Dr. William Samuel Downey

Dr. William Samuel Downey
M.Sc, PhD,
Head of Department
Associate Professor

Contact Details
Telephone: +60 85 443939 Extn: 2517
Fax: +60 85 443837
Location: SK3-432
Email: bill.downey@curtin.edu.my

Background

Bill Downey holds, British, Irish and Australian citizenships and graduated from Queens University Belfast in Geology and first worked as an Exploration Geologist in Botswana and Zimbabwe. He returned to the UK to undertake a PhD in Geochemistry at the University of Leicester, after which he completed his MSc. (Geophysics and Planetary Physics) and PhD (Geophysics) at Newcastle University (UK). A Lectureship in Geophysics and Physics followed at the University of Papua New Guinea before joining LaTrobe University’s Geology Department in Melbourne. He returned to Botswana (University of Botswana) where he was Senior Lecturer in Geophysics and Physics and was involved in Geological and Geophysical consultancy. He returned to Australia (Central Queensland University) for several years before joining the University of Brunei Darussalam where he was Programme Leader in Petroleum Geosciences.

Academic History

  • Associate Professor , Curtin University Malaysia (Department of Applied Geology) , 2016- Current
  • Associate Professor , Curtin University Malaysia (Department of Petroleum Engineering) , 2015- 2016
  • Head of Petroleum Geosciences, University of Brunei Darussalam, 2009-2015
  • Lecturer, Central Queensland University, 2007-2008
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Botswana, 1993-2006
  • Lecturer, Latrobe University, 1986-1993
  • Lecturer, University of Papua New Guinea, 1984-1986

