Neil Archbold

Neil W. Archbold

Senior Tutor In Earth Sciences at Victoria College of Applied Science

Victoria College of Applied Science

General Information


Full-Time Tutor In the Geology Department - The University of Melbourne

Part-Time Tutor - The University of Melbourne




Treasurer of the Victorian Division - Geological Society of Australia Incorporated

Titular Member - Subcommissions

Research Associate - Deakin University

Long-Standing Member - Royal Society of Victoria Inc

Member - Working Group

Committee Member - Association of Australasian Palaeontologists

Active, Long-Term Member - Paleontological Society of USA

Recent News  

GSA - Geological Society of Australia - Recognition - Biographies

Neil Wilfred Archbold, born 14 August 1950 in Ringwood, Victoria, his family closely associated with the gold mining town of Chewton in central Victoria where Archbold's Gold Treatment Works had been operated by the Archbold family for over 100 years.
Neil had an early passion for all aspects of natural history, with a special love of Lepidoptera and arachnids, which he maintained throughout his life. Neil's secondary school education at Camberwell Grammar in Canterbury, Melbourne and went on to Melbourne University, where he undertook degrees if BA, funded by a Commonwealth University Scholarship, MSc and then a PhD, completed in 1983. In 1973 he was awarded the C.M. Tattam Scholarship in Geology and was awarded a University of Melbourne Postgraduate Scholarship (1976-1979) enabling him to undertake a PhD on Permian brachiopods. Neil's research focussed on the spectacular Permian faunas of Western Australia, especially the brachiopods, the dominant element in most of those faunas. While doing his postgraduate degrees, Neil was employed as a part-time tutor (1973-1980) and then full-time tutor (1980-1982) in the Geology Department of the University of Melbourne, during which time he also tutored for the Council of Adult Education in Melbourne. This he continued for 17 years (1973-1989) until full-time employment as Lecturer in Earth Sciences at the Rusden Campus of Victoria College (incorporated into Deakin University, 1992). For many years (1983-1988) he continued his association with Melbourne University as a Research Associate in its School of Earth Sciences but his new roles at Deakin made continued association with and frequent travel to his alma mater increasingly difficult. He had taught Higher School Certificate evening classes at University High School for three years (1977-1980), had temporary employment as a Scientific Services Officer in the Division of Geomechanics with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Melbourne (1983-1986), and had stints as a contract lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences at Monash University (1984-1988), in the Department of Geology at Melbourne University (1986) and with the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at the Melbourne College of Advanced Education (1988-1989). The patchwork of short-term teaching commitments came to an end when he was appointed Senior Tutor in Earth Sciences at Victoria College (1989). When Neil joined Deakin University, its Earth Science discipline was a minor entity focused on undergraduate teaching. He soon developed it into a nationally and internationally recognised teaching and research group with a wide range of linkages to overseas institutions. Neil served as a member of various advisory committees concerned with the School of Mining, Geology and Metallurgy of the Ballarat University/University of Ballarat (1989-1998) and of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (1991-1998). Among numerous honours was his appointment (1994 until his death) as Guest Professor at the China University of Mining & Technology. Neil was prominent in activities of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), having been a titular member of its Subcommissions on Gondwana Stratigraphy (1986-2005) and History of Geology (1992-2005), as well as corresponding member of the Permian and Carboniferous subcommissions (1986 until his death, and 1992-2005 respectively). He was co-convenor of the Australian Working Group on 'Using Permian mixed biota's as gateways for Permian global correlations', had been a member of the International Geological Correlation Program project 203 on 'Permo-Triassic events if the eastern Tethys region and their intercontinental correlation' (1985-1988), and had been a member of the Working Group on the 'Carboniferous-Permian Boundary' (1987-1993). Neil was a member of the Royal Society of Victoria (from 1973), the Geological Society of Australia (from 1973), the Coal Geology Group of the GSA, the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists, the Palaeontological Society (U.S.A.) and the Palaeontological Associations of Argentina and Spain. He had been a committee member (1982) and, subsequently treasurer (1983-1985) of the Victorian Division of the Geological Society of Australia (GSA), chairman of the DE Thomas Memorial Medal Committee (1985-2005), a committee member of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists (AAP, 1982-83), and secretary of AAP (1994-1996). From his initial core area of research on the taxonomy of Permian brachiopods from Western Australia, he spread into considerations of other taxonomic groups (especially bivalves and trilobites), palaeogeography and palaeobiology, palaeoclimatology and palaeoecology, oceanic circulation patterns, and global stratigraphic alignments for the Permian and, later, Carboniferous systems. His taxonomic output included more than 150 new subfamilies and one new family of brachiopods as well as a new species. Neil was also knowledgeable on the Cainozoic stratigraphy of south-eastern Australia, publishing a modicum of work on Cainozoic brachiopods, echinoids and marsupials.

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Faculty of Science and Technology

Professor Neil Archbold (1950 , 2005): scholar, mentor, and gentlemanNeil Archbold joined Victoria College,s faculty of Applied Science in 1989 as a senior tutor.He was attracted from Melbourne University to establish a research group in palaeontology.From the time Victoria College merged with Deakin University in 1990 Neil was an active and productive member of staff, and a leader in his field.He was appointed to a personal chair at Deakin University in 1995.In a remarkable career he advanced from senior tutor to professor in 6 years. In addition to his role as a teacher and researcher, Neil held many substantial academic leadership roles including serving as the Research Director for the faculty of Science and technology, Head of the earth Science Discipline Group, and Chair of the Higher Degree By Research Subcommittee of Academic Board.Neil consistently demonstrated a genuine and strong commitment to research , he was passionate about his discipline and the pursuit of knowledge.In his own words, he had "a fire in the belly" for his work.He built research infrastructure and a research team at Deakin and this cemented his reputation as one of the world?s leading authorities on fossil brachiopods and Permian stratigraphy.As such he made substantial contributions to the understanding of Permian palaeontology and biostratigraphy of Australia and the Gondwana region in general.He was highly successful in his field, attracting substantial support for his work from the Australian Research Council.He was a highly active writer, publishing over 100 scientific works in prestigious national and international journals, including Nature. Neil is most strongly remembered amongst his colleagues at Deakin for his personal and professional attributes.Professionally, he was an internationally distinguished scholar of the highest calibre characterised by great personal integrity , a strong role model.More than this, he was a mentor and encourager of young staff and postgraduate students , his scholarship had an active, giving aspect.He was a builder of other people,s careers and helped several staff become established as successful researchers in their own right. he was regarded by his colleagues as a constant source of encouragement and support.He was a leader, able to draw people together. Neil showed a strong commitment to internationalisation and a vision for internationalising the work of his group at Deakin.This vision was not driven by the need for personal recognition but by his kind heartedness and his great passion to support the work of international scientists in less fortunate situations.He was a champion for the development of science in countries needing support driven by a sense of service towards those unable to adequately resource their work in this he was an example of the servant leader.He is renowned in countries such as India, Russia and Argentina for this work. On a personal level, he was universally regarded as a gentleman, deeply admired and loved by his colleagues.He was always gentle and respectful in his dealings with others but possessed an inner emotional and spiritual strength born of the trials of his lifelong health problems.His closest colleagues are heartbroken and feel a terrible loss.Neil intended to retire from teaching and administrative duties at the end of 2005 and focus on completing much of his unfinished research work.At the time of his death he had been nominated for appointment as an Emeritus professor at Deakin University.

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Display on Professor Neil W Archbold
Deakin University

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