Dr Agathe

Dr Agathe Lisé-Pronovost

Palaeo- and Archaeo-magnetism, Paleoclimatology, Geoarchaeology

Honorary affiliate

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of Archaeology and History

Melbourne (Bundoora)




Research fellowAcademic

Area of study


Brief profile

Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Indigenous project IN170100062 (2017-20): How do the Southern Westerly Winds respond to rapid climate change? CI Dr M. Fletcher (Uni. Of Melbourne), CI Dr A. Lisé-Pronovost (La Trobe Uni.), PI Dr M. Blaauw (Queen’s Uni. Belfast), PI Prof. H. Heijnis (ANSTO), PI Dr J. Pedro (Uni. of Copenhagen), PI Dr D. Hodgson (Uni. of Durham). This project is led by a high calibre interdisciplinary team of international scientists and aims to produce high quality data on how the Southern Westerly Winds (SWW) respond to largescale changes in climate boundary conditions over multiple glacial-interglacial cycles. The SWW are a key driver of Southern Hemisphere climate, Southern Ocean circulation and global CO2 concentrations. Thus, understanding how the SWW respond to changes in boundary conditions is critically important. There is considerable uncertainty about how the SWW respond to large-scale changes in climate boundary conditions. This uncertainty cripples attempts at predictive climate modelling. This project will (1) allow an empirical test for conceptual models of SWW dynamics and (2) provide essential boundary conditions for predictive climate models.

My postdoctoral work (2014-16) at the Australian Archaeomagnetic Laboratory (TAAL) was supported jointly by La Trobe University Fellowships (Research Focus Area Transforming Human Societies and Bridging) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec –Nature et technologies (FRQNT). I analysed a range of archives including Australian fired artefacts, lava flows, lake sediments and speleothems to document past changes in the Earth’s magnetic field and ultimately build regional paleomagnetic reference curve for SE Australia. I also used magnetic properties to unravel how burnt structures and artefacts have been utilised through time, to better understand site formation processes and to reconstruct past climate change and human technologies.

I completed my postgraduate studies (MSc and PhD) at the Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski (ISMER) of the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) in eastern Canada. During my MSc, I studied marine sediment cores from the western Arctic Ocean. This MSc work contributed to better understand the Earth magnetic field variability at high northern latitudes during the Holocene. It also revealed high-resolution magnetostratigraphy as a useful dating tool in the sediment of the western Arctic Ocean, where traditional methods are often limited or inapplicable. During my PhD, I studied a long lacustrine sedimentary sequence (ca. 100 meters; 51200 cal BP) from the maar lake Laguna Potrok Aike in southeastern Patagonia (Argentina). This PhD work contributed to better understand the Earth’s magnetic field variability in an under-documented region of the Southern Hemisphere. In addition, proxies of aeolian activity (dust and wind intensity) and runoff events were developed using continuous high-resolution rock-magnetic properties, revealing past climate changes in southeastern Patagonia associated with climate changes in Antarctica since 51200 cal BP.


Recent publications

 Peer-reviewed articles


  • Lisé-Pronovost, A., Salomon, F., Goiran, J.-P., St-Onge, G, Herries, A.I.R., Heslop, D., Roberts, A.P., Montero-Serrano, J.-C., Levchenko, V., Zawadski, A., Heijnis, H., Submitted to Quaternary Science Reviews. Dredging and canal gate technologies in the ancient harbor of Rome.

In review

  • Jouve G., Lisé-Pronovost, A., Francus, P., De Conninck, A. and the PASADO science team, in review for Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Climatic influence of the latest Antarctic isotope maximum of the last glacial period (AIM4) on Southern Patagonia.


  • Lisé-Pronovost, A., Mallett, T., Mayers, S., Anderson, W., Muir, A.-L., Herries, A., accepted (May 20, 2016). Understanding the life history of 19th century Australian bricks using archaeomagnetism and the establishment of a SE Australian Archaeomagnetic Dating Reference Curve (SEAARC). Excavations, Surveys and Heritage Management in Victoria.


Conference proceedings

  • Lisé-Pronovost, A., St-Onge, G., Gogorza, C., Haberzettl, T., Zolitschka, B. and the PASADO science team, 2012. Rock-magnetic proxies of environmental changes since 51.2 ka cal BP from Laguna Potrok Aike, southern Patagonia. 4th International PASADO Workshop, Terra Nostra 2012/2.
  • Lisé-Pronovost, A., St-Onge, G., Gogorza, C., Kliem, P., Ohlendorf, C., Zolitschka, B. and the PASADO science team, 2011. High-resolution magnetostratigraphy in southern South America: results from the long sedimentary sequence of the maar lake Laguna Potrok Aike (ICDP-PASADO), GEOHYDRO conference proceeding.


  • Lisé-Pronovost, A., 2015. We are Dust Enthusiasts, Catalogue for the exhibition of Hannah Bertram at the La Trobe University Museum of Art (LUMA).

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