Selected Journal Publications

  • Downey, W.S. (2015). The Cretan Middle Bronze Age Minoan Kernos was made as an Eclipse Predictor and to Facilitate a Magnetic Compass.  Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry. Vol. 15 (1) April 2015.
  • Downey. W.S. and Liritzis. I. (2013). Archaeomagnetic Intensity of Ceramic Sherds from two Rhodian Byzantine Churches; A Preliminary Initiative. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry V.12.No.1.
  • Downey.W.S., Moazzen M., Ghaderi, M. and Omrani,H. (2013). Geochemistry of Metapelitic Rocks from the Garmichay area, East Azerbaijan, N.W.Iran; Protolith Nature and Whole Rock Control on Metamorphic Mineral Assemblages.   Geological Journal.
  • Downey W.S. and Haque Akm. E. (2013). Eocene-Miocene Stratigraphy of the Sylbet Trough: A Sequence Startigraphy Approach. Himalayan Geology.
  • Downey, W.S. (2011). Orientations of Minoan Buildings may Indicate the First Recorded use of the Magneic Compass. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, an International Journal. V. 11, No.1, 10-21.
  • Downey,W.S. (2011). Archaeomagnetic Directional Determinations on Various Archaeological Materials from the Late Minoan Destruction Site at Malia, Crete. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, an International Journal. V. 11, No. 1, 1-9.
  • Downey, W.S. (2011).  Palaeomagnetic Results from Minoan Ash Deposits in (RV Vema) Cores V10-50 and V10-58, South Aegean Sea. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, an International Journal. V. 11, No. 2,  165-182.
  • Ringrose, S., Huntsman-Mapila, P., Downey,W.S., Coetzee,S.,  Fey, M., Vanderpost, C., Vink, B., Kemosidile, T. and Kolokose, D.  (2008). Diagenesis in Okavango Fan and adjacent Dune Deposits with Implications for the Record of Palaeo-environmental Change in Makgadikgadi-Okavango-Zambezi Basin, Northern Botswana.  Geomorphology.
  • Huntsman-Mapila, P., Ringrose, S., Mackay, A.W., Downey, W.S., Modisi, M., Coetzee, S.N., Tiercelin, J.J., Kampunzu, A.B. and Vanderpost, C. (2006). Use of Geochemical and Biological Sedimentary Record in Establishing Palaeo-environments and Change in the Lake Ngami Basin, N.W.Botswana. Quaternary International 148 pp. 51 – 64.
  • Ringrose, S., Huntsman-Mapila, P., Kampunzu, A.R., Downey, W.S., Coetzee, S., Vink, B., Matherson, W. and Vanderpost, C. (2005) Sedimentological and Geochemical Evidence for Palaeo-environmental Change in the Makgagikgadi Sub-basin in Relation to the MOZ Rift Depression, Botswana. To:- Palaeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 217 pp 265-287. Elsevier. 
  • Mabbs, R., Nijegorodov,N.I. and Downey,W.S. (2003). Fluorescence and Laser Properties of D2-, C2- and D3 Symmetry Series Oligophenylenes. Spectrochimica Acta Part A. Molecular and biomolecular spectroscopy,(2003) 59,  1329-1339.                                                         
  • Ringrose, S., Huntsman-Mapila,P., Kampunzu, A.B., Matheson, W., Vink, B. and Downey, W.S. (2002). Origin and Palaeo-environments of Calcareous Sediments in the Moshaweng Dry Valley, Southeast Botswana.Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Vol.27. pp.591-611. 
  • Nijegorodov, N.I., Mabbs, R. and Downey, W.S. (2001). Evolution of Absorption, Fluorescence,Laser and Chemical Properties in the Series of Compounds: Perylene, Benzo(ghi)perylene and Coronene. Spectrochemica acta. Part A.Molecular and biomolecular spectroscopy.(2001); 57, 2673-2675
