Recovered from Terrestrial and Marine Sites | Dr Ian MacLeod

Our island nations are littered with historic shipwrecks which have been recording the microenvironment of the oceans since 1622 off the Western Australian coast. A study of the layers of decay recorded on degraded metal objects provides climate and corrosion scientists with a unique insight into the changing conditions on the seabed and with data on seawater temperatures.

After 40 years of applied research, Dr MacLeod has developed a series of novel conservation treatments which have extended the lives of thousands of artefacts. Overseas projects include the in-situ conservation of the WWI submarine HMAS AE2, which penetrated the Dardanelles on the first ANZAC Day and so saved the lives of hundreds of New Zealand and Australian troops. Work on early bronze age sites in Turkey has shown that in-situ measurements of pH, voltage and chloride ion activities in soil profiles has enabled prediction of treatment needs of bronze objects recovered from those historic sites.


Dr Ian MacLeod

Dr Ian MacLeod is the former Executive Director of the Western Australian Museum, where he worked from 1978-2016 studying corrosion of metals on historic shipwrecks. Ian is a Life Member of ACA (WA Branch) and a Fellow of the Western Australian Museum. He was recently made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his lifetime of work mentoring colleagues in the science of shipwreck conservation. Ian is a two-time P.F Thompson Lecturer and has acted as both the editor of Corrosion and Materials and chair of the scholarship committee of the ACA Foundation. Ian now runs Heritage Conservation Solutions, where he provides conservation solutions related to problems of corrosion and decay of heritage structures and collections, analysis of building microclimates and research into decay mechanisms on Aboriginal rock art.


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