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Scott Johnston

BAppSc(NE), PhD(SCU)

Professor (Research Scholar)

Faculty of Science and Engineering

+61 2 6620 3407
G,212, Lismore
Scott Johnston


Orchid ID



Dr Scott Johnston is an environmental hydrogeochemist whose research has a strong focus on understanding processes that control water and soil quality in natural landscapes. During his career he has attracted >$4.5 million of external grant funding and been awarded a prestigious ARC Future Fellowship and ARC APDI post-doctoral fellowship. He has established a reputation for successfully implementing large-scale, multi-disciplinary projects (ARC / CRC) in collaboration with industry, state and local governments. Many of these projects have had an applied focus on developing, assessing and refining practical techniques for improving estuarine water quality and remediating acid sulfate soil landscapes and degraded estuarine and freshwater wetlands.


Prof. Johnston researches the environmental geochemistry and hydrology of natural landscapes, spanning natural wetlands and coastal floodplains to mining-impacted head-water streams. His research explores the cycling, speciation, behaviour, transformation and transport of major redox-sensitive elements (i.e. Fe, S, C) and various toxic trace elements (e.g. As, Sb, Al) in surface waters, groundwaters, soils and sediments. Investigations often involve field-research at the sub-catchment scale augmented by laboratory-controlled experiments at the mineral-water interface and typically include the integration of multiple advanced techniques.

Recent investigations examine the role of trees in the global methane cycle and exploring the impacts of bushfires on toxic trace element behaviour and subsequent impacts on water quality. Research outcomes focus on how geochemical and hydrological processes interact to control water quality and provide a basis for improving land and water management approaches.

Teaching and Supervision

Prof. Scott Johnston supervises PhD and honours students and also teaches into Earth Systems, Environmental Chemistry, Biogeochemistry, Aquatic Pollution and Catchment Management, and Coastal and Fluvial Hydrodynamics at the Faculty of Science and Engineering

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