  • Downey, W.S. and McFarlane, M.J. (2001). A Comparison of the OSL (Optically Stimulated Luminescence) and TL (Thermoluminescence) Dating Techniques in Fluvial Deposits from Beacon Island, Okavango Delta.  Botswana Journal of Earth Sciences. Vol.4. pp. 43-54.
  • Downey, W.S., Robbins, L.H., Brooke, G.A., Murphy, M.L. and Campbell, A.C. (2000). Late Quaternary archaeological and palaeoenvironmental data from sediments at Rhino cave, Tsodilo Hills, Botswana. South African Journal Archaeology.
  • Robbins, L.H., Murphy, M.L., Brook, G.A., Ivester, A.H., Campbell, A.C., Klein, R.G., Milo, R.G., Stewart, K.M., Downey, W.S. and Stevens, N.J. (2000). Archaeology. Archaeology, Palaeoenvironment and Chronology of the  Tsodilo Hills White Paintings Rock Shelter, Northwest Kalahari Desert, Botswana. Journal of Archaeological Science. Vol. 27. No.11. Pp. 347-358.
  • Downey, W.S. (2000). Ancient Iron Mining in Botswana.  Journal of Cultural Studies. Vol.2 No.1. pp. 318-326.
  • Smith, B.L., Roberts, R.G., Yoshida, H., Olley, R.B.,  Webb, J.A., Bowler, J.M. and Downey, W.S. (2000). Luminescence Dating of Gypsum Dunes in the Raak Boinaka, South East Australia; Evidence for Periodic Humidity over the past 100,000 years.  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology and Palaeoecology.V.  pp 67-85.
  • Nijegorodov, N.I.,  Downey, W.S. and Danilov, M.B. (2000). Systematic Investigation of Absorption, Fluorescence and Laser Properties of some p – and m – Oligophenylenes. Spectrochimica acta. Part A, Molecular and BiomolecularSpectroscopy (2000) 56,  783-795.
  • Downey, W.S.,  Elias, R.T., Justus, A. and Wormald, R.J. (1999). TL/OSL Dating of an Ancient Speculurite Mining Site at Sebilong, near Thamaga, Botswana. Botswana Journal of Earth Sciences, vol.4.
  • Wormald, R.J. and Downey, W.S. (1999).The High Heat Production Gaborone Granite Complex in Southeast Botswana and its Economic Significance. Botswana Journal of Earth Sciences, vol.4.pp 
  • Ringrose, S., Downey, W.S., Genecke, D. and Sefe, F. (1999). Nature of Sedimentary Deposits in the Western Makgadikgadi Basin, Botswana. Journal of Arid Environments. Vol.43. No.4. 375-397.
  • Ringrose,  S., Downey, W.S., Genecke, D., Sefe, F. and Vink, B.  (1999). Nature of calcareous deposits in the mid-Boteti area, Botswana. Journal of Arid Environments.
  • Wormald,  R. J. and Downey, W. S. (1999). Asymmetric Development of the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe Cratons During Multiple Extensional Events in the Limpopo Belt of Southern Africa. Botswana Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol 4.
  • Robbins, L.H.,  Downey, W.S., Murphy, M.C., Campbell, A.C., Brook, G.A., Reid, D.M. and Haberyan, K.A. (1998). Test Excavations and Palaeoenvironmental Work at Toteng, Botswana. South African Archaeological Bulletin. 125-132.
  • Nijegorodov, N. I. and  Downey, W.S. (1997). The Dependence Of The Fluorescence Parameters and The Intersystem Crossing Rate Constant Upon The Orbital Nature Of The S1 State Of P – And M  Polyphenyls.  Spectrochimica acta. Part A. Molecular and biomolecular spectroscopy. (1997) 55.
  • Downey, W.S. (1996) Thorium and Uranium Abundances in the Gaborone Granite Complex Botswana Journal of Earth Science. Vol.3. 39-44.
