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Dr Graziella Caprarelli


Obtained her PhD in Earth Sciences in 1991 in Italy (University La Sapienza, Rome).

She held two post-doctoral positions in Japan, at the Geological Survey of Japan (Tsukuba, Ibaraki-ken) and at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, before moving to Australia. She joined UTS in August 1996.

She was a NSF research scholar at NASA Johnson Space Center (Houston, TX, USA) in 2001-2002.

She received the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 2004 award for Excellence in Reviewing. She was awarded from the Australian Academy of Science a Scientific Visit to Europe Grant to carry out research at the International Research School of Planetary Science (Pescara, Italy).

Her current appointment at UTS is as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Sciences [DES]. She is also the Deputy Director of the Faculty of Science Computational Research Support Unit, and the Deputy Chair of the departmental Honours Management Committee.


Dr. Graziella Caprarelli is an external collaborator of the International Research School of Planetary Sciences (Pescara, Italy) and an external associate of the Mars Express MARSIS scientific team.

She is Chair of the Special Group in Planetary Geoscience of the Geological Society of Australia, and a member of the Information Technology Committee of the American Geophysical Union. She was the 2002-2003 Chair of the NSW Division of the Geological Society of Australia.

She is member of the Editorial Board of the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences and was principal editor of a set of thematic papers on Martian studies in 2005.

She is a member of the steering committee that produced the first Australian Decadal Plan for Space Science, and a member of its working group in Planetary Sciences.

She is a member, and from January 2012 Deputy Chair, of the National Committee for Space Science for the Australian Academy of Science. She is a member of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology (UNSW).

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The final countdown: bidding farewell to the Space Shuttle program

ABC Meet a Scientist

Associate of the Faculty, School of Life Sciences
DipEngGeol (La Sapienza), MSc (La Sapienza), PhD (La Sapienza)

Research Interests

Dr. Caprarelli's area of research is in the study of volcanic and tectonic activity of Earth and Mars. She uses geochemical and geophysical data to draw interpretations regarding the specific geodynamic processes responsible for basaltic volcanism on terrestrial planets. She has published (as first author) in the peer-reviewed international journals:
Terra Nova
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Mineralogy and Petrology
Australian Journal of Earth Sciences

Can supervise: Yes

At UTS Dr. Caprarelli has taught geochemistry, petrology, tectonics. Her current teaching duties are as subject coordinator for Geological Processes (subject code: 91149) and GIS and Remote Sensing (91120), as well as lecturing in Astrobiology in the subject The Biosphere (91107).

She has been (and is) principal supervisor or co-supervisor of Honours and PhD projects in geology, planetary science (Mars), and GIS and remote sensing applied to the study of environmental problems.


