Professor Leanne Armand

PhD BSc (Hons)
ANZIC Program Scientist and ANU Researcher
College of Science
T: +61 2 6125 6713

Areas of expertise

  • Marine Geoscience 040305
  • Palaeoclimatology 040605
  • Biogeography And Phylogeography 060302
  • Phycology (Incl. Marine Grasses) 060701
  • Biological Oceanography 040501
  • Palaeoecology 060206

Research interests

A/Prof. Leanne Armand is an expert in Southern Ocean diatom taxonomy (the identification of marine microscopic phytoplankton). She has a strong interest in the distribution of individual species related to the physical oceanic environment, and the subsequent preservation of this environmental relationship in the fossil record. She uses the records of fossil diatoms in deep sea cores between Australia and Antarctica to estimate past climatic conditions, such as sea ice extent and sea surface temperatures over the last glacial cycles (~240,000 yr). A/Prof. Armand was the Chief Scientist of the very successful palaeoceanographic mission to the Sabrina Coast, East Antarctica, on Australia's new research vessel the RV Investigator (2017). Her research is now concentrated on the investigation of geochemical and genomic markers derived from diatoms in the sea ice environment of the Sabrina Coast.


A/Prof. Armand is the ANZIC (Australian and New Zealand International Ocean Discovery Program Consortium) Program Scientist and an ANU RSES researcher. She is currently a council member of the International Society of Diatom Research (2016-2019).

Prior to her current appointment, A/Prof. Armand was a member of the Dept of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University (2009-2017). At Macquarie, A/Prof. Armand established and convened the unit "Biology in Practice" a skills-based course for 500 1st year biology students (2016-2017). She was the Director of the Marine Science undergraduate programme (2010-2013), course convenor of BIOL121 (Marine Biology and Ecosystems) and MAR201 (Introduction to Marine Science). A/Prof Armand was the first Director of the national Collaborative Australian Postgraduate Sea Training Alliance Network (CAPSTAN) designing a Master-level training at sea program with the Marine National Facility on the RV Investigator (2013-2017), and was a Deputy Director of the MQ Marine Research Centre (2015-2016).

A/Prof. Armand has held post-doctoral positions at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem CRC (Tasmania). She was the first Australian awarded an European Union Incoming Marie Curie Fellowship (FP6, 2005-7), which she undertook at the University of Marseille, France, in collaboration with Prof. Bernard Quéguiner. During this time, she focused her research on the living diatom community of the Southern Ocean near Heard and Kerguelen Islands where she has contributed knowledge to the understanding of diatom community responses and the export of their carbon to the seafloor.

A/Prof. Armand completed: her PhD in 1998 at the Australian National University under the guidance of Prof. Patrick DeDeckker and the late Dr Jean-Jacques Pichon (Univ. Bordeaux I, France); a BSc(Hons) with Prof. David Ride (ANU); and a BSc (Flinders University) under the guidance of Prof. Rod Wells and Dr Peter Murray.

In 2007, A/Prof. Armand was awarded the Australian Academy of Science's Dorothy Hill award for her excellence in palaeoceanographic research and also the Bigelow Laboratory's Rose-Provasoli award. In 2014, she received an U.S. Antarctic Service Medal for service on the U.S-led Sabrina Coast Mission on the RVIB N.B. Palmer.

Researcher's projects

Sabrina Seafloor Survey 

  • ARC DP: Armand, L., George, S., Belt, S., Heraud, P., Bowler, C., and Beardall, J. Applying multidisciplinary methods to resolve past Antarctic sea-ice extent.
  • AAD AAS:Armand, L.K. O'Brien, P., Post, A.,  Goodwin, I., Opdyke, B., Leventer, A., Domack, E., Escuita-Dotti, C. and DeSantis, L. Interactions of the Totten Glacier with the Southern Ocean through multiple glacial cycles. Australian Antarctic Science Grant 2015 round. 
  • Voyage Website (Public but no longer active):  

Diatoms responses to Iron.

  • ARC DP: Ellwood, M., Boyd, P., Armand, L., Wilhelm, S., and Twining, B. Spinning the ferrous wheel: how fast does iron cycle in the Southern Ocean?

Available student projects

PhD opportunities will be listed in early 2018.

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Updated:  01 August 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers