Martin Van Kranendonk is the Professor of Geology of UNSW, with 28 years of mapping and research experience in a variety of structurally complex Precambrian terrains. His main interest is on the early history of the Earth and has developed an international reputation for his work on Archean tectonics and the geological settings of early life on Earth. More recently, as Chair of the Precambrian Subcommission of the International Commission on Stratigraphy, He has commenced a wholescale review of Precambrian stratigraphy with the aim of revising the Precambrian timescale. His particular skills are mapping and the ability to integrate a wide range of geological data into 4-D models, from the craton to micrometre scale.
Van Kranendonk’s research on early life has established a connection between the earliest putative fossil remains and low-temperature hydrothermal systems, and recognised that life in the early Archean was already diverse, occupying different niches.
Van Kranendonk’s research in the Pilbara and Yilgarn cratons of Western Australia has placed me at the forefront of Archean tectonic studies, culminating with the recent publication of a book on “Earth’s Oldest Rocks” (Elsevier, 2007). He has also been guest editor for two special volumes of Precambrian Research (2004), and has authored more than 60 publications in international journals. Van Kranendonk is also the Assistant Director of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology, co-leader of IGCP-SIDA Project 599 “The Changing Early Earth”, and Core Member of the International Precambrian Research Centre of China. He is on the editorial boards of Precambrian Research, Geology, Astrobiology, and Episodes.