Candidate Profile

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EXPERTISE
Earth Sciences, Geology & Geography
Science - General
Wildlife & Nature
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH:
BIOGRAPHY
Phil Creaser was born in England but has lived in Australia since 1965. He lives with his partner Genevieve in Canberra and is happily retired after more than thirty years in the Australian Public Service.

Phil has Honours and Masters degrees in Geology and Palaeontology from ANU in Canberra. Currently he is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of NSW in Sydney working with colleagues on fossil sites in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

He worked on many environmental and heritage issues in his Public Service career which included World Heritage policy, the preservation of Old Parliament House in Canberra and a secondment to the Australian Museum in Sydney.

He is an advocate for the recognition and conservation of geological heritage worldwide and was largely responsible for the World Heritage listing of the Riversleigh fossil site. He is a promoter for a Natural History Museum for Canberra to showcase Australia’s unique animals and plants.

He has also studied the evolution of plants and animals on Pacific islands and the human migrations around the Pacific Rim and across the Pacific Ocean.

Phil’s other interests include Bridge, Trivia contests, Jigsaw puzzles, Orienteering and Rogaining.


PRESENTATIONS
DESTINATION RELATED TALKS ON SCIENCE AND HERITAGE

A series of interconnected talks covering a range of science subjects (geology and the earth sciences and palaeontology), natural history and World Heritage sites of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. In addition there are a number of more general presentations on these subjects.

SCIENCE: GEOLOGY AND THE EARTH SCIENCES

TIME TRAVELLING THROUGH AUSTRALIA’S GEOLOGICAL PAST
Australia is the oldest continent on Earth with vast areas in Western Australia providing evidence of what Earth was like 3.5 billion years ago. The geology of Australia reveals there were times when it was green and lush, many other times when it was covered by glaciers but today large areas are dry and arid.

AUSSIE DIGGERS: FROM OCHRE TO GOLD
Mining has played a significant role in the history and development of Australia starting with the indigenous Aborigine people tens of thousands years ago. The discovery of gold in Victoria in the 1850s brought wealth and prosperity to Australia and other mining booms have continued to do so in the past and will do so into the future.

NEW ZEALAND GEOLOGY – A CHUP OFF THE OLD GONDWANA BLOCK
Like the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is a relatively young country. Part of the ‘lost continent’ of Zealandia, the country known as ‘The Shaky Isles’ faces many geological hazards.

GEOLOGY OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN – FROM AITUTAKI TO ZEALANDIA
The Pacific Ocean is relatively young in geological terms. Around the Pacific Rim, the ‘Ring of Fire’ is famous for the earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis while the islands of the Pacific reflect a range of different origins.



SCIENCE: PALAEONTOLOGY AND EVOLUTION

AUSTRALIA’S MEGAFAUNA: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED
Discover when huge kangaroos, giant wombats and massive lizards lived in Australia in the past. They are now extinct. What caused their demise? Climate change, hunting by Aborigines or a combination of both these factors. Recent discoveries could help solve this mystery.

RIVERSLEIGH’S WORLD HERITAGE FOSSILS: MESSAGES FROM THE PAST – LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE
Phil Creaser talks about his work over 30 years at the Riversleigh World Heritage fossil site in Queensland and how the site provides important information to help conserve modern day Australian animals. It may have helped to save the now extinct Tasmanian Tiger if we had known the fossil record for this animal.

THE RANGE OF ANIMALS FROM THE RIVERSLEIGH WORLD HERITAGE FOSSIL SITE (IN PREP)
Phil Creaser documents the diversity of animals (and plants) discovered at the Riversleigh site. While much of the research work has been on the mammals, there are many other animals which were part of an ancient rainforest ecosystem including birds, insects and reptiles.

AUSTRALIA’S MAGNIFICENT MARSUPIALS– DEAD AND ALIVE
Australia has many unique marsupials many of which are not well known. These include the living Marsupial Mole, the now extinct Marsupial Lion and the Mountain Pygmy Possum which was first found as a fossil before the living species was discovered.

