“I credit the excellent Earth Sciences undergraduate course at Flinders University with much of my success and career path,” says Dr Karner, who keenly remembers his early mentors Earth Sciences foundation lecturers Professor Chris von der Borch and Dr François Chamalaun.
After finding his passion in the Earth Science studies at Flinders, Dr Karner took an international scholarship to the USA to do his PhD thesis at Columbia University in New York City.
Many years of academic research followed at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York, with stints at universities in England, Brazil and France. He says, “The thematic approach at Flinders was front and centre with all my scientific interactions, to the point of helping to set up Earth Science departments and their curricula in other countries.”
Dr Karner says that predicting the future of the Earth is in understanding its past. “Like the certainty of the push and pull of the Earth’s tectonic plates, we need to learn from lessons offered by the geological development of the Earth to truly appreciate our future. Let's hope we still have time to make amends.”
Dr Garry Karner was awarded a 2018 Flinders University Convocation Medal for the leadership and advancement of fundamental geological research, and the advancement of professional practice through development of the Quantitative Basin Analysis (QBA) software. He is also a relentless champion and mentor of young research scientists.