Dr Mathew Johansen

Phone - +61 2 9717 7206


Role at ANSTO

Mat is a Senior Researcher focused on the use of radioactive and stable isotopes as tracers of ecological processes. Areas of study encompass the fate, behaviour, and effects of pollutants in freshwater and terrestrial environments. Research is designed to answer key questions relative to operation of nuclear facilities disposal of nuclear wastes, and the ecological effects from changes to our environment such as drought and increased demand on water supplies.




Fate and transport of radionuclide and chemical contaminants in the environment
Groundwater and surface water evaluation
Risk assessment for public and the environment
Environmental program and project management


Qualifications & Achievements


  • ANSTO representative to IAEA Project: Marine benchmark study on the possible impact of the Fukushima radioactive releases in the Asia-Pacific Region. 


  • Senior Researcher in Environmental Radiation at Institute for Environmental Research, ANSTO, with focus on fate and behaviour of radioactive contamination at sites such as Maralinga, SA, and Little Forest Burial ground, NSW.


  • Member of the Biological Working Group, IAEA Environmental Modelling for Radiation Safety (EMRAS) and MODARIA Programmes, focusing on testing and improvement of models that assess radiological dose to living organisms.


  • Member of the International Union of Radioecologists Working Group on Non-lethal Methods in Radioecology.


  • Environmental Scientist and Manager at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Hanford Site, US, with key leadership positions regarding Environmental Risk Assessment, Groundwater/Surface Water Protection, Environmental Restoration, and Los Alamos Pueblo Project among others.


  • Collaborations with, or liaison to, US National Academies of Science: Risk Assessment, Communication, Evaluation, and Reduction Project; US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; and non-proliferation projects though the US- and Russia-sponsored International Science and Technology Center.



Selected publications

Johansen M.P., Child D.P., Caffrey E.A., Davis E., Harrison J.J.,. Hotchkis M.A.C, Payne T.E., Ikeda-Ohno A., Thiruvoth S., Twining J.R., Beresford N.A. (2015) Accumulation of plutonium in mammalian wildlife tissues following dispersal by accidental-release tests. J. Env Radioact. doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.03.031


Dijkstra, F.A., He M., Johansen M. P., Harrison J. J. and Keitel C. (2015). Plant and microbial uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus affected by drought using 15N and 32P tracers. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 82(0): 135-142. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.12.021.


Johansen M.P., Ruedig E., Tagami K., Uchida S., Higley K., Beresford N.A. Radiological dose rates to marine fish from the Fukushima Daiichi accident: the first three years across the North Pacific. (2014). Environmental Science & Technology 49(3): 1277-1285. 10.1021/es505064d.


Stark K., Andersson P., Beresford N.A., Yankovich T.L., Wood M.D., Johansen M.P., Vives i Batlle J., Twining T., Keum D.-K., Bollhofer A., Doering C., Ryan B.,

Grzechnik M., Vandenhove H. Predicting exposure of wildlife in radionuclide contaminated wetland ecosystems. Environ. Pollut. 196 (2015) 201-213. 


Ikeda-Ohno, A., Harrison J. J., Thiruvoth S., Wilsher K., Wong H. K. Y., Johansen M. P., Waite T. D., and Payne T. E. 2014. Solution Speciation of Plutonium and Americium at an Australian Legacy Radioactive Waste Disposal Site. Environmental Science & Technology 48 (17) 10045-53.


