Our people

Our people

Group Leader

Photo of Simon George

Simon George

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, MQ Centre for Energy and Environmental Contaminants, Macquarie University Marine Research Centre

Phone: +61 2 9850 4424

BSc (Hons), St Andrews, Scotland PhD, Newcastle upon Tyne, England Professor Simon George is the leader of the organic geochemistry group at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He is also the Director of the Macquarie University Marine Research Centre. He was the Acting...View full profile in our Researcher's database

Current PhD students

Photo of Huiyuan Xu

Mr Huiyuan Xu

Photo of Lian Jiang

Ms Lian Jiang

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Students and Postdocs

Simon George lead's a group of researchers (PhD students, Masters students, postdocs) and academic visitors who are working on a diverse range of research areas, including the geochemical record of the early evolution of life, petroleum geochemistry, marine geoscience, and the bioremediation of petroleum and fuel spills.

PhD Projects Available

Potential Masters Projects

Five Reasons to Come to Macquarie University in Sydney to do Research

Current PhD students and postdocs:

  • Lian Jiang
  • Investigation of biomarkers in coal seams of the Gippsland Basin, offshore Australia. 
  • PhD, 2016-current.

  • Michael Eze
  • The potential of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) to enhance phytoremediation of diesel fuel contaminated sites
  • PhD, 2017-current.
  • Jiayi Ai
  • Late Neoproterozoic organic-rich sediments in South China: Insight into records of paleo-ocean chemistry and biogeochemistry
  • PhD, 2018-current.
  • Co-tutelle with China University of Petroleum, Beijing (supervisor there is Ningning Zhong)
  • Zhongxuan Li
  • Diatom lipids: the key to past sea-ice history in remote Antarctic regions
  • PhD, 2018-current.
  • Co-tutelle with China University of Geoscience, Beijing (supervisor there is Haiping Huang)
  • Wenjing Ding
  • Geochemical characteristics of lacustrine oils
  • PhD, 2018-current.
  • Co-tutelle with China University of Geoscience, Beijing (supervisor there is Dujie Hou)
  • Li Li
  • Organic Matter Accumulation Mechanisms in the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation, Chaoyang Basin, NE China
  • PhD, 2019-current.
  • Co-tutelle with Jilin University (supervisor there is liuzj@jlu.edu.cn)

Previous PhD students and postdocs:

  • Huiyuan Xu
  • Source rock development and oil-source correlation in eastern China basins.
  • PhD, 2015-2019.
  • Co-tutelle with China University of Geoscience, Beijing (supervisor there was Dujie Hou)
  • Now a postdoc at SINOPEC: xuhuiyuan.syky@sinopec.com
  • Sophia Aharonovich (ne Bratenkov).
  • Cenozoic climate reconstructions via the prism of the organic geochemistry of IODP recovered sediments from the southern Pacific, northern Atlantic, and northern Indian Ocean.
  • Co-supervised by Leanne Armand and Kelsie Dadd
  • PhD, 2013-2017.
  • Now a research assistant in the group
  • Kostas Kotzakoulakis
  • Modelling and measuring the weathering and bioavailability of fuel spills in polar marine environments, and assessment of the applicability of fuel dispersants
  • Collaboration with Southern Cross University and Australian Antarctic Division. Co-supervised by Grant Hose
  • PhD, 2012-2017.
  • Postdoc at CICESE research institute in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
  • Carl Peters
  • Deep Time Biomarkers: A Study of Organic Matter and Fluid Inclusions in Precambrian Rocks
  • Co-supervised by Heather Handley and Adriana Dutkiewicz (University of Sydney)
  • PhD, 2013-2017.
  • Now a postdoc at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Tim Leefmann
  • Tracing life's beginnings: molecular fossils from single oil inclusions, ARC DP project. Specialising in time-of-flight-secondary ion mass spectrometry on individual oil inclusions.
  • Postdoc, 2013-2015.
  • Now at Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • Amy Chen
  • Rock magnetic properties of uncultivated magnetotactic bacteria and paleo-redox changes across the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, New Jersey continental margin
  • Co-supervisor; main supervisor was Paul Hesse
  • PhD, 2011-2014.
  • Now working as STEM PMF/Geoscientist, National Science Foundation
  • P. Sargent Bray
  • Radiocarbon Analysis And Source Provenance Of Biomarkers From A Hypersaline Lake, Southeastern Australia
  • Co-supervised by Jochen Brocks at ANU
  • PhD, 2008-2012.
  • Now organic geochemistry lab manager at Southampton University (National Oceanography Centre)
  • Ellen Woolfenden
  • Investigations of the Rates of Removal and Compositional Changes of Low Molecular Weight Diesel in Contaminated Soil and Sediment from Polar Regions
  • Co-supervised by Ian Snape (AAD)
  • PhD, 2008-2011
  • Now working as an Environmental Scientist. New name is Ellen Porter.
  • Guoyan Mu
  • Two cases study of oil-source correlation: Neo-Mesoproterozoic oil seeps and Paleogene oil pools in the north margin of the Bohai Gulf Basin
  • Cotutelle student with Ningning Zhong at China University of Petroleum Beijing
  • PhD, 2009-2011
  • Now working for Shell (London)
  • Jessica Coffey
  • A Paleoenvironmental Study Of The 2.7 Ga Tumbiana Formation, Fortescue Basin, Western Australia
  • University of New South Wales, supervised by Prof Malcolm Walter ; co-supervised by Simon George at Macquarie University
  • PhD, 2006-2011.
  • Now working as a geologist at the Endeavor Mine

