Dr Kate Selway is an ARC Australian Post-Doctoral Fellow in the University of Adelaide’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. She was named the 2008 South Australian Young Achiever of the Year for her work in promoting the magnetotelluric method.
Dr Selway recieved a B.Sc (Hons) from the University of Adelaide in 2002, majoring in geology and geophysics and was awarded the Newmont Medal for the top honours geophysics student in her class. Kate undertook a PhD in 2003 in which she utilised a geophysical technique called magnetotellurics, which produces images of the electrical resistivity of the Earth, to investigate major crustal and lithospheric scale structures in central and southern Australia. Upon completion of her PhD in 2006, Kate carried out a research project in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Western Australia to investigate the crustal-scale structure of the Capricorn Orogen. Kate is now working on an ARC Linkage Project between the University of Adelaide, BHP Billiton and Teck Cominko to produce a 3D electrical resistivity image of the highly prospective Stuart Shelf region in South Australia.
Kate’s research has provided new views of the Australian continent and new insights into its formation and has been recieved with significant interest by the geoscientific and the wider community. In 2006, Kate was named as a finalist in the Fresh Science competition and the resulting press release about her research in central Australia attracted national and international media attention. Kate was named as the 2008 Premier’s/Channel 9 Young Achiever of the Year for the research work she is carrying out and is enjoying the opportunities that this brings to talk to the public and the media about the importance of geoscientific research.
Kate is primarily interested in using magnetotellurics to answer fundamental geological questions. To gain a full understanding of structures and processes in the Earth, it is necessary to combine geological techniques with geophysical techniques, which can provide information about what is happening at depth. Magnetotellurics has the capacity to image fundamental, crustal- to lithospheric-scale features and is an excellent tool to provide this depth information. It also has the capacity to penetrate through very thick sediments to image the basement beneath and is therefore very useful in the Australian environment. During her PhD, Kate’s research was focussed on using magnetotellurics to image Proterozoic collision zones and to aid attempts to reconstruct Proterozoic Australia. Kate’s research is now focussed on understanding the mineralisation in South Australia’s Stuart Shelf region using magnetotellurics.
Kate is a member of the Continental Evolution Research Group (CERG). More information can be found about CERG at www.adelaide.edu.au/cerg/