(Above) Vic Gostin holds a specimen of the Acraman ejecta from the Flinders Ranges, at the University of Adelaide.
Podcast Nos. 16 & 17: Interview with Vic & Olga Gostin
by Craig Robertson
(Above) Olga and Vic Gostin relax with some Lake Eyre granites on a recent trip.
Podcast Nos. 16: Vic & Olga Gostin - Part I (13.3 Mb m4a; 55' 56")
Podcast Nos. 17: Vic & Olga Gostin - Part II (13.8 Mb m4a; 58' 05")
Vic Gostin is a geologist and Olga Gostin an anthropologist, both having specialities explored in a wide-ranging interview to be reproduced here in two podcasts. They both have Russian family backgrounds. After extraordinary childhoods - Vic in war-time Shanghai, Olga in apartheid South Africa - they have both had highly productive careers in teaching and research and have written books and papers about their work (see the bibliography below). They live in Adelaide where they have a son and a daughter and two grandchildren.
Vic was educated at Melbourne High School and the University of Melbourne where he did his masters degree in stratigraphy. He is interested in the way geology brings all the sciences together, in particular where both astronomy and geology have the concept of 'deep time' at their core and give us a correspondingly deep perspective on the world and its structure. He has specialised in sedimentology and planetology, studying the effects of climate on patterns of sedimentation, especially those derived from ancient glaciations, modern cool-water shelf carbonates and lacustrine environments. His fieldwork resulted in the discovery of ejecta from the Lake Acraman impact site deposited in widespread areas of South Australia, notably in the Flinders Ranges. He was honoured by having an asteroid named for him (3640 GOSTIN). The geology, and lately the palaeontology of his discovery, is stimulating some interesting new lines of research into the origin of multi-cellular life on earth. Vic was also responsible for introducing a successful environmental geology course to the University of Adelaide where he served as Head of the Geology & Geophysics Department. Teaching at undergraduate and post-graduate levels - public education in earth sciences generally - has been a life-long commitment. For these achievements he was awarded the Bruce Webb Medal 2011 by the Geological Society of Australia (South Australia Branch).
Olga grew up in South Africa and first studied anthropology at Witwatersrand University. She has done fieldwork in Papua where she studied the effects of resettlement and conversion to Catholicism on the Kuni people. She spent a year in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s endeavouring to study displaced populations. She has been actively involved in the story of Lake Mungo and the Aboriginal community in that area for many years, and was invited to the historic ceremony in 1992 when the remains of Mungo Lady were handed over to Aboriginal custodians. Later in her career she returned to her early love for botany and took her Masters in Environmental Studies. After many years lecturing at the University of South Australia she retains an adjunct position there. Thanks to Doug McCann. Honorary Archivist, The Royal Society of Victoria for participating in the interview. This interview © Copyright Vic & Olga Gostin, & Craig Robertson, 2011.
In my study Nos. 16 & 17
|V. A. Gostin (ed.) 2001 Gondwana to Greenhouse: Australian Environtmental Science. Geological Society of Australia Special Publication 21.
Olga Gostin 1993, 1995 Accessing the Dreaming: Heritage, Conservation and Tourism at Mungo National Park. Aboriginal Research Institute Publications, Faculty of Aboriginal and Islander Studies, University of South Australia, Underdale, SA 5032.
Olga Gostin 1986 Cash cropping, Catholicism and change: resettlement among the Kuni of Papua. National Centre for Development Studies, Pacific research monograph No. 14, Australian National University, Canberra.
See also: Ngitji Ngitji/Mona Tur 2010 Cicada Dreaming; the author acknowledges Olga's role in producing this book.
Both Vic and Olga Gostin have published papers and articles over many years. In particular Vic's research has resulted in many papers in refereed journals; a brief list relating mainly to the Acraman ejecta work follows:
- Victor Gostin, David McKirdy and George Williams. Ice, an Asteroid Impact & the Rise of Complex Life. Australasian Science Vol. 32(4) May 2011: 34-36.
- Gostin, V.A., McKirdy, D.M., Webster, L.J. & Williams, G.E. 2010. Ediacaran ice-rafting and coeval asteroid impact, South Australia: insights into the terminal Proterozoic environment. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 57: 859-869.
- Williams G.E. & Gostin V.A. 2005. Acraman - Bunyeroo impact event (Ediacran), South Australia, and environmental consequences: twenty-five years on. Aust. Jour. Earth Sciences, 52: 607-620
- Mann G.A., Clarke J.D.A. and Gostin V. 2004. Surveying for Mars Analogue Research Sites in the Central Australian Deserts. Australian Geographical Studies. 30: 116-124.
- Gostin, V.A. and Zbik, M., 1999. Petrology and microstructure of distal impact ejecta from the Flinders Ranges, Australia. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 34, 587-592.
- Gostin, V.A., Keays, R.R. and Wallace, M.W., 1989. Iridium from the Acraman impact ejecta blanket, South Australia: Meteoroid impacts can produce Iridium peaks. Nature, 340, 542-544.
- Compston, W., Williams, I.S., Jenkins, R.J.F., Gostin, V.A. and Haines, P.W., 1987. Zircon age evidence for the late Precambrian Acraman ejecta-blanket. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 34, 435-445.
- Gostin, V.A., Haines, P.W., Jenkins, R.J.F., Compston, W. and Williams, I.S., 1986. Impact ejecta horizon within late Precambrian shales, Adelaide Geosyncline, South Australia. Science, 233, 198-200.
All material, unless otherwise stated, is © Copyright Craig Robertson, 2011
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