(Photo by Patrick Hamilton)

Ian Townsend is a journalist and radio documentary maker who worked for many years with ABC Radio National. He has won numerous awards for journalism, including four national Eureka Prizes for science and medical journalism and an Australian Human Rights Award. His first novel, Affection, based on the 1900 outbreak of plague in Townsville, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book, the Colin Roderick Award, the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction, the National Year of Reading, and was long-listed for the Dublin IMPAC award. His second novel, The Devil’s Eye, based on the 1899 Bathurst Bay cyclone, was long listed for the Miles Franklin Award. His latest book, Line of Fire, is non-fiction, combining family history with military history and geology to tell the story of the civilian and military disaster that befell Rabaul at the start of the Pacific War.

Ian lives in Brisbane with his wife, Kirsten, and their three daughters.

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Ian is also a PhD research student in history at the University of Queensland.

“New evidence suggests the central pressure of TC Mahina was 880 hPa, which may be a new southern hemisphere record. This storm is able to produce a maximum surge of approximately 9 m and a total inundation of 13 m.”– Jonathan Nott, Camilla Green, Ian Townsend, and Jeffrey Callaghan (2013). The world record storm surge and the most intense southern hemisphere tropical cyclone – new evidence and modeling. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.