Sabin Zahirovic

Nov 26, 2021

Shaking the World

How Geology Can Help Us Address the Big Challenges of the 21st Century

SSEAC Stories 2021

Southeast Asia is the most tectonically and geologically active region on Earth. These processes have enriched the mountains and basins with world-famous mineral and energy resources, fresh water, and highly productive soils. However, the same geological processes are responsible for incredible destruction – from the 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption in the Philippines to the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. These natural hazards, coupled with the effects of human-induced climate change, are driving significant change. To talk us through these changes, Dr Sabin Zahirovic joins Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, exposing how climate change is amplifying existing vulnerabilities in Southeast Asia. He explains how understanding past and current geological process can help us reduce risks from natural hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, but also address the huge challenges faced by growing populations and increased vulnerabilities resulting from climate change.

About Sabin Zahirovic:

Dr Sabin Zahirovic is a Robinson Fellow in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney. Sabin's research focuses on global plate tectonics and mantle evolution, and particularly for the Tethyan and Asian regions. He completed his PhD titled “Post-Pangea global plate kinematics and geodynamic implications for Southeast Asia” at the University of Sydney in 2015. From 2015 to 2020, he led the Papua New Guinea research stream of the ARC ITRH Basin GENESIS Hub at the University of Sydney. He now leads the Tectonics and Geodynamics stream of a collaborative industry project with BHP. In 2020, Sabin was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to explore the rise and demise of massive reefs and carbonate platforms on Australian continental margins. Sabin is a past recipient of the GSA Voisey Medal, the Deep Carbon Observatory Emerging Leader Award, and the AIPS NSW Tall Poppy award.

For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:

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Natali Pearson

Dr Natali Pearson is Curriculum Coordinator at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on the protection, management and interpretation of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia.

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