Monash University

Wouter’s research in Geoscience has covered everything from how the different plates that make up the Earth’s outer shell evolve and interact and generate earthquakes, to the fluid dynamics and solid mechanics of the Earth’s mantle, and the formation of mountain ranges and ocean basins. At a time when the global population is rapidly increasing, and natural hazards and climate change are discussed in the public arena, Wouter sees geoscience, which seeks to understand how the Earth’s dynamic systems work, as an increasingly important field.

Wouter’s recent work on modelling the Southwest Pacific region culminated in the discovery of a fossil ocean basin, deep below the Tasman Sea. His plate tectonic research has demonstrated why the Andes mountains formed in South America rather than anywhere else, and why a massive mountain range is slowly starting to form in Japan.