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Mike Sandiford


Mike Sandiford is professor of geology and director of the Melbourne Energy Institute at the University of Melbourne. As director of the Energy Institute, he oversees the university energy research portfolio, and has been responsible for developing its focus on the opportunities and challenges of integration of low emission technologies in large-scale, sustainable energy systems.

Mike is a geologist fascinated by the remarkable planet we inhabit. He works on landscapes, mountains and earth energetics, and is increasingly interested in the relationship between people and the planet. His research has taken him to many far-fetched parts of the planet, including Antarctica, remote Australia, Timor, Tibet, the Kunlun and the Himalaya. His privilege is to meet and work among peoples in communities that have lived for millennia in some of the most dynamic and remote parts of our planet.

Mike’s geological research on the origin and evolution of the continents has been published in over 150 research papers and was recognised with the award of the Mawson Medal for ‘outstanding contributions to earth science in Australia’. He is a regular contributor to popular press on geological issues and, especially, the role of humans as geological agents.

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.