Caprarelli, G. 2009, 'The state of planetary science in Australia', DVD-ROM Proceedings of the 8th Australian Space Science Conference, National Space Society of Australia Ltd, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-15.
A head-count of Australia-based scientists doing research in planetary science was performed in the context of the drafting of the Decadal Plan for Space Sciences [1]. This paper builds on those findings. A search of papers published by Australia-based scientists in the period 2005-2008 was performed. The search returned 91 papers published in international journals by scientists distributed in 7 groups, of which 6 are identified by the affiliations of the researchers, and one, termed Others, is composed of individuals working independently. Correspondence analysis performed on the data returned distinctive associations of the ANU, UNSW and Others groups with the subdisciplines of cosmochemistry, astrobiology and mission data analysis, respectively. These associations are interpreted as indicating clusters of activity that are, or have the potential to grow into, areas of high productivity. A minimalist model to support and organise activity in the potential cluster represented by the Others is presented here.
Noman, M., Bennett, V., Caprarelli, G., Carter, B., Clarke, J., Nelson, D., Stegman, D., Taylor, S.R., Vladimirov, S. & Walter, M. 2008, 'Planetary science in Australia', Proceedings of the 7th Australian space science conference Sydney, National Space Society of Australia Ltd, Sydney, pp. 40-59.
Planetary science studies the origin of the solar system and whether life exists on other planets. It has the potential to change the way we vie the world and our selves. Planetary science offers a cost effective means for Australia to participate in a pretigious international arena. Space engages the public's imagination and can inspire young people in tehir choice of careers. Students gain a strong foundation in mathematics, fundamental sciences and advanced technology, thereby fostering creativity and promoting a culture of innovation. Despite the absence of a national space program, Australian planetary scientists have strong international reputations in cosmochemistry, planetary geology and planetary geophysics.
Anania, E.M., Caprarelli, G., Lake, M. & Di Lorenzo, S. 2007, 'Using mars global surveyor and mars odyssey date to reconstruct the volcano-tectonic history of Phaethontis region, Mars', Proceedings of the 6th Australian Space Science Conference, National Space Society of Australia Ltd, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-16.
In this paper we present part of an ongoing study to telemetry data of Phaethontis, aregion in the western hemisphere of Mars' Southern Highlands. in particular, we focus on an approximately 57,000 km2 area in Gorgonum Chaos. We selected THEMIS visual, MOC narrow angle and MOLA data abvailable from the Arizona State University and Malin Space Sceince Systems web-sites. We carried out multi-level processing of THEMIS and MOC data using the ISIS software and prcessed MOLA gridded data by the GMT software. After processing we input the images into ArcGIS software, We observed, identified and described, both 2- and 3-dimentionally, impact craters, chaotic and polygonal terrains, grabens and gullies. These landforms suggest a complex geological history involving sedimentary and tectonic processes such as meteoritic impact, the presence of underground water and ice, desiccation or freezing of wet sediemnts at least two episodes of extension, and recent aeolian activity.
Rickwood, P., Giurco, D., Glazebrook, G.J., Kazaglis, A., Thomas, L.E., Zeibots, M.E., Boydell, S., White, S., Caprarelli, G. & McDougall, J. 2007, 'Integrating population, land-use, transport, water and energy-use models to improve the sustainability of urban systems', State of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference, SOAC, Adelaide, pp. 314-324.
Caprarelli, G., Pondrelli, M., Di, L.S., Marinangeli, L., Ori, G. & Neukum, G. 2007, 'Mars express high resolution stereo camera: results of observations of north Tyrrhena terra, Mars', Proceedings of the 6th Australian Space Science Conference, National Space Society of Australia Ltd, Sydney, Australia, pp. 28-43.
The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board Mars Express has been transmitting high quality imagery and altimetry data since reaching martian orbit. Observations from orbits h0962 and g0951 showed tectonic features in wto selected areas of north Tyrrhena Terra, in a sub-equitorial region of the southern hemisphere characterised by flat surfaces that could be interpreted as covered by either sedimentary or volcanic deposits. Morphometric analysis of a narrow N-S trending valley, about 80 km long, in the southernmost of the selected areas indicates that this valley formed by crstal extension. In the northernmost area, observation of NW-SE trending ridges characterised by steep SW facing lobate scarps and gentler NE sloping back carps is consistent with prior oberservations of NW-SE trending and NE dipping structures. The HRSC-aided identification of subtle structural features is important for geological reconstruction of Mars.

