Dr Douglas Tait

Douglas TaitDr Douglas Tait

Senior Researcher

douglas.tait@scu.edu.au
www.barefootbiogeochemistry.com

Researchgate profile

Education

B.Sc. (Hon 1) (Marine Biology and Environmental Science) 2010 Southern Cross University

PhD (Environmental Chemistry) 2015 Southern Cross University “Nutrient transport, modification and fate in a carbonate sand coral reef lagoon” (Supervisors: Dirk Erler, Isaac Santos and Bradley Eyre).

Research interests / background

The main focus of my research is coastal nutrient and greenhouse gas dynamics with particular emphasis on closing the knowledge gaps in present nutrient and greenhouse gas budgets. To do this I employ a range of techniques including using natural isotopes and radioisotopes to characterise hydrologic, terrestrial and marine dynamics. I place a great deal of importance of community driven science. My research actively engages in research issues which can provide solutions to meet community objectives. This has seen my research applied to climate change, the coal seam gas debate, the Great Barrier Reef and eutrophication of coastal waters.

Pollution legacy issues – Using groundwater and sediment dating techniques to quantify historic nutrient, heavy metal and pollution loads in areas which may be impacted by extensive historical and current agricultural or industrial development. Current projects include studies along the Great Barrier Reef coastline, Cook Islands and Sydney Harbour. 

Nutrient and carbon dynamics in coastal systems – Understanding the dynamics of terrestrial and marine nutrient in coastal systems. How nutrient is transported, how it is cycled and its eventual fate.  

Submarine groundwater discharge – Using a range of natural tracers to examine the discharge of groundwater and its associated contaminants to coastal areas.

Greenhouse gas dynamics – Examining pathways of greenhouse gas emissions in a range of natural and highly developed environments. Shedding new light on existing greenhouse gas budgets that allow terrestrial and marine managers to best target mitigation measures.

Awards, honours and other activities

2019 Australia Academy of Science Australia-India Early to Middle Career Fellowship Research - India.

2018 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellowship.

2013 Excellence in Community Engagement Award 2013. Southern Cross University. For performing community-driven research and using scientific evidence to enlighten the coal seam gas debate.

2011–2015   Australian Post Graduate Scholarship.

Postgraduate student supervision

PhD

  • Sebastain Euler (commenced November 2018) Southern Cross University (co-supervisor Damien Maher). Project Title: Microbial drivers of nutrient, carbon and greenhouse gas dynamics in coastal ecosystems.
  • Haile Shishaye (commenced April 2018) Southern Cross University (co-supervisors Damien Maher and Kevin Befus (University of Wyoming)). Project Title: Large-scale Groundwater Discharge Modeling Supported by Innovative Hydrogeological Characterization.
  • Michael Reading (commenced February 2018) (co-supervisor Damien Maher) Project Title: Groundwater derived nutrient and nitrous oxide dynamics in coastal marine environments.
  • Gloria Reithmaier (commenced February 2018) Southern Cross University (co-supervisors Damien Maher and Scott Johnson). Project Title: Alkalinity export from mangroves.
  • Luke Jeffery (commenced 2015) Southern Cross University (co-supervisors Isaac Santos and Damien Maher). Project Title: Groundwater and carbon dynamics of modified wetlands.
  • Mahmood Sadat-Noori (completed 2017) Southern Cross University (co-supervised with Isaac Santos and Damien Maher). Project title: The influence of submarine groundwater discharge on carbon cycling in coastal waters.

Masters

  • Darren Williams (completed 2016) Southern Cross University (co-supervised with Christian Sanders. Project title: Above and below ground carbon stocks in mangrove forests along latitudinal gradients.

