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Education & Training

Program Leader - Dr Ian Roach ANU

February 2008

LEME owes much to its students. Acknowledgement and thanks to just some:

  • Andrew Baker (PhD UofA) whose findings in relation to high metal concentrations in sulfidic wetlands have implications for the environmental management of sulfidic wetlands and application to the mienral exploration industry.
  • Kirsty Beckett (student at Curtin Uni now with Rio Tinto) worked on reprocessing airborne gamma-ray spectrometric data to revolutionize that method for mapping in WA
  • Anousha Hashemi (student at Curtin Uni now with BHP Billiton) helped reprocess an airborne electromagnetic dataset and found another $1 billion of manganese for BHP Billiton;
  • Robert Dart (student at Uni of Adelaide) discovered that most of the calcium in Australian soil carbonate deposits is actually added from aerosol seawater, even thousands of kilometres inland
  • John Drewry (PhD ANU) wrote the most quoted review paper on soil nutrients in Australia in 2007
  • Matthew Lenahan (PhD ANU now CSIRO post doc) was the first to apply chlorine-36 isotopic dating to groundwater in Australia and discovered waters over 300,000 years old in the West Wyalong area
  • Mike Hatch (student at Uni of Adelaide) invented a water-borne electromagnetic system to detect saline seepage into the base of the River Murray
  • Ian Lau (PhD UofA) showed that detailed characterisation of mineral dispersion patterns can now be done by spectral methods. Ian is now a post-doctoral research with CSIRO Exploration and Mining.
  • Annamalai Mahizhnan (PhD CUT Applied Geology) studied the red-brown hardpans of the Eastern Goldfields which contain significant detrital gold particles and present both challenges and opportunities for geochemical sampling. Annamalai went on to work for BHP Billiton at their giant mt Keith nickel mine.
  • Michael Neimanis (student at Uni of Adelaide) discovered that plants in the Finders Ranges can be used to discover uranium resources
  • Ryan Noble (PhD CUT Applied Geology) now with CSIRO Exploration and Mining, researchers in the LEME-AMIRA P778 project: Preductive Geochemistry - examining nickel, gold and uranium hydrogeochemistry.
  • Mark Paine (PhD CUT Applied Geology). Now with Rio Tinto, was co-author of Special AJES Volume 49-1, Feb 02 "Regolith geology of the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia: implications for exploration. Developed a rapid method to quantify a diverse suite of heavy minerals grains using the AutoGeoSEM.
  • Anna Petts and Nathan Reid (PhD UofA) were featured in Science for showing that plants and termite mounds in the Northern Territory can be used to find gold.
  • Frank Reith ( PhD ANU) with colleagues pioneered the CRC focus in molecular microbiology and bacterial metal mobilisation mechanisims and was first author an article in the Science Journal (Vol 313 14 July 2006) "Biomineralization of Gold: Biofilms on Bacterioform Gold. He's a research fellow at Uni of Adelaide now.
  • Michael Turner (student at ANU, now at ANU) modified the X-ray tomographic technique favoured by the oil industry to look at void space inter-connectivity in undisturbed regolith samples

This list will be updated periodically

December 2007 - March 2008


Katheryn Fitzimmons: Relationships between regional landform pattterns and landscape history in the Lake Eyre Basin dunefields

Christopher Gunton: Element dispersion and mobility in the regolith

Kamal Khider: Regional chemical dispersion processes in the regolith of Cobar Nymagee area, Central West NSW

Alistair Usher: Gold mobility and geochemistry in hypersaline solutions

Vanessa Wong: The effects of salinity and sodicity on soil carbon stocks and fluxes

PhD Theses submitted late 2007 early 2008 - well done!

Kirsty Beckett (CUT): Multispectral analysis of high spatial resolution 256-channel radiometrics for soil and regolith mapping - Winning poster at ASEG 07.

Sam Lee (CUT): Hydrogeology of the Cape Range karst and coastal plain aquifers, Exmouth, NW Australia.

Aija Mee (UofA): Origin, formation and environmental significance of sapropels in shallow Holocene coastal lakes of southeastern Australia

Mohammed Rosid (CUT): Groundwater investigations using the seismic-electric method

Greg Shirtliff (ANU) Weathering of waste rock dumps at Ranger Uranium Mine

Michael Turner (ANU): Hydraulic and physical properties of friable regolith


LEME HONOURS GRADUATES 2007 - Congratulations and best wishes for your future careers!

  • James Hughes, ANU, "Geochronology and landscape evolution of the Wombat area, SE NSW"
  • Sean Adamas, CUT "Sedimentology, regolith and hydrogeology of the Goods Road Paleochannel, Helena Catchment, SWA"
  • David Baker, U of A "Electromagnetic profiling of the regolith with magnetic modeling of deeper structures at Kalkaroo mineral prospect, Curnamona Province, South Australia"
  • Clint Dubienecki, U of A, "Regolith-landform mapping and subsurface structure, Paralana Tenement, Beverley Uranium Mine, SA"
  • Deanne Gallasch, U of A "Regolith carbonate - bedrock - plants: trace element geochemical dispersion and hosts near the Four Mile West uranium prospect, South Australia"
  • Andrew Hector, U of A "Upper Four Mile Creek palaeosediments and associated palaeolandscape reconstructions, Eromanga Basin, northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia"
  • Mikaela Jennings, U of A "Soil biota contributions to surficial geochemical signatures through transported regolith, Four Mile catchment near Beverley Uranium Mine, SA"
  • Jack Lowrey, U of A "Plant biogeochemistry of gold mineralisation buried by an aeolian dunefield, Tunkillia South Australia"
  • Joanna McMahon, U of A "Regional-scale geochemical and biogeochemical expression of uranium prospectivity in the Four Mile Creek catchment, South Australia"

August 2007

Record attendance at final NURGS course


JANUARY 07 - E&T Program Leader appointed

Appointed January 2007, replacing Dr Steven Hill, Dr Ian Roach he excited to accept the challenge, keen to get LEME 'legacy products' finalised, and offers encouragement and support to LEME Postgraduates to complete within their respective timeframes. He is confident that the LEME Graduate numbers will exceed the KPIs and he will support continued regolith research at LEME Core Party Universities after LEME concludes, via inter-uni collaboration and joint research projects.

Regolith Geoscience Shortcourses 2007

During 2007 CRC LEME, for the Minerals Council of Australia, Is offering a range of Honours- and Masters-level courses to students, researchers and practicing professionals working in the national and international minerals industry, dryland salinity and natural resource management sectors. Please download the brochure [PDF, 407kb] for more information.

To find out more about the rest of the MTEC courses, visit the Tertiary Education area of the Minerals Council of Australia website.


LEME has expended its allocation of Scholarship funds, drawn from the Commonwealth Government grant. In accordance with its Agreement with the Commonwealth, LEME is on target to meet its stipulated Key Performance Indicators of 60 PhD and 60 Honours graduates throughout the seven year life of LEME - which concludes on 30 June 2008.

Postgraduate and Honours scholarships are offered by the LEME Core Party Universities:-

The Australian National University (Canberra), The University of Adelaide and and Curtin University of Technology (Perth). A link to these universities is provided via their respective logos at the bottom on this page.


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