MARVELLOUS MARSUPIALS: A CIRCUMPACIFIC JOURNEY
Australia has a range of different mammals, but all arrived in Australia at different times. Palaeontologists are discovering when these different groups arrived focusing on the origin of the iconic marsupials and how they got to Australia from overseas around the Pacific Rim.

AUSTRALIAN DINOSAURS, KRONOSAURS AND PTEROSAURS
Until recently, very few dinosaurs and only a few marine reptiles (such as Kronosaurus) had been found in Australia. This has changed and in the past 30 years, many exciting discoveries have been made throughout Australia and we now have a good picture of Australia 100 million years ago when these gigantic creatures ruled the land, sea and air.



NATURAL HISTORY AND HISTORY

AUSTRALIA
AUSTRALIAN ANIMALS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
A lighthearted overview of some wild, weird and wonderful Australian animals such as the Dinosaur Ant, Peacock Spiders and the Blobfish.

THE GOOD AND THE BAD– INVASIVE AND FERAL PESTS INTRODUCED TO AUSTRALIA (IN PREP)
Introduced plants and animals have had a devastating impact on Australia’s plants and animals since the first settlement in 1788. The number of ‘bad’ species such as the Cane Toad, foxes, cats, thistles and European Carp far outnumber the ‘good’ introductions.

AMBER FROM AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: RECENT DISCOVERIES
Phil Creaser talks about his involvement in the discovery of Australia’s first major amber deposit on crocodile infested beaches on Cape York. Other significant recent discoveries Australia and New Zealand are also discussed.

NEW ZEALAND
NEW ZEALAND’S UNIQUE ANIMALS: HOW THEY GOT THERE AND EVOLVED
New Zealand’s unique plants and animals have evolved in apparent isolation from the rest of the world. Where did they come from and how did flightless birds such as the Kiwi and the Moa get there?

THE PACIFIC
WATER, WINGS AND WIND: CARRYING ANIMALS AND PLANTS ACROSS PACIFIC ISLANDS
Various theories have been proposed to explain the origins and evolution of the plants and animals of the Pacific Ocean islands, such as Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands, many of which are several thousand miles away from continental mainlands.

EASTER ISLAND: WAS IT ECOCIDE?
A popular theory is that the Polynesians on Easter Island (Rapa Nui) committed ‘ecocide’ (Ecological self-destruction) but recent evidence suggests that this was not the case and that there were several other reasons for the population’s decline.

NEW CALEDONIA, VANUATU AND FIJI: UNIQUE PACIFIC ISLANDS
An overview of the natural history, heritage and people of these islands.

PEOPLES IN THE PACIFIC: PYGMIES, POLYNESIANS AND PREACHERS
The history of the Pacific in terms of the waves of people who have explored, settled and colonised the Pacific Rim and the islands in the Pacific Ocean.



WORLD HERITAGE
AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, THE PACIFIC, SOUTH EAST ASIA AND GEOLOGICAL SITES

PURNULULU, NINGALOO AND THE FANGAROO: NATURAL WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN AUSTRALIA
A guide to Australian World Heritage sites with natural heritage values with a particular emphasis on some of the lesser known sites such as Lord Howe Island, Macquarie Island and Shark Bay.

KAKADU, ULURU AND COCKATOO (ISLAND): CULTURAL WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN AUSTRALIA
A guide to Australian World Heritage sites with Aboriginal and European cultural heritage values, some of which also have significant natural heritage values such as Kakadu, Willandra Lakes and the Tasmanian Wilderness.

FROM SNOTTYGOBBLES TO SNOWBALL EARTH: POSSIBLE WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN AUSTRALIA
Phil Creaser presents his personal list of possible Australian World Heritage sites in Australia with an analysis of places such as Cape York, the Victorian goldfields, Canberra and some fossil sites.