Honours

  • Luke Calvert (Commenced March 2019) Southern Cross University (co-supervised with James Daniel James Cook University). Project Tile: Determining the role of paleochannels in delivering nutrient to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Kylie Maguire (completed 2018) Southern Cross University (co-supervised by Damien Maher). Project Title: Groundwater alkalinity fluxes to a eutrophic tropical lagoon.
  • Ben Stewart (completed 2014) Southern Cross University (co-supervised with Isaac Santos and Damien Maher). Project title: Using Radium Isotopes to Investigate Groundwater Derived Sources of Alkalinity in Moreton Bay, QLD.
  • Luke Jeffery (completed 2015) Southern Cross University (co-supervised with Isaac Santos). Project title: Groundwater, Acidity and CO2 fluxes in Coastal Floodplain Waters affected by Acid Sulphate Soils.
  • Michael Reading (completed 2016) Southern Cross University (co-supervised with Isaac Santos). Project title: Nitrous oxide dynamics along an estuarine gradient using automated time series observations.
  • Rowena Diggle (ongoing) Southern Cross University (co-supervised with Isaac Santos). Project title: The influence of tidal pumping on porewater exchange in a Canadian estuary: using radon to investigate greenhouse gas emissions.


Publications

2019

  • Jeffery, L.C., Maher, D.T., Johnson, S.G., Kelaher, B.P., Steven, A. and Tait. D.R. 2019. Wetland methane emissions dominated by plant-mediated fluxes: Contrasting emissions pathways and seasons within a shallow freshwater subtropical wetland. Limnology and Oceanography. DOI: 10.1002/lno.11158. IF: 4.22
  • Shishaye, H.A., Tait, D.R., Befus, K.M. and Maher, D.T. 2019. An integrated approach for aquifer characterization and groundwater productivity evaluation in the Lake Haramaya watershed, Ethiopia. Hydrogeology Journal. DOI: 10.1007/s10040-019-01956-7. IF: 1.96
  • Looman, A., Santos, I.R., Tait, D.R., Holloway, C., Maher, D.T. 2019. Dissolved carbon, greenhouse gases, and δ13C dynamics in four estuaries across a land use gradient. Aquatic Sciences 81 (1), 22. IF: 3.62
  • Webb, J.R., Santos, I.R., Maher, D.T, Tait, D.R., Cyronak, T. Sadat-Noori, M. and Jeffery, L.C. 2018. Groundwater as a source of dissolved organic matter to coastal waters: Insights from radon and CDOM observations in twelve shallow coastal systems. Limnology and Oceanography. In Press. DOI: 10.1002/lno.11028. IF: 3.60

 2018

  • Jeffrey, L.C., Santos, I.R., Tait, D.R., Makings, U., and Maher, D.T. 2018 Seasonal Drivers of Carbon Dioxide Dynamics in a Hydrologically Modified Subtropical Tidal River and Estuary (Caboolture River, Australia). Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. DOI:10.1029/2017JG004023. IF: 4.12
  • Jeffrey, L.C., Maher, D.T., Santos, I.R., Call, M., Reading, M.J, Holloway, C. and Tait, D.R. 2018. The spatial and temporal drivers of pCO2, pCH4 and gas transfer velocity within a subtropical estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 208, 83–95. IF: 3.02
  • Sadat-Noori, M., Tait, D.R., Maher, D.T., Holloway, C. and Santos, I.R. 2017. Greenhouse gases and submarine groundwater discharge in a Sydney Harbour embayment (Australia). Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 207, 499-509. IF: 3.02

2017

  • Sadat-Noori, M., Tait, D.R., Maher, D.T., Holloway, C. and Santos, I.R. 2017. Greenhouse gases and  submarine groundwater discharge in a Sydney Harbour embayment (Australia). Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Accepted June 2016.
  • Tait, D.R, Maher, D.T., Sanders, C. and Santos, I.R. 2017. Radium-derived porewater exchange  and dissolved N and P fluxes in mangroves. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 200, 295-309.
  • Sippo, J.Z., Maher, D.T., Tait, D.R., Ruiz-Halpern, S., Sanders, C.J. and Santos, I.R. 2017. Mangrove outwelling is a major source of oceanic exchangeable organic carbon. Limnology and Oceanography Letters, 2(1), 1-8. 
  • Tait, D.R., Maher, D.T., WeiWen, W., Santos, I.R., Sadat-Noori, M., Holloway, C. and Cook, P.L.M. 2017. Greenhouse gas dynamics in a salt-wedge estuary revealed by high resolution cavity ring down spectroscopy observations. Environmental Science and Technology, 51(23), 13771-13778. IF: 6.20
  • Reading, M.J., Santos, I.R., Maher, D.T., Jeffrey, L., and Tait, D.R. 2017. Shifting nitrous oxide source/sink behaviour in a subtropical estuary revealed by automated time series observations. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 194, 66-76. IF: 2.06

