Antarctic Research Centre

Prof Timothy Naish

Antarctic Research Centre

Phone: 04 463 6197
Location: Room 517, Cotton Building, Gate 7, Kelburn Parade, Kelburn Campus

Prof Timothy Naish


BSc Waikato (1988); MSc (Hons) Waikato (1989); PhD Waikato (1996)

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculties of Science, Architecture and Design and Engineering
  • Principal Scientist, GNS Science

National and International Commitments

  • Appointed to the US National Academy of Sciences, Nation Research Council Committee to review US ocean drilling program  
  • Member of the executive committee of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) “Antarctic Climate Evolution” (ACE) Project, and chair of the Pleistocene Committee
  • Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change 5th Assessment report
  • Director, Joint Antarctic Research Institute  
  • Leader, RSNZ Ross Ice Shelf Marsden Programme
  • Leader, Marine Paleoclimate Objective of the FRST Global Change Through Time Programme

Research Projects and Interests

Current research contributes to the understanding of how continental margins respond to climate and sea-level change. Specifically focusing on the role of ice sheets and Antarctica in the global climate system.

  • 1996 to present: Ten year collaboration working on the climatic and sea-level cyclicity in shallow-marine sedimentary basins, especially Wanganui Basin. This basin is arguably contains the world’s most complete shallow-marine expression of global sea-level changes over the last 5 million years.
  • 2000 to present: Research has involved an integrated outcrop, drill core and seismic analysis of the Canterbury shelf margin linked to deep water ODP Leg 181 sites off eastern New Zealand. The aim being to understand the interplay of tectonics, climate, and global glacio-eustasy in the development of continental margins. This work is supporting the recently scheduled the International Ocean Drilling Program, Canterbury Bight Leg being led by Dr Craig Fulthorpe.
  • 2001 to present: Proponent and founding member of the ANDRILL programme. New Zealand representative on the international planning and implementation committees. Chief scientist of the first project scheduled to drill a hole through the Ross Ice Shelf in 2006. The ANDRILL Consortium involves 4 nations (US 50%, NZ 25%, Italy 20% and Germany 5%). These countries have committed US $10 million for operations and logistics costs. The project will involve over 150 scientists and has 2 seasons of drilling and subsequent science write-up supported. The ANDRILL initiative aims to investigate the role of Antarctica in global environmental change by drilling sedimentary archives recorded in its peripheral sedimentary basins. Within New Zealand 20 scientists will participate in the ANDRILL programme.
  • 2004 to present: Proponent and founding member of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research’s Project – “Antarctic Climate Evolution”. This group facilitates the integration of Antarctic geological and ice core research with ice sheet and global climate models.
  • 2005 to present: Collaborative research on the development of southwest Pacific ocean circulation with respect to Antarctic climate evolution.


  • Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (2014)
  • Martha T. Muse Prize (2014) - for his outstanding research into understanding Antarctica's to past and present climate change
  • New Zealand Antarctic Medal (2010) - for services to Antarctic climate science
  • New Zealand Science and Technology Medal (2009) - recognition of Tim’s scientific leadership and contribution to the knowledge on Antarctic ice sheets and their influence on global sea-level change and climate in a warming world
  • James Lee Wilson Award (2008) - for Excellence in Sedimentary Geology by the SEPM (Society of Sedimentary Geology)
  • Geological Society of New Zealand, McKay Hammer (2006) -  awarded for most meritorious contribution to New Zealand Earth Sciences in the last 2 calendar years
  • Royal Society of New Zealand Hamilton Prize (1998) - for New Zealand’s best emerging researcher

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