WORLD HERITAGE IN NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand has a broad range of natural and cultural sites with World Heritage values. There are 3 sites already on the World Heritage List and several others which may be included on the List at a later date.

WORLD HERITAGE IN THE PACIFIC
A description of a broad range of natural and cultural sites on the World Heritage List from island countries in the Pacific and countries with sites around the Pacific Rim.



WORLD HERITAGE IN THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC AND SOUTH EAST ASIA – FROM KOMODO TO KUK AND KOKODA

A guide to the broad range of natural and cultural sites on the World Heritage List from countries as diverse as Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

WORLD HERITAGE GEOLOGICAL SITES: ROCKING ALL OVER THE WORLD
Phil Creaser presents a personal analysis and description of the range of World Heritage geological sites, many of which are well known tourist attractions and are visited by cruise ships all around the world such as Glacier Bay in Alaska and Halong Bay in Vietnam.



GENERAL TALKS ON SCIENCE AND HERITAGE
GEOLOGY AND THE EARTH SCIENCES

ASTEROIDS: CREATING LIFE – CAUSING DESTRUCTION
Discover how recent finds of meteorites on Earth have helped scientists discover how life evolved on Earth. Together with missions to comets and asteroids in space we are gaining a better understanding of threats to life on Earth like the asteroid that wiped out the non flying dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

RESTLESS EARTH: A GEOLOGICAL HISTORY
Starting with the birth of our Solar System and Earth about 4.6 billion years ago, several major geological processes and climatic events such as Plate Tectonics, Volcanism and Ice Ages have shaped the world we have inherited.

GEOLOGY AND THE EARTH SCIENCES: THE ROCKS, MINERALS AND METALS THAT HAVE SHAPED OUR WORLD AND OUR CIVILISATION– 2 TALKS (IN PREP)
Ever since the first human (Homo habilis – Handy Man) selected a particular rock type to use as a tool some 2.6 million years ago, our ancestors have used rocks and minerals for a wide range of purposes as building stones and for use as weapons and in ceremonies. As civilization has progressed, we have found new uses for some minerals and elements. As an example, we now use several Rare Earth Elements for our mobile phones, electric cars, batteries and computers.

GEOLOGY IS A REAL SCIENCE: MODERN DAY GEOHAZARDS
An examination of the role earth scientists play in understanding geohazards from volcanoes to earthquakes and tsunami predictions which are all highly relevant to the nations in the Pacific Ocean and all around the Pacific Rim including South East Asia.

GEOLOGY IS A REAL SCIENCE: GEOHAZARDS - PAST DISASTERS
An examination of the geohazards from the past including volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. The impact of similar events today would be catastrophic on our civilization.

GEOSITES AND GEOHERITAGE…WHAT ARE THEY???
Find out how Earth Scientists try to preserve individual sites with geological heritage values both for scientific research and for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. Related to this initiative is the concept and recognition of Geoparks which can include a range of Geosites and related centres and museums.

GEOTOURISM…ARE YOU A GEOTOURIST???
Geotourism is a form of natural area tourism that focuses specifically on geology and landscapes. It promotes tourism to such sites and areas as well as associated attractions. There are many such sites around the Pacific Rim and on islands in the Pacific Ocean such as the Hawaii volcanoes and the geothermal areas at Rotorua in New Zealand.



PALAEONTOLOGY AND EVOLUTION

WHAT A PALAEONTOLOGIST DOES WHEN HE ISN’T CRUISING
A general talk about the range of fossil projects a palaeontologist gets involved with including discovering, owning, collecting, preparing, studying, displaying, valuing, selling, exporting and even stealing fossils.

THE HISTORY OF LIFE ON EARTH IN ONLY 45 MINUTES
The world’s great fossil sites tell the story of life on earth. Starting as primitive life forms in the sea 3.5 billion years ago, different groups of animals have evolved to live on the land and in the air as well as still living in the sea.