2016

  • Sanders, C.J., Maher, D.T., Tait, D.R., Williams, D., Holloway, C. Sippo, J. and Santos, I.R. 2016. Are mangrove carbon stocks driven by rainfall. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences,121, 2600-2609.
  • Jackie R. Webb, J.R., Santos, I.R., Tait, D.R., Sippo, J., MacDonald, B., Robson, B., Maher, D.T. 2016. Divergent drivers of carbon dioxide and methane dynamics in agricultural coastal floodplains: post-flood hydrological and biological drivers. Chemical Geology, 440, 313-325.
  • Holloway, C., Santos, I.R., Tait, D.R., Sanders, C., Rose, A. Schnetger, B., Brumsack, H., Sippo, J., Macklin, P. and Maher, D.T. 2016. Manganese release from mangrove porewaters: A significant component of oceanic budgets? Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 184, 43-52.
  • Sadat-Noori, M., Santos, I.R., Tait, D.R. and Maher, D.T. 2016. Fresh meteoric versus recirculated saline groundwater nutrient inputs into a subtropical estuary. Science of the Total Environment, 566-567, 1440-1453.
  • Tait, D.R, Maher, D.T. and Santos, I.R. 2016. Mangrove porewater exchange across a latitudinal gradient. Journal of Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 3334-3341.
  • Sadat-Noori, M., Santos, I.R., Tait, D.R., McMahon, A., Kadel, S. and Maher, D.T. 2016. Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and/or Lagoons (ICOLLs) as groundwater-dominated coastal systems: Evidence from radon. Journal of Hydrology, 535, 612-624.
  • Looman, A., Santos, I.R., Tait, D.R., Maher, D.T. and Gatland, J.R. 2016. Carbon dynamics and diel cycles of a subtropical headwater stream in drought and flood. Science of the Total Environment, 550, 645-657.
  • Maher, D.T., Sippo, J., Tait, D.R., Holloway, C. and Santos, I.R. 2016. Pristine mangrove creek waters are a sink of nitrous oxide. Scientific Reports, 6.
  • Sippo, J.Z., Maher, I.R, Tait, D.R., Holloway, C. and D.T. Santos 2016. Are mangroves drivers or buffers of coastal acidification? Insights from alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon export estimates across a latitudinal transect. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, DOI:10.1002/2015GB005324.
  • Jefferies, C.L.  Maher, D.T., Santos, I.R., McMahon, A. and Tait, D.R. 2016. Groundwater, acid and carbon dioxide dynamics along a wetland-lake-estuary continuum surrounded by coastal acid sulphate soils under dry and flood conditions. Estuaries and Coasts. DOI: 10.1007/s122237-016-0099-8

2015

  • Tait, D.R., Maher, D.T. and Santos, I.R. 2015. Seasonal and Diurnal Dynamics of Atmospheric Radon, Carbon Dioxide, Methane, δ13C-CO2 and δ13C-CH4 in a Proposed Australian Coal Seam Gas Field. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 226(10), 1-11.
  • Tait, D.R., Shepherd, B.O., Befus, K.M. and Erler, D.V. 2015. Nutrient and greenhouse gas dynamics through a range of wastewater-loaded carbonate sand treatments. Ecological Engineering, 82, 126-137.
  • Stewart, B.T., Santos, I.R., Tait, D.R., Macklin, P.A., Maher, D.T., 2015. Submarine groundwater discharge and associated fluxes of alkalinity and dissolved carbon into Moreton Bay (Australia) estimated via radium isotopes. Marine Chemistry, 174, 1-12.
  • Shepherd, B.O., Erler, D.V., Tait, D.R., van Zwieten, L., Kimber, S., Eyre, B.D., 2015. Behaviour of estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemicals in permeable carbonate sands. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 22(15), 11340-11348.