Johansen MP, Child DP, Davis E, Doering C, Harrison JJ, Hotchkis MAC, Payne TE, Thiruvoth S, Twining JR, Wood MD. Plutonium in wildlife and soils at the Maralinga legacy site: persistence over decadal time scales.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2013.10.014


Payne TE, Harrison JJ, Hughes CE, Johansen MP, Thiruvoth S, Wilsher KL, Cendón DI, Hankin SI, Rowling B, and Zawadzki A. Trench ‘Bathtubbing’ and Surface Plutonium Contamination at a Legacy Radioactive Waste Site. dx.doi.org/10.1021/es403278r | Environ. Sci. Technol


Johansen MP, Kamboj S, and Kuhne WW. Whole-organism concentration ratios for plutonium in wildlife from past US nuclear research data. J. Env Radioact, jenvrad.2012.07.015

Johansen MP, C.L. Barnett, N.A. Beresford, J.E. Brown, M. Cerne, B.J. Howard, S. Kamboj, D.-K. Keum, B. Smodi, J.R. Twining, H. Vandenhove, J. Vives i Batlle, M.D. Wood, C. Yu. Assessing doses to terrestrial wildlife at a radioactive waste disposal site: Inter-comparison of modelling approaches. Sciences of the Total Environment 427-428 (2012) 238-246

Howard, B.J., Beresford, N.A., Copplestone D., Telleria, D., Proehl, G., Fesenko, S., Jeffree, R., Yankovich, T., Brown, Higley, K., Johansen, M., Mulye, H., Vandenhove, H., Gashchak, S., Wood, M.D., Takata, H., Andersson, P., Dale, P., Ryan , J. Bollhofer, A., Doering, C., Barnett, C.L., Wells, C. The IAEA Handbook on Radionuclide Transfer to Wildlife. J. Environ Radioact, doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2012.01.27

Johansen MP and Twining JR. Radionuclide concentration ratios in Australian terrestrial wildlife and livestock: data compilation and analysis. Radiat Environ Biophys (2010) 49:603-611

Yankovich Tamara L, Nicholas A. Beresford, Michael D. Wood, Tasuo Aono, Pa0l Andersson, Catherine L. Barnett, Pamela Bennett, Justin E. Brown Sergey Fesenko, J. Fesenko, Ali Hosseini Brenda J. Howard, Mathew P. Johansen, Marcel M. Phaneuf, Keiko Tagami, Hyoe Takata, John R. Twining, Shigeo Uchida. Whole-body to tissue concentration ratios for use in biota dose assessments for animals. Radiat Environ Biophys (2010) 49:549-565

Vives i Batlle J, K. Beaugelin-Seiller, N.A. Beresford, D. Copplestone, J. Horyna, A. Hosseini, M. Johansen, S. Kamboj, D-K. Keum, N. Kurosawa, L. Newsome, G. Olyslaegers, H. Vandenhove, S. Ryufuku, S. Vives Lynch, M. Wood, C. Yu. The estimation of absorbed dose rates for non-human biota: an extended inter-comparison. Radiat Environ Biophys (2011) 50(2):231-251

Mazumder D, Johansen M, Saintilan N, Iles J, Kobayashi T, Knowles L, Wen L. Trophic Shifts Involving Native and Exotic Fish During Hydrologic Recession in Floodplain Wetlands. Wetlands DOI 10.1007/s13157-011-0262-8

Johansen MP, Hakonson TE, Whicker FW, and Breshears DD. Pulsed Redistribution of a Contaminant Following Forest Fire: Cesium-137 in Runoff. J.Environ. Qual.32: (Nov-Dec) 2003

Breshears, D.D., J.J. Whicker, M.P. Johansen, J.E. Pinder III. Wind and water erosion and transport in semiarid shrubland, grassland, and forest ecosystems:quantifying dominance of horizontal wind-driven transport. Invited for special issue on wind erosion in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 28: (11), 2003.

Johansen, M.P., T.E. Hakonson, and D.D. Breshears. Post fire runoff and erosion from rainfall simulation: Contrasting forests with shrublands and grasslands. Hydrol.Process 15:2953-2965,2001.

Johansen, M.P., T.E. Hakonson, F.W. Whicker, J.R. Simanton, and J.J. Stone. Hydrologic response and radionuclide trasnsport following fire at semiarid sites. J.Environ.Qual. 30:2010-2017, 2001.