2005 Dorothy Hill Medal Winner

Dr Christopher Fielding
Christopher Fielding's Citation

I would like to nominate Dr Christopher R. Fielding for the Dorothy Hill Medal for contributions to the advance of geological knowledge in the State of Queensland.

Since arriving in Australia in 1986, Chris has had a profound effect on our understanding of the basin systems of Queensland, and particularly the coal basins. His research interests encompass the sedimentology and stratigraphy of non-marine, coastal, and shallow marine depositional systems.


Dr Christopher Fielding.
Although part of his research has been focused in drilling projects in Antarctica, most of it has been related to the geology of eastern Australia, and specifically Queensland. The bulk of it has been aimed at applications to exploration for mineral resources, principally hydrocarbons and coal, although he has made brief forays into the stratigraphic-sedimentologic framework of gold and base metal exploration targets in the northern New England Fold Belt. He has had a long-term interest in the development of genetic models for coal deposits in different tectonic and depositional settings, and this has both arisen from, and been applied to his work on the Bowen Basin. He has also applied himself to the prognostic and diagnostic applications of sedimentology to oil and gas exploration, again mainly in Queensland Basins. Recently his research turned to the detailed description and sedimentology of the Quaternary Burdekin River delta system as part of the current move to understand Queensland coastal systems.

The criteria for the Dorothy Hill Medal are that “such contributions shall be judged on the quality and volume of contributions made through publication of original research”. Chris has certainly been a prolific author, and much of it has been in the international literature. He is a respected scientist with an international reputation (he was editor of Sedimentology for a number of years) and in just over 16 years at the University of Queensland he, together with his postgraduate students and other colleagues, published over 35 papers on the geology of Queensland (in addition to another 19 on areas outside Australia).

Chris has now left Queensland for a personal Chair in sedimentology at the University of Nebraska, but he has left a major impact on Queensland.

Response of thanks by Chris Fielding
– Chris was unable to attend and his thanks was delivered as a letter read by Hon. Sec. Paul Blake

I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive the Dorothy Hill Medal for 2005, and I thank the committee, nominator and members. I spent sixteen happy years living and working in Queensland, and enjoyed every moment. My research efforts throughout this time were centred on aspects of Queensland geology, with particular emphasis on the Devonian to Triassic succession, and I hope to persist in those research interests for the foreseeable future. I have been privileged to be able to work with many excellent geoscientists over this period, and I wish to acknowledge their considerable role in my scientific education. For tolerating my not insubstantial idiosyncrasies, and for great times in the field and the laboratory, I owe a great debt of thanks to a large number of colleagues and collaborators, postdoctoral fellows and students. It would be a considerable challenge to name everyone who deserves mention, but I would like to pay special tribute to John Draper, Rod Holcombe and John Jell, who were instrumental in fostering my interest and developing my understanding of Queenslandgeology, and without whose insights I could never have achieved what I have.

With heartfelt thanks for this great honour.

Chris Fielding

Lincoln, Nebraska