2014

  • Tait, D.R., Erler, D. V., Santos, I.R., Cyronak, T.J., Morgenstern, U. and Eyre, B.D. 2014. The influence of groundwater inputs and age on nutrient dynamics in a coral reef lagoon. Marine Chemistry, 166: 36-47. 
  • Erler, D.V., Santos, I., Zhang, Y., Tait, D.R., Befus, K.M., Hidden, A., Eyre, B.D. and Li, L. 2014. Nitrogen transformations within a tropical subterranean estuary. Marine Chemistry, 164: 38-47.
  • Befus, K.M., M. Bayani Cardenas, M.K., Tait, D.R. and Erler, D.V. 2014. Geoelectrical signals of geologic and hydrologic processes in a fringing reef lagoon setting. Journal of Hydrology, 517: 508-520.
  • Santos, I.R., Bryan, K.R., Pilditch, C.A. and Tait, D.R. 2014. Influence of porewater exchange on nutrient dynamics in two New Zealand estuarine intertidal flats. Marine Chemistry, 167: 57-70.
  • Maher, D.T, Santos, I.R. and Tait D.R. 2014. Mapping Methane and Carbon Dioxide Concentrations and δ13C Values in the Atmosphere of Two Australian Coal Seam Gas Fields. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 225 (12), 1-9.

2013

  • Tait, D.R., Santos, I., Maher, D.T., Cyronak, T.J. and Davis, R.J. 2013. Enrichment of radon and carbon dioxide in the open atmosphere of an Australian coal seam gas field. Environmental Science & Technology, 47, (7), 3099–3104.
  • Tait, D.R., Santos, I.R., Erler, D.V., Befus, K.M., Cardenas, M.B. and Eyre, B.D. 2013. Estimating submarine groundwater discharge in a South Pacific coral reef lagoon using different radioisotope and geophysical approaches. Marine Chemistry, 156, 49-60.
  • Tait, D.R., Erler, D.V., Dakers, A. Davison, L. and Eyre, B.D. 2013. Nutrient processing in a novel on-site wastewater treatment system designed for permeable carbonate sand environments. Ecological Engineering, 57, 413-421.
  • Santos, I.R., de Weys, J., Tait, D.R. and Eyre, B.D. 2013. The Contribution of Groundwater Discharge to Nutrient Exports from a Coastal Catchment: Post-Flood Seepage Increases Estuarine N/P Ratios. Estuaries and Coasts, 36, (1), 56-73.

2011

  • Erler, D.V., Tait, D.R., Eyre, B.D. and Bingham, M. 2011. Observations of nitrogen and phosphorus biogeochemistry in a surface flow constructed wetland. Science of the Total Environment, 409, 5359-5367.

2010

  • Santos, I.R., Erler, D., Tait, D.R. and Eyre, B.D. 2010. Breathing of a coral cay: Tracing tidally driven seawater recirculation in permeable coral reef sediments. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115.C12.

Conference Proceedings

2017

Sippo, J.Z., Maher, D.T., Tait, D.R., Holloway, C., and Santos, I.R. Mangroves forests are buffers of coastal acidification. 2017. ASLO, USA.

2016

Tait, D.R., Maher, D.T. and Santos, I.R. 2016. Mangrove porewater exchange across a latitudinal gradient. Goldschmidt, Japan.
Jackie R. Webb, J.R., Santos, I.R., Tait, D.R., Sippo, J., MacDonald, B., Robson, B., Maher, D.T. Divergent drivers of carbon dioxide and methane dynamics in agricultural coastal floodplains: post-flood hydrological and biological drivers. 2016. Goldschmidt, Japan.

2015

Sadat-Noori, M., Santos, I. R., Tait, D. R., McMahon. A., Kadel, S., Maher, D. T. (2015) Groundwater discharge into intermittently closed and open lakes and/or lagoons (ICOLLs) via Radon-222. AGU Fall Meeting, USA.

