Skip to content
Curtin University
Staff Profile

Dr Martin Towner

Dr Martin Towner Dr Martin Towner

BSc(Hons), PhD(Bristol)

Position Senior Research Fellow
Faculty Faculty of Science and Engineering
School Western Australian School of Mines
Department Department of Applied Geology
Campus Bentley Campus
Location 314.166
Phone 08 9266 1112
Email Martin.Towner@curtin.edu.au

Brief Summary

Martin joined Curtin as a Senior Research Fellow in 2012. He completed a PhD in Solid State Physics at the University of Bristol in 1995, and worked in industry for a couple of years, before returning to academia in 1998. He worked as a Research Associate at the University of Kent at Canterbury analysing the data returned by the Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturnian system to understand the surface properties of Titan. In 2001 he transferred to the Planetary Sciences Research Institute at the Open University, where has was involved in developing meteorology instrumentation for the the ill-fated Beagle 2 Mars lander, and analysing the scientific results from several other Mars missions. In 2008 he moved to Imperial College London, Earth Sciences and Engineering Department, to work on development of digital cameras for the Desert Fireball Network. This project transferred to Curtin in 2012, and Martin came with it.

Research Interests

The majority of Martin's current work is on the Desert Fireball Network; a project in the outback to observe incoming meteoroids with astronomical cameras, and track them to the ground, and recover the meteorite. By analysing the recovered material, and also observing the orbit of the incoming sample, we are effectively doing a "poor man's sample return mission" to recover Solar System material. This is particularly scientifically exciting, as there are only about 10 recovered meteorites with associated orbits, compared to the about 30,000 meteorites in the world's collections: we are in a position to significantly add to those numbers. Martin is involved in development of new digital camera systems, and also researching new techniques and search strategies for optimal recovery of meteorites. He is also project manager of the existing film-based camera network, and leads some of the meteorite searching fieldwork teams. Additionally, he has worked on photogeology studies of surface processes on planetary bodies, in particular, dust devils on Mars and Earth.

Back to top

Publications

2017

Conference Articles (Research)

2016

Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

2015

Journal Articles (Research)

2014

Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

2013

Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

2012

Journal Articles (Research)

2011

Book Chapters (Research)

Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

2010

Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

2009

Journal Articles (Research)

2008

Journal Articles (Research)

2007

Journal Articles (Research)

2006

Journal Articles (Research)

2005

Journal Articles (Research)

2004

Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

2003

Journal Articles (Research)

2002

Conference Articles (Research)

1999

Journal Articles (Research)

Additional publication categories

2017

Journal Articles (Scholarly/Professional)

  • Howie, R., J. Paxman, P. Bland, M. C. Towner, E. Sansom, and H. Devillepoix. 2017.“Submillisecond fireball timing using de Bruijn timecodes.”Meteoritics and Planetary Science. In press.

2009

Journal Articles (Scholarly/Professional)

  • Hathi, B., A. Ball, G. Colombatti, F. Ferri, M. Leese, M. C. Towner, P. Withers, M. Fulchigioni, and J. Zarnecki. 2009.“Huygens HASI servo accelerometer: A review and lessons learned.”Planetary and Space Science 57 (12): 1321-1333.

2004

Journal Articles (Scholarly/Professional)

  • Bland, P. A., M. C. Towner, P. Spurny, A. Bevan, and T. Smith. 2004.“The desert fireball network.”Astronomy and Geophysics 45 (5): 5.2-5.23.
Back to top