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Student supervision:

My student supervision philosophy:

I have completed both mandatory and extracurricular training in order to be eligible for undergrad and postgrad student supervision both at Macquarie University and the ANU including the ‘Foundations of HDR Supervision' workshop.

I aim to tailor my support to every students’ needs and will support them in all parts of their project. This includes initial project planning, structuring, development of lab, and writing skills with the aim to encourage increasing independence over time. I support students to take ownership and responsibility of their projects’ timeline and outcomes while continuing to offer support via scheduled, periodic meetings.

It is important to me that students develop skills around time management, project management, critical thinking, and good communication in addition to basic lab training that will help them to go on into a range of career pathways both inside and outside academia.

I encourage an inclusive, respectful and fair working environment in which everyone feels safe and supported. I have completed Ally training to support students from all kinds of diverse backgrounds. I aim to be approachable and relatable for the concerns of students and have completed my accreditation as Mental Health First Aider in order to be able to assist students navigate stress and hardship.


I am currently developing a research group within the RSES geochemistry group at the Australian National University. The mission of this group is to do fundamental research on biomineral, nano-composite systems such as mollusk shells, pearls, and other marine calcifiers from an interdisciplinary perspective. Hence, I am open to supervise students and collaborate with colleagues from a wide range of disciplines including (but not limited to) archeology, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, gemology, and materials sciences.

If you are interested to work with me in any way, please send me an e-mail to Laura(dot)Otter(at)anu(dot)edu(dot)au or through the Contact Form of my webpage here.

Current students:

Oliver M. Medd

ANU RSES Honors student

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​Project title:

An aquaculture-based stable oxygen isotope calibration for bivalve shell paleo-thermometry

Lay summary:

Oliver, grows bivalves in aquaria maintained at different seawater temperatures to correlate the influence of temperature on the incorporation of oxygen isotope species in shells.

Approach and methodology:

- Controlled aquaculture experiments with living bivalves

- Seawater pH and alkalinity spectrophotometry analysis

- Seawater oxygen isotope analysis

- Seawater cation concentrations via ICP-OES mass spectrometry

- Shell architecture imaging using SEM/EPMA BSE imaging

- in-situ oxygen isotope analysis of shells using SHRIMP SI

Shiladitya 'Adi' Mazumdar

Macquarie University PhD student


​Project title:

Biomineralization of modern and fossil calcitic and phosphatic brachiopod shells: Significance of shell microstructural organization and shell chemistry with respect to growth, preservation and paleoenvironment

Lay summary:

Adi's project sets out to characterize the architectural arrangements and chemical composition of recent brachiopod shells and the overprinting effects of post-depositional modification during diagenesis and fossilization

Approach and methodology:

- Shell characterization using optical and electron microscopes

- Texture analysis via Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD)

- Major and minor element analysis in shells using WDS-EPMA

Past students:

There are currently no past students.

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