  • Downey, W.S, McFarlane, M..J. and Justus, A. (1996) Thermoluminescence/Optically Stimulated Luminescence Dating of Quaternary Sediments and Archaeological Materials in Botswana. Botswana Journal of Earth Science. Vol.3. 
  • Nijegorodov,  N.I. and Downey, W.S. (1995) The Influence of the Symmetry Group on the Fluorescence Parameters and Intersystem Crossing Rate Constant in Aromatic Molecules. Spectrochimica Acta A Vol.51 (14).
  • Downey, W.S. (1984). Magnetic Dating of Minoan Volcanics of Santorini and their relationship to Late Minoan Destruction levels. Geophys. J. Roy. Astr. Soc. V 77 No. 1 309.
  • Nijegorodov, N.I. and Downey, W.S. (1994). The Influence of Planarity and Rigidity on the Absorption and Fluorescence Parameters and Intersystem Crossing Rate Constant in Aromatic Molecules. Journal of Physical Chemistry 98, 5639-5643.
  • Downey, W.S., Kellett,  R.J., Smith , I.E.M., Price, R.C. and Stewart, R.B. (1994) New Palaeomagnetic Evidence for Recent Eruptive Activity of  Mt.Taranaki, New Zealand. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research.Vol.60. 15-27.
  • Downey, W.S and Frankel, D. (1992) Radiocarbon and Thermoluminescence Dating of a Central Murray Mound, Australia. The Artefact, Pacific Rim Archaeology. Vol.15 30-35.
  • Downey, W.S and Tarling, D.H. (1991) Reworking Characteristics of Quaternary, Thera (Greece), determined using Magnetic Properties. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. Vol. 46 143-155.
  • Downey, W.S and Tarling, D.H. (1989) An Archaeomagnetic Study of the Late Minoan Kiln (2), Stratigraphical Museum Extension Site, Knossos, Crete. The Annual of the British School at Athens. Vol. 84. 346-352.
  • Tarling, D.H. and Downey, W.S. (1990). Archaeomagnetic results from Late Minoan destruction levels on Crete and Minoan tephra on Thera. Thera and the Aegean World III, 146-151.
  • Downey, W.S. and Tarling,  D.H. (1988) Reworking Characteristics of Quaternary Tephra using Palaeomagnetic Properties. Geophysical Journal of Royal Astronomical Society. Vol. 92, 549.
  • Tarling, D.H., Hammo, N.B. and Downey, W.S. (1985). The Scatter of Magnetic Directions in Archaeomagnetic Studies. Geophysics Vol. 51, No.3. 634-639.
  • Downey, W.S., Girolomo, P., Incoronato, A. and Nardi, G. (1985). First Data on the Emplacement Temperatures on the Campanian Ignimbrite. Publication of the Universita Di Napoli-de Freda, Naples, Italy.
  • Downey, W.S., Incoronato, I., Nardi., G. and Rolandi, G. (1985). The Temperature of Emplacement of the Breccia Museo, Phlegrean Fields, Naples, Italy. Publication of the Universita Di Napoli-de Freda, Naples, Italy.
  • Downey, W.S and Tarling, D.H. (1985).  Archaeomagnetism, Santorini volcanic eruptions and fired destruction levels on Crete (reply). Nature, Vol. 313, Iss. No. 5997, pp76.
  • Downey, W.S. and Tarling, D.H. (1984).  Archaeomagnetic Dating of Santorini Volcanic Eruptions and Fired Destruction Levels of Late Minoan Civilization. Nature. Vol.309  No.5968. 519-523.
  • Downey, W.S. and Tarling, D.H. (1984).  The End of Minoan Civilization. New Scientist No.1421 48-52.
  • Downey, W.S. (In preparation). Titanomagnetite Geochemistry and Magnetic Proxy Parameters for two Deep-sea cores, South Aegean Sea. A Comparison with Minoan Sub-aerial Pumices (Santorini, Greece). To be submitted to Earth and Planetary Science Letter