Previous Masters students:

  • Habibu Mohamed
  • Geochemical application of biomarkers, alkanes and aromatic hydrocarbons in evaluating organic matter input, thermal maturity, depositional environment and biodegradation of Cretaceous and Jurassic sediments from the Ruvuma Basin, Tanzania
  • Master of Geoscience, 2018
  • Renatus Kachira
  • The organic geochemistry of the Pindiro Group (Triassic to early Jurassic, Mandawa Basin, southern coastal Tanzania)
  • Master of Geoscience, 2018
  • Sarah Houlahan
  • Buildups from the lower Cambrian Hawker Group, Arrowie Basin: construction, facies and geochemistry
  • Master of Research, 2018
  • Associate supervisor, with Glenn Brock
  • Bonnie Teece
  • Stromatolite construction, biofacies and biomarkers in Lower Cambrian carbonates of the Hawker Group, Arrowie Basin, South Australia
  • Master of Research, 2017
  • Co-supervised by Glenn Brock
  • Bronwyn Campbell
  • Thermal maturities and inferred palaeoenvironments of hydrocarbons from the southern Sydney Basin
  • Master of Research, 2017
  • Samson Chilije
  • The organic geochemistry of core samples from Lake Malawi
  • Master of Geoscience, 2017
  • Brave Manda
  • The organic geochemistry of Permian high latitude sediments, southern Sydney Basin, New South Wales
  • Master of Geoscience, 2017
  • Christine Harper
  • Hydrocarbon Contamination in Cold Climates: A Comparison of Two Analytical Methods
  • Master of Science, speciality Geoscience, 2015
  • Co-supervised by Glenn Brock
  • Justine Wheeler
  • An Organic Geochemical Analysis of The Permian Triassic Mass Extinction Event in a Non-marine Section: Sydney Basin, Eastern Australia
  • Master of Science, speciality Geoscience, 2015
  • Jessica Holterhof
  • Biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in the Gippsland Basin, offshore Australia: An analysis of unresolved complex hydrocarbon mixtures by comprehensive two dimensional gas chromatography (GC × GC)
  • Masters, 2011-2012 (University of Bremen, Germany)
  • Now working at the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva
  • Amy Weiss
  • Geochemical Analysis of Hydrocarbons and Source Rocks within the Nappamerri and Patchawarra Troughs, Cooper Basin, Australia
  • Master of Science, speciality Geoscience, 2014
  • Sureyya Kose
  • Distinguishing in situ stromatolite signatures from silicification and dolomitisation using short-wave infrared spectroscopy: A Mars analogue study
  • Master of Science, 2014
  • Leonie Williams
  • A Fight for Flow- Conservation, Preservation and Management of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems, Berry Springs, Northern Territory, Australia
  • Master of Geoscience, 2009
  • Now Manager Water Resources at Murrrumbidgee Irrigation Limited.

Previous Honours students:

  • Emma Flannery
  • The Organic Geochemistry of the Mesoproterozoic Velkerri Formation, McArthur Basin, Northern Territory
  • Completed Honours, 2012.
  • Worked for Geoscience Australia, former PhD student at University of Woolongong
  • Max Easton
  • Long-term Degradation of Lubricant Oil in Antarctic Sediments
  • Completed Honours, 2010.
  • Now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at McGill University, Canada

Visitors and other students who have done research projects with Simon George at Macquarie University

