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Scott Johnston

BAppSc(NE), PhD(SCU)

Professor (Research Scholar)

Faculty of Science and Engineering

+61 2 6620 3407
[email protected]
G,212, Lismore
Scott Johnston


Orchid ID



Dr Scott Johnston is an environmental hydrogeochemist whose research is focused on understanding processes that control water quality in natural landscapes. During his career he has been lead CI or co-lead on >$4.7 million of external grant funding and been awarded an ARC Future Fellowship and ARC APDI post-doctoral fellowship.

He has established a reputation for successfully implementing multiple 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 water quality and remediating degraded estuarine and freshwater wetlands with acid sulfate soils.


Prof. Johnston researches the environmental geochemistry and hydrology of natural landscapes, spanning wetlands, coastal floodplains and shallow aquifers to head-water streams and major river systems. His research often explores the cycling, speciation, behaviour, transformation and transport of major redox-sensitive elements (i.e. Fe, S, C) and various co-associated toxic trace elements (e.g. As, Sb, Al) in surface waters, groundwaters 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. Research outcomes focus on understanding key processes that interact to control water quality to provide a basis for improving land and water management approaches.

Recent investigations include citizen science / community / State Govt. collaborations quantifying the impacts of climate extremes and bushfires on water quality at catchment scales, as well as improving our understanding of the role of trees in the global methane cycle.

Teaching and Supervision

Prof. Scott Johnston is Deputy Associate Dean of Education (Students) at the Faculty of Science and Engineering and is a founding Co-Lead of the Catchments, Coasts and Communities Research Cluster.

Prof. Scott Johnston actively supervises post-graduate students at PhD (8 completed; 8 current) and Masters (1 completed; 1 current) level.

He also teaches in the undergraduate BSc program at SCU, including the Units 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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