 

Selected Conference Publications

 

  • Jain, P.K., Moxon, T., Coetzee, S.H. and Downey, W.S. (2007).  Preliminary Investigations of a “Green Earth” found as a Coating and Intrusion in Agates from Botswana. The 16th. International Microscopy Congress. (Japanese Society of Microscopy).September 3 – 8. 2006 Sapporo, Japan.
  • Huntsman-Mapilai, P., Ringrose, S.,  Modisi, M., Downey, W.S., Coetzee, S. and Vanderpost, C.(2004). Palaeoenvironment Evolution of the Western Okavango Delta System, NW.Botswana. Pan-African Workshop, Nairobi, Kenya.19-20 July 2004.
  • Huntsman-Mapila, P., Ringrose, S., Kampunzu, A.B., Modisi, M., Downey, W.S., Coetzee, S., Atekwana, E., Cemond, H., Tiercillin, J.J. and MacKay, A. (2004). New Evidence for Palaeoenvironmental Conditions in Lake Ngami, Botswana. East African Rift Workshop. Adidis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Kolokose, D.O., Huntsman-Mapila, P. and Downey, W.S. (2004). Geophysical Studies on an Okavango Delta Channel at Xudum, Botswana. Benron Conference, University of Botswana.
  • Jain, P.K., Coetzee, S.H. and Downey, W.S. (2003). Cathodeluminescence and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDS) of Microinclusions in Gem Stones of South Africa.  Microscopy Society of South Africa (MSSA). 32nd. Annual Conference. 3-5 Dec 2003 University of Cape Town. Proceedings. Vol.33. P20.
  • Ringrose, S., Huntsman-Mapila, P., Kampunzu, A.B., Downey, W.S., Vink, B., Coetzee, S., Matherson, W. and Vanderpost, C. (2003). Geomorphological Evidence from the Palaeo-Makgadikgadi Sub-basin for MOZ Palaeo-wetlands in Northern Botswana. International Geological Correlations Programme (IGCP) 482/489. (Dymamic Evolution, Resource Potential and Environmental Impact of the East African Rift Systems). Inaugural meeting, University of Botswana. Aug.2003.
  • Downey, W.S. (2002). New Luminescence Dates for a Middle Stone Age Site in Botswana (LED) Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating conference, 24-28th June 2002. Reno, Nevada, USA.
  • Ringrose, S., Kampunzu, A.B., Vink, B., Matheson, W. and Downey, W.S. (2002). Geomorphological Evidence for MOZ Palaeo-wetlands in Northern Botswana; Implications for Wetland Change.  Monitoring of Tropical and Sub-tropical Wetlands Conference, Maun Botswana. Pub. HOORAC and University of Florida.
  • Pancake, J.A., Gose, W.A.,  Hanson, R.E.,  Ramezani, J., Bowring, S.A. and Downey, W.S. (2001). Palaeomagnetism and Geochronology of the 1.1Ga Umkondo Igneous Province: New Data from Botswana. Accepted for:- International Correlation Project 418 (Kibaran of Southwest Africa) 4th. Annual Conference (Durban, RSA. July 2001).
  • Downey, W.S., Smith, B.L., McFarlane, M.J. and Gieske, A. (1999). Optically Stimulated Luminescence and Thermoluminescence Resetting in Fluvial Deposits: Theories and Experiment, a Case Study from the Okavango Delta, Botswana. 9th. International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating. 6-10th.Sept.99. Complesso Monumentale del San Michele a Ripa, Rome, Italy.
  • Smith, B.L., Yosida, H., Olley, J. M., Webb, J.A., Bowler, J.M. and Downey, W.S. (1999).Optical Dating of Gypsum Dunes in the Raak boinka, Southeastern Australia; Evidence for Periodic Humidity during the past 100,000 years.  9th. International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating. 6-10th.Sept.99. Complesso Monumentale del San Michele a Ripa, Rome, Italy.
  • Wormald, R.J. and Downey, W.S. (1998) The Gaborone Granite Complex in Southeast Botswana as the Source Provenance for the Witwatersrand Basin Gold and Uranium  Deposits. International Volcanological Congress,Cape Town, South Africa. July 1998.
  • Nijegorodov,  N., Winkoun, D.P. and Downey, W.S. (1998). The Spin Orbit Coupling between S1p and Tβ States and Influence on the Intra-Molecular Photonic Processes in Aromatic Molecules. The XV11 IUPAC Symposium on Photochemistry, Barcelona, Spain, July 1998.
  • Downey, W.S. and Justus, A. (1996).  Recent Developments in Thermoluminescence/ Optically stimulated Luminescence in Africa. 8th. International Conference  on Electron Spin Resonance and Luminescence Dating.  Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
  • McFarlane, M.J.  and Downey, W.S. (1996).  Elephant Gorge Sedimentary Sequence, Molopolole. A Contribution to the Palaeoclimatology of Southern Botswana. South African Association of 4th. Biennial Conference, Cape Town.
  • Downey, W.S. (1986). Temperatures of Emplacement of Minoan Santorini Tephra. In Proceeding of the International Congress, Royal Society of New Zealand.
  • Downey, W.S. (1982). Some Archaeomagnetic Results from Cretan Burnt Mud Brick. United Kingdom Geophysical Association (UKGA) Conference, Cambridge. Geophysical Journal Abstracts.
  • Downey, W.S. (1981). Preliminary Magnetic Results from Santorini and Crete. (UKGA). conference. Edinburgh. Geophysical Journal Abstracts.
  • Downey, W.S. (1981).  Potassium Argon Results from Mylonites, Sutherland, North West  Scotland. (UKGA). Geophysical Journal Abstracts.
  • Downey, W.S. (1983) Unpublished Ph D. Thesis. Magnetic Studies of Santorini Minoan Tephra and Cretan Archaeological Materials.

 

Professional Afflictions:

Fellow of:-        Royal Astronomical Society.  (FRAS)

  (elected)          Geological Society (London).  (FGS)

 

Member of :-

  • Australian Society for Exploration Geophysics. (ASEG)
  • American Geophysical Union. (AGU)
  • European Association of Geophysicists and Engineers. (EAGE)
  • Society of Economic Geologists. (SEG)
  • Botswana Geoscientist Association. (BGA)
  • New York Academy of Science (NYAS)
  • Australasia Cave and Karst Management Association .(ACKMA)

 

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