I chose to specialize in environmental geochemistry, particularly in stable isotope biogeochemistry, because it gives me the flexibility to investigate a wide range of topics that can contribute to our understanding of environmental change. My research incorporates both terrestrial (from the humid tropics to drylands) and aquatic systems (both freshwater and oceanic), and I have utilized a suite of stable isotope ratios on a wide array of materials including water, carbonate, phosphate, and organic matter. My current foci include developing records of environmental change from cave guano and lacustrine sediments, investigating pyrogenic carbon and organic geochemical archives using hydrogen pyrolysis, and continuing to investigate animal behaviour using stable isotope compositions of their tissues and biogenic minerals such as bones, shells and fish otoliths.




  • EA5404: Earth's Climate: Past, Present and Future (Level 5; CNS)
  • Quaternary environments of tropical and semi-arid regions
  • High-resolution archives of abrupt and seasonal environmental change
  • Stable isotope tracers of animal behavior and energetics
  • Bioenergetics in fish ecology
  • Global Change and sustainability
  • Method development for the acquisition of environmental archives
  • 2006 to 2009 - Research Fellow, University of St Andrews (St Andrews, Scotland)
  • 2005 - Sea Grant Scholar, University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, SK, Canada)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 83+ research outputs authored by Dr Chris Wurster from 1999 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian Institute of Nuclear Science & Engineering - Honours Scholarship

Hydrogen pyrolysis of organic matter preserved in speleothems for palaeoenvironmental analysis

Indicative Funding
$5,000 over 1 year
The project aims to provide a new technique for dating carbonates containing organic matter to overcome problems often encountered during conventional U/Th dating. Hydrogen pyrolysis (HyPy) is a highly innovative technique whereby a sample containing organic matter is heated according to a pre-programmed temperature cycle under high hydrogen pressures. Organic matter (OM) is liberated from the matrix and swept into a dry-ice-cooled silica trap. The recovered hydropyrolysates are DCM-soluble and, once retrieved, are ready for analysis. The project aims to investigate whether radiocarbon dating of hydropyrolysates recovered from speleothems can be successfully used to establish chronologies for speleothems.
Maria Box and Chris Wurster (College of Science & Engineering)
Molecular markers; isotope; Quaternary

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • A reconstruction of the Holocene fire and environmental history from Kinrara Swamp North Queensland (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Understanding the Genesis and Patterns of Cave Fill across the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit Research Data Australia.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:

  • E1.005A, Health & Sciences (Cairns campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor
Find me on…
Icon for NLA Trove People record Icon for Scopus Author page Icon for ResearcherID page Icon for ORCID profile Icon for ResearchGate profile

Similar to me

  1. Dr Emma Rehn
    Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
  2. Prof Michael Bird
    Earth & Environmental Science
  3. Dr James Whinney
    Physical Sciences
  4. Dr Brandon Mahan
    Earth & Environmental Science
  5. Prof Lucas Cernusak
    Terrestrial Ecology