a whole school of earth science researchers.

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