Dr Mick O’Leary is a multidisciplinary marine scientist who began his career exploring the islands and reefs along the tropical North Queensland coast.
His research covers broad themes of climate change, coral reef resilience, and coastal evolution, spanning deep time, the present day, and projections into the future. He has recently broadened his research interests to include the field of submerged landscape archaeology to address knowledge gaps in deep history such as early human migrations, the role of climate in the peopling of Australia and coastal-hinterland cultural exchange.
Although Michael is based in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Western Australia, his broad research interests mean you will often find him hanging out with an odd assortment of archaeologists, anthropologists, marine ecologists, and oceanographers.
He completed his PhD at James Cook University before undertaking postdoctoral research at Manchester Metropolitan and Boston Universities.
He has had the opportunity to work on some of the world’s remotest reefs and islands, but whether it was rafts of marine plastics washing up on these beaches or bleached coral on the fringing reefs, it is abundantly clear that no place on Earth is completely free from human impacts.
Michael now calls Perth home and, when not out on the water doing fieldwork, you will likely find him out on the water either windsurfing or rowing.