  • A/Prof. Xinwei Wang
  • Study of biosurfactant for enhanced dealkylation of aromatic hydrocarbons in biodegradation process of crude oil
  • Visiting academic from China University of Petroleum, Beijing, China. 2018-2019
  • Dr Sophia Aharonovich
  • Development of the Femtosecond laser micropyrolysis gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer
  • Research Assistant, 2018-2019
  • Christine Harper
  • Organic geochemistry of Eocene to Oligocene sediments in the Tasmania Gateway – a detailed analysis of depositional environment, organic matter inputs, and palaeo sea surface temperature, ODP Leg 189
  • Part-time PhD, 2016-2018, Withdrew
  • Jude Okafor
  • Trainee (Organic Geochemical Analytical Methods)
  • Geology Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 2017
  • Mel Kime
  • Fuel spills in marine environments
  • Master of Research, 2017, Withdrew
  • Elise Salo
  • Organic geochemistry of the Bluecliffs Siltstone (Miocene) samples from the Otaio River area and Miocene samples from the U1351 IODP hole, Canterbury Basin, New Zealand
  • 4cp unit in Master of Geoscience, 2017
  • Xiong Cheng
  • The effects of biodegradation on biomarker hydrocarbons and oil-source correlation
  • PhD visitor in 2017 from China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China (Prof Dujie Hou)
  • Yueyue Bai
  • Organic matter accumulation of oil shale-bearing and coal-bearing layers and the model for the mechanism of formation of oil shale and coal in Middle Jurassic, Qaidam Basin, China
  • PhD visitor in 2016, from Jilin University (Prof. Liu Zhaojun)
  • Dr. Hongwei Ping
  • Assessing the maturity of oil inclusions using molecular geochemistry data and fluorescence spectrum based on physical separation of different fluid inclusion assemblage (FIA)
  • Visiting academic from Department of Petroleum Geology and Engineering, Faculty of Earth Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China. 2015-2016
  • Dr. Kai Kai Li
  • Compositions and carbon isotope of fluid inclusions analysis and its application
    in water-rock interaction.
  • Visiting academic from Department of Petroleum Geology and Engineering, Faculty of Earth Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China. 2015-2017
  • Mingming Zhang
  • Metallogenic Mechanism and Geochemical Characteristics of Oil Shale from the Middle Permian Lucaogou Formation in the Southern Margin of the Junggar Basin, China
  • PhD visitor in 2015, from Jilin University (Prof. Liu Zhaojun)
  • Professor Xu Yaohui
  • Mesoproterozoic sediments from China.
  • Visiting academic from Yangtze University, Wuhan, China. 2013-2014.
  • David Sala
  • Petroleum biodegradation in sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island soils
  • Visiting MSc student, 2014. ENS de Lyon/UCBL, France
  • Uvana Meek
  • Newcastle Coal Measures organic geochemistry
  • GEOS706 4cps, 2014
  • Sarah Houlahan
  • Petroleum biodegradation in sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island soils
  • GEOS384 Earth and Planetary Sciences Special Interest Seminar, 3 cps, 2014.

    Also worked as a research assistant in the organic geochemistry lab, 2013-2016.
  • Luo Qingyong
  • Geochemistry of Mesoproterozoic shales from northern North China
  • Visiting PhD student from the China University of Petroleum Beijing, 2012-2013, supervisor there was Prof Ningning Zhong
    Now an Assoc Professor at China University of Petroleum Beijing
  • Jennifer Van Holst
  • Understanding microbial gasification of coal: A study of the stable isotope composition of microbial gas generation).  
  • Part-time PhD, at CSIRO, 2010–2013, withdrew
  • Shirin Baydjanova
  • Organic geochemistry across unconformities in U1352, IODP Expedition 317, Canterbury Basin
  • MAR303, Marine Science Project, 3cps. 2013
  • Geochemistry of the rocks from five formation in the northern Bonaparte Basin, offshore north-west Australia
  • GEOS384 Earth and Planetary Sciences Special Interest Seminar, 3 cps, 2013
  • Organic geochemistry of Permian sediments on the S coast of NSW.
  • GEOS706 4cps, 2014
  • Danielle Mitchell
  • Organic geochemistry of high latitude early Permian sediments exposed on the south coast of NSW.  
  • Part-time Honours, 2009-2011, withdrew
  • Logan Becker
  • Analysis of natural attenuation processes of a terrestrial fuel spill at New Casey Station, Antarctica
  • MAR303, Marine Science Project, 3cps, 2012
  • David Smith
  • Ecological risks associated with the use of fuels in Antarctica: characterising hydrocarbon behaviour and assessing toxicity on sensitive early life stages of Antarctic marine invertebrates
  • PhD, Nov 2009-April 2010, withdrew
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