BEFORE AND AFTER THE CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION: 200 MY THAT SHAPED LIFE ON EARTH TODAY
From about 650 to 450 million years ago, life exploded on earth. Many bizarre animals evolved in this period. Some died out rapidly with no recognisable ancestors, but some are the earliest ancestors of animals we know today. Fossils of this period are the focus of much research throughout the world.

MASS EXTINCTIONS: MAJOR TURNING POINTS ON LIFE ON EARTH
Several mass extinction events over the past 2 billion years have had a major impact on our planet’s ecosystem. Causes range from massive volcanic eruptions to asteroids from space. A new cause is the human race which is currently responsible for the so called ‘Sixth Extinction’.

OUR EARLIEST ANCESTORS PART 1: FROM THE SEA TO THE LAND
The earliest animal that we call ‘one of us’ appeared about 550 MY ago. This evolved into an animal with a backbone (Vertebra) and eventually into a modern human (Homo sapiens) which is just one of many many vertebrates found in the seas, on the land and in the air of Earth today. The first part of this 3 part talk looks at how the earliest vertebrates made the transition from the sea to the land in less than 200 million years.

OUR EARLIEST ANCESTORS PART 2: EVOLVING ON THE LAND
The 2nd part looks at how one group of mammals evolved on the land which lead to our closest living relatives such as chimpanzees, gorillas and now extinct members of our family tree such as Australopithecus.

OUR EARLIEST ANCESTORS PART 3: HUMANS
The earliest human (Homo species) is considered to be Homo habilis dated at 2.6 million years old. Recent discoveries across the world are rapidly changing our knowledge about how we humans got to where we are today and how we have evolved.

NATURAL HISTORY AND HISTORY
RESURRECTION, REWILDING AND RIVERSLEIGH (IN PREP)
Scientists worldwide are trying to bring extinct animals back from the dead. Other scientists are re-introducing animals to environments they used to live in. The fossil record from sites such as Riversleigh in Australia can also provide essential information for these projects.

AMBER – TEARS OF THE GODS
Phil Creaser presents a general talk about amber including the physical properties of amber and where major amber deposits can be found. Amongst these are several stunning recent discoveries from Myanmar (Burma).

CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE COLLAPSE OF CIVILISATIONS
Earth scientists play a vital role in our future by studying past climates. New and improved techniques are providing more accurate and detailed information and evidence is emerging about the impact of climate change on the fall of civilisations and settlements throughout the world such as Angkor Wat, Easter Island and the Viking settlement on Greenland.
CRUISE HISTORY / EXPERIENCE
ON CRUISE SHIPS

Up To March 2020, I have had ten assignments lecturing on Cruise Ships.

On HAL cruise ships I have spoken on:
• Volendam from Sydney to Singapore in November 2015 (8 lectures in 15 days)
• Maasdam circumnavigation of Australia October 2016 (13 lectures in 28 days)
• Maasdam circumnavigation of Australia again in October 2017 (14 lectures in 32 days)
• Noordam from Sydney to Vancouver in April 2018 (12 lectures in 25 days)
• Noordam from Vancouver to Sydney in October 2018 (14 lectures in 25 days)
• Amsterdam from Callao/Lima to Auckland in February 2019 as part of a Grand World Voyage (15 lectures in 25 days)

On Regent Seven Seas ships I have spoken on
• Voyager from Sydney to Singapore in February 2017 (8 lectures in 14 days)
• Navigator from Sydney to Auckland and then onto Bali in March 2018 (15 lectures in 32 days).

On Celebrity Solstice I have spoken on a 10 day round trip cruise from Sydney in January 2020 (5 lectures)
On Viking Orion in February/March 2020 from Sydney to Auckland, I gave 5 talks in 15 days.
RECENT PAST CRUISES COMPLETED
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
SHIP REF CRUISE DESCRIPTION NIGHTS SAILING FROM DEPARTURE DATE
Viking Orion OR200221 Australia & New Zealand 14 Sydney Friday, February 21, 2020
Celebrity Solstice SL200104 South Pacific Cruise 10 Sydney Saturday, January 4, 2020