Sippo, J., Santos, I.R., Maher, D.T., Tait, D.R., Holloway, C. Macklin, P. and Williams, D. 2015. Pristine mangrove tidal creeks are a sink of atmospheric N2O. ASLO, Spain.

2014

Tait, D.R., Santos, I.R. and Maher, D.T. 2014. Atmospheric radon, CO2 and CH4 dynamics in an Australian coal seam gas field. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 06
Befus, K.M. Cardenas, M., Tait, D.R. and Erler, D.V. 2014. Characterizing heterogeneous coastal groundwater pathways using multi-scale onshore-to-offshore electrical resistivity surveys. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 1293

2013

Befus, K.M. Cardenas, M., Tait, D.R. and Erler, D.V. 2013. Applications of DC Resistivity for Mapping Hydrogeologic Processes in Coastal Areas. 2013 SEG Annual Meeting
Cardenas, M.B., Befus, K.M. Zamora, P.B., Ong, J., Zlotnik, V.A., Cook, P.L. and Tait, D.R. 2013. Applications of electrical resistivity imaging for characterizing groundwater-surface water interactions from local to regional scales. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 06

2012

Tait, D.R., Erler, D.V., Dakers, A., Davison, L. and Eyre, B.D. 2012 The ecoTrench: A low cost, low technology on-site treatment system for removing nutrient in South Pacific nations. Water Resource Sustainability Issues on Tropical Islands.

Befus, K.M. Cardenas, M., Swanson, T.E., Erler, D.V., Santos, I.R. and Tait, D.R. 2012. Groundwater flow and heat transport dynamics across an intertidal zone. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 04

2011

Santos, I.R., Tait, D.R., Erler, D.V. and Eyre, B.D. 2011. Is submarine groundwater discharge an overlooked source of nutrients, acidity, and anoxia to Northern NSW estuaries. 18th NSW Coastal Conference November

Research grants

$392,650. 2018 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellowship “Is groundwater the major missing source of nutrients to the Great Barrier Reef.”

$12,000 Academy of Science Australia-India EMCR fellowship “Quantifying the role of groundwater nutrient inputs into the Indian Ocean” 

$1,241,915. Australian Research Council (LE170100007) “An automated fisheries and oceanographic observing system for Eastern Australia continental shelf waters” 2017 (Investigators: Santos, Kelaher, Dworjanyn, Schulz, Tait, Butcher, Broadhurst, Coleman, Jordan, Suthers, Steinburg, Smith, Harcourt, Parsons)

$5,000. Southern Cross University Seed Funding Grant “Quantifying a new pathway for nutrient into Sydney Harbour: Uncovering the pollution legacy” 2017 (Investigators: Tait, Santos, Maher, Jeffery)

$4,000. Southern Cross University Seed Funding Grant Consequences of the catastrophic mangrove dieback in the Gulf of Carpentaria on coastal biogeochemical cycles” 2017 (Investigators: Maher, Santos, Tait, Sippo, Sanders)

$83,000. Herman Slade Foundation “Groundwater and porewater exchange: The missing nutrient source to the Great Barrier Reef?” 2016 (Investigators: Tait, Santos, Maher, Sanders)

$10,000. Australian Nuclear and Science and Technology Organisation “Determining the temporal source of nutrients in the Great Barrier Reef using tritium.” 2016 (Investigators: Tait, Santos, Maher)

$53,000. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organisation “Maximising carbon bio-sequestration in freshwater wetlands. 2016 (Investigators: Jeffery, Tait, Maher)

$5,900. Southern Cross University “Is old groundwater driving eutrophication on the GBR.” 2016 (Investigators: Tait, Santos, Sippo, Maher)

$14,949. Southern Cross University “Groundwater and porewater exchange: The missing nutrient source to the Great Barrier Reef? 2015 (Investigators: Tait, Santos, Maher)

$11,000. Southern Cross University “Does habitat modification alter carbon sequestration on tropical islands? 2015 (Investigators: Maher, Tait, Santos)