Beneath the Surface of Chiang Mai, Thailand: A Travel Guide


If you get the chance, come visit Chiang Mai.

It is an enthralling place for nature lovers, adventure seekers, culture explorers and (naturally) researchers. For decades, geologists and archaeologists have been exploring and excavating the region to reconstruct its past, discovering a plethora of interesting and important information. Yet, as travellers ascend the northern mountains, lounge in hot springs, scale waterfalls and gaze temples, the fascinating background of these places may go unnoticed, lying beneath your feet.

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My EGU2017 Experience + Winning Science Video Competition

My video (watch here) is the winner of the Communicate Your Science Video Competition 2017! Sincere thanks to those who watched and voted. I have been awarded free registration for next year’s EGU General Assembly. The recognition has motivated me to continue exploring science communication, and I am excited for future projects!


Photo courtesy of the EGU GeoLog.

My PhD research (EGU abstract here) was presented at the Advances of Quaternary Geochronology session, convened by Irka Hajdas, and co-convened by Andreas Lang, Susan Ivy-Ochs and Sebastien Nomade. It was an enjoyable and stimulating experience. Additional thanks to Prof Andreas Lang, who was also my EGU mentor.

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VIDEO: Finalist for EGU Science Video Competition

I am a finalist for this year’s EGU Communicate Your Science Video Competition, as part of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna this April. I submitted a 3 minute video on my PhD research. I will also be doing an oral presentation of the same research at the conference this year (abstract link below).

The winner is based on the number of YouTube likes. If you enjoyed the video, please do give a virtual like on YouTube (the thumbs up symbol)! Last year’s winner had 1,200 likes. The winner will get free registration for next year’s EGU General Assembly and, of course, exposure.

The corresponding abstract of this research:

Teo, E.A., Ziegler, A.D., Wasson, R.J. & Morthekai, P. (2017). Digging for Lost Rivers in Thailand: Locating and Dating Paleochannels in the Chiang Mai Intermontane Basin. Geophysical Research Abstracts. Vienna, Austria, EGU General Assembly, 19.

Details of my oral presentation at EGU2017:
Session: CL5.03/GM2.3 – Advances in Quaternary Geochronology
Time: 26 April 2017, the session is from 3.30 to 5pm, my presentation is from 3.45 to 4pm
Venue: Room F2, Austria Center Vienna

POEM: Pulsed optical stimulation to separate mixed quartz/feldspar luminescence signals

Here’s a haiku (with reference list) I wrote while reading up on pulsed optically stimulated luminescence dating. I thought this might be a fun way to engage with the information I was reading. Sure beats boring summaries…

WCMK Hole 3 1.5-1.9 (more90,MS) copy

Sand-sized sediment for luminescence dating, magnified under a microscope. Clear grains are quartz, orange-pink grains are feldspar. Personal photo.

mixed quartz and feldspar,
age estimate may be wrong,
must separate them.

if impossible,
new method can help problem,
change the procedure.

stimulation is
usually continuous.
use short bursts and see!

feldspar glows bright first,
glow has rapid rise and fall,
but quartz is slower…

find the boundary,
isolate right mineral,
happy scientist!

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VIDEO: Augering in the Chiang Mai floodplains

Yearly, undergraduate students enrolled in the Field Studies module are brought to Thailand to get hands-on experience of being a geographer. For a few days, I brought the students to a few of my fieldsites to show them how to auger and to talk about my PhD research, OSL dating, and taking field notes. We later brought the sediments back to the research station where I demonstrated grain size analysis using sieves and hydrometers.

Thanks to Kelman Chiang for this GoPro footage (ingeniously attached to the handle of the auger) .

I did a similar exercise the year before. Here is a drawing of that day by a student!


Presenting at an Elementary School

In February 2015, I was invited to give a talk to the 5th Grade students of the International School of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The grade was hosting a series of talks by figures of social change who are making a positive change to society. Speakers included lawyers, volunteer teachers for refugees, flood victim relief workers, and diplomats. I was asked to talk about what a flood researcher does. This opportunity to explain research in a relatively niche field in an accessible and interesting way to 10 year old children was an exciting challenge.

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