Journal articles

Fletcher, S., Caprarelli, G., Merif, J., Andresen, D., Hal, S.V., Stark, D. & Ellis, J. 2014, 'Epidemiology and geographical distribution of enteric protozoan infections in sydney, australia.', J Public Health Res, vol. 3, no. 2, p. 298.
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Enteric protozoa are associated with diarrhoeal illnesses in humans; however there are no recent studies on their epidemiology and geographical distribution in Australia. This study describes the epidemiology of enteric protozoa in the state of New South Wales and incorporates spatial analysis to describe their distribution.
Caprarelli, G. & Fletcher, S. 2014, 'A brief review of spatial analysis concepts and tools used for mapping, containment and risk modelling of infectious diseases and other illnesses', PARASITOLOGY, vol. 141, no. 5, pp. 581-601.
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Caprarelli, G. & Wang, B.Y. 2012, 'Wet Mars implications of revised scaling calculations for Evros Vallis', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, vol. 59, no. 2, pp. 263-276.
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Caprarelli, G. & Leitch, E.C. 2009, 'Volcanic and structural history of the rocks exposed at Pickering Crater (Daedalia Planum, Mars)', ICARUS, vol. 202, no. 2, pp. 453-461.
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Och, D.J., Leitch, E.C. & Caprarelli, G. 2007, 'Geological units of the Port Macquarie- Tacking Point tract, north-eastern Port Macquarie Block, Mid North Coast region of NSW', Quarterly Notes Geological Survey of New South Wales, vol. October 20, no. 126, pp. 1-19.
The Point macquarie-Tacking Point coastline provides excellent exposures of the accretionary subduction complex and youger magmatic arc rocks that make up much of the New England Fold Belt (also known as the New Enagland Orogen) in north-eastern New South Wales. None geological units, including six formally defined here (Port macquarie Serpentineite, Rocky Beach Metamorphic Melange, Tacking Point Gabbro,Town beach Diorite, Nobbys Beach Lamprophyre and Sea Acres Dolerite) have been identified along this coastline tract. The kaikeree Metadolerite has been redefined. The oldest rocks are prograde lawsoniate eclogite and retrograde blueschist blocks embedded in the chlorite-actinolite schist matrix of the Rocky Beach Metamorphic Melange that occurs as a slab within te Port Macquarie Serpentine. The Port Macquartie Serpentine is a product of alteration of cumulate ultramafic rocks of a c.530 Ma forearc ophiolote. The Watonga Formation is a mostly broen formation that consists of Middle-Late Ordovician pelagic rocks, the mafic oceanic substrate on which these were deposited; younger basalt and olistostromes of porbable ocean island origin; and stuff, sultstone and sandstone infered to be trench fill accreted in te Late Ordovician-Carbvoniferous interval.
Caprarelli, G., Pondrelli, M., Di Lorenzo, S., Marinangeli, L., Ori, G.G., Greeley, R. & Neukum, G. 2007, 'A description of surface features in north Tyrrhena Terra, Mars: Evidence for extension and lava flooding', ICARUS, vol. 191, no. 2, pp. 524-544.
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Caprarelli, G. & Reidel, S.P. 2005, 'A clinopyroxene-basalt geothermobarometry perspective of Columbia Plateau (NW-USA) Miocene magmatism', TERRA NOVA, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 265-277.
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Caprarelli, G. & Reidel, S.P. 2004, 'Physical evolution of Grande Ronde Basalt magmas, Columbia River Basalt Group, north-western USA', MINERALOGY AND PETROLOGY, vol. 80, no. 1-2, pp. 1-25.
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Och, D.J., Leitch, E.C., Caprarelli, G. & Watanabe, T. 2003, 'Blueschist and eclogite in tectonic melange, Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia', MINERALOGICAL MAGAZINE, vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 609-624.
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Caprarelli, G. & Leitch, E.C. 2002, 'MORB-like rocks in a Palaeozoic convergent margin setting, northeast New South Wales', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 367-374.
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Harrison, J., Heijnis, H. & Caprarelli, G. 2002, 'Historical pollution variability from abandoned mine sites, Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, NSW Australia', Environmental Geology, vol. N/A, no. N/A, pp. N/A-687.
Caprarelli, G. & Leitch, E.C. 2001, 'Geochemical evidence from Lower Permian volcanic rocks of northeast New South Wales for asthenospheric upwelling following slab breakoff', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 151-166.
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Caprarelli, G. & Leitch, E.C. 1998, 'Magmatic changes during the stabilisation of a cordilleran fold belt: the Late Carboniferous Triassic igneous history of eastern New South Wales, Australia', LITHOS, vol. 45, no. 1-4, pp. 413-430.
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Caprarelli, G., Tsutsumi, M. & Turi, B. 1997, 'Chemical and isotopic signatures of the basement rocks from the Campi Flegrei geothermal field (Naples, southern Italy): Inferences about the origin and evolution of its hydrothermal fluids', JOURNAL OF VOLCANOLOGY AND GEOTHERMAL RESEARCH, vol. 76, no. 1-2, pp. 63-82.
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