Dr Barry Fordham

TypeParty
Party Typeperson
Access PrivilegesStratophylogenies
TitleDr
Given NameBarry
SurnameFordham
Alternate Given NameBarry G.
Brief DescriptionAdjunct, Research School of Earth Sciences.

His research interests include:
- The “Stratophylogeny” Projects. The ambitious aim is to grow international collaboration to establish an online facility that brings together digital data and applications to draw phylogenies against stratigraphic time scales, as a resource to encourage greater use of phylogenies in paleontology and paleobiology. Current work includes: digital phylogenies of Cenozoic macroperforate planktic foraminifera, of the remaining planktic foraminfera, and of cibicidid benthic foraminfera; relational databases to generate evolutionary trees for the Geologic TimeScale Foundation’s TimeScale Creator on-line facility, calibrated ready for future time scales; and continuing development of the evolutionary trees tool within TimeScale Creator.
- Implications of Mg–Ca chemistry of fossil foraminfera clades and its implications for paleothermometry: led by Steve Eggins.
- The apparatus of the Silurian conodont Coryssognathus: instructive assemblages from the Yass Basin; statistics of element associations from England and Sweden; stratigraphic correlation between the Yass Basin and Canberra Silurian; improved control of Link & Druce’s zonation; age of cores from the Adavale basin, western Queensland.
- Conodont biostratigraphy and regional geology: Hodgkinson Province; Yarrol Province, Canberra region.
Full DescriptionBarry is a micropaleontologist with specialties in foraminifera, conodonts, phylogeny, databases, biostratigraphy, and regional geology. He is a School Visitor and has recently retired, very keen to get back to research after a later career in management.

His BSc at the University of Queensland gave him a very solid grounding across geology. His PhD there, however, ended up being a fresh look at how to deal with the taxonomy and biostratigraphy of fossils given Darwinian evolution - yes, a little slow to respond to Charles’ theory! His subject was Cenozoic planktic forams, using Miocene–Pleistocene oozes from two Deep Sea Drilling Project Sites (Lord Howe Rise; east equatorial Pacific). Barry concluded that fossils could indeed be dealt with as evolutionary entities, with a host of flow-on advantages for applications in paleontology and other fields, but his solutions, presented in the thesis and later a monograph or two, have proved problematic for his peers. However, this insight still drives much of his research passions.

Post-PhD, Barry statistically analysed global Permian paleobiogeography for an ARC Research Fellowship, then joined a geological consultancy conducting project development, then tutored in Earth Sciences and paleontology at Macquarie University, finally returning to Brisbane for a 17-year stint with the Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ). There he joined regional mapping programs, of especially the Paleozoic Hodgkinson and Yarrol Provinces, focussed on stratigraphic, structural, and tectonic problems. To provide accurate dating control, he set up a long-running conodont processing laboratory uniquely focussed on recovery from sparsely conodontiferous rocks.

In the later part of his stint with the GSQ Barry gravitated towards management, driven to improve the Survey’s digital information capability, but achieved only mixed success. This ultimately led to a later career in management per se, with stints in: community telecommunications networks at the State Library of New South Wales, Sydney; national futures physical-economy modelling at CSIRO, Canberra; project geology and project facilitation at Geo Discovery in Brisbane and FrOGTech in Canberra, and finally Centre Manager of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems at ANU, Canberra. During this period Barry’s interests grew in big-picture sustainability, especially influenced by a wonderful interdisciplinary team he “managed” at CSIRO.
Email Addressbarry.fordham@anu.edu.au
Postal AddressResearch School of Earth Sciences
Jaeger 8, Building 142, Mills Road
Australian National University
Acton, ACT 2601 Australia
Phone Number+61 (0)421 611 913
Fields of Research040308 - Palaeontology (incl. Palynology)
060309 - Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis
040311 - Stratigraphy (incl. Biostratigraphy and Sequence Stratigraphy)
040605 - Palaeoclimatology
Socio-Economic Objective960304 - Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts)
KeywordsBiogeochemistry
Palaeoenvironments
Status: Published
Published To:
- Australian National Data Service
- Australian National University
Identifier: anudc:5541
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