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Personal profile


I am a biogeochemist who studies how nutrients such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and iron move through and interact with the environment. I am particularly interested in eastuaries and near-coastal environments, and you'll ofen find me in my waders, on a boat or walking along the beach.

This is a highly inderisciplanary field of research, with aspects of environmental science, chemistry, biology, engineering and computational modelling.

Research interests

In particular, I have three major interests:

1. Fermentation in coastal sands

We have recently discovered that when oxygen is not available, microbial communities in coastal sands tend to use fermentation as their major metabolism. Here we are investigating the implications of this effect, such as reducing the ability of coral reefs to withstand ocean acidifcation.

2. Nitrogen cycling in estuarine sediments

Nitrogen contamination in estuaries from human impact such as agricultural runoff present a massive challenge to estuarine ecosystems. There are many possible fates of this nitrogen: it can be removed by natural processes, it can be recycled and accumulate in the system, it can be transported to coastal waters, or it can be converted to harful greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. This work studies the environemtnal factors that control which fate(s) occur in our estuaries.

3. Response of irrigating fauna to hypoxia

Both the behaviour of burrowing animals (e.g. worms) and the chemical reactions that happen in sediments are to a large part controlled by oxygen availability, and burrowing in itself affects the transport of oxygen into the sediment. This project is investigating the interplay between these factors.

Supervision interests

I supervise graduate, Honours and undergraduate projects in the above areas of interest. Please contact me for more information.

Monash teaching commitment

I am a Senior Teaching Fellow and Education Chair in the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment. I welcome contact about any aspect of the education program in our school.

I currently coordinate and teach the following units:

  • SCI1300 - Climate change: From science to society
  • EAE2011 - Environmental problem solving and visualisation (with Anja Slim)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research area keywords

  • Biogeochemistry
  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Water Quality
  • Nitrogen Cycling
  • Estuaries
  • Sandy sediments

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or