Past GSAQ medal recipients - image courtesy GSAQ

2016 Dorothy Hill Medal Winner

Professor Joan Esterle
Professor Joan Esterle's Citation

Professor Joan Esterle, of the School of Earth Sciences, University of Queensland, is Chair of the Vale- UQ Coal Geoscience Program. 

Through her leadership of multidisciplinary teams of post-doctoral researchers, postgraduate and honours students over many years, Joan has increased the understanding of the stratigraphy, depositional histories and tectonic evolution of Queensland’s great coal basins, particularly the Bowen, Galilee and Surat basins. Joan’s research also focusses on how geological history impacts on coal measure behaviour during mining, processing and utilisation.


Joan Esterle (left) with John Siemon (right – Neville Stevens medal winner).

She has developed 3D models for the distribution of sedimentary strata that can be used to predict geohazards in coal mines or reservoir behaviour in conventional and non-conventional gas resources, and for geosequestration. In addition to working with Vale and other industry partners, she conducts multi-client studies through the Australian Coal Research Program (ACARP), The Australian National Low Emissions Coal Research (ANLECRD), and the UQ Centre for Coal Seam Gas (CCSG).

Joan gained her MSc and PhD (1990) from the University of Kentucky, USA. She then worked for 17 years with CSIRO, followed by GeoGAS-Runge Group before joining UQ full time in 2010. Her current projects include:

·         CCSG Surat Geological Framework and Faults and Fractures

·         ACARP Rangal Supermodel-Bowen Basin and Cenozoic Fault Reactivation

·         ANLEC Outcrop Analogue Modelling for CO2 sequestration

Joan has  published extensively,  with  over  40  refereed  journal  articles  and multiple  conference articles and currently has a large group (over 25) of research and post-doctoral fellows, PhD, MSc and MPhil and honours students, along with international visiting scholars.