Dr Tim Payne

Principal Research Scientist
Phone - +61 2 9717 3118
Tim Payne


Role at ANSTO

Dr Tim Payne has undertaken extensive research into the chemistry of environmental contaminants, focusing on the mobility of radionuclides in the geosphere. He has contributed to 68 refereed scientific papers and numerous research reports, and provides technical advice to national and international organisations.


He is a member of the Technical Direction Team for an OECD / Nuclear Energy Agency project on modelling adsorption. Tim led the Environmental Management project from 2003 to 2005, and played a key role in ANSTO achieving certification to the Environmental Management System standard [ISO 14001]. 


Tim is presently the leader of a research project which is studying various issues relating to the environmental behaviour of radionuclides. The main field site of this project is the Little Forest Burial Ground near Lucas Heights, which was used, in the 1960s, for the disposal of solid waste with low-levels or radioactivity and non-radioactive beryllium oxide. 


He is on the International Scientific Committee of the conference series on "Chemistry and Migration Behaviour of Actinides and Fission Products in the Geosphere", and an Executive member of the World Council of Isotopes (WCI), as well as chair of the WCI Committee on Isotopes in the Environment. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.




Chemistry of environmental contaminants, mobility of radionuclides in the geosphere, radioactive waste management.


Selected publications

Payne, T.E., and Airey, P.L. (2006). Radionuclide Migration at the Koongarra Uranium Deposit, Northern Australia - Lessons from the Alligator Rivers Analogue Project. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 31:572-586.

Payne, T.E., Davis, J.A., Lumpkin, G.R., Chisari, R. and Waite, T.D. (2004). Surface complexation model of uranyl sorption on Georgia kaolinite. Applied Clay Science. 26:151-162.

Payne, T.E., Brendler, V., Nebelung, C., and Comarmond, M.J. (2011). Assessment of surface area normalisation for interpreting distribution coefficients (Kd) for uranium sorption. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. 102: 888-895.

Hatje, V., Payne, T.E. Hill, D.M, McOrist, G., Birch, G.F. Szymczak, R. (2003). Kinetics of trace element uptake and release by particles in estuarine waters: effects of pH, salinity, and particle loading. Environment International 29: 619-629.

Clark, M.W., Harrison, J.J., and Payne, T.E. (2011) The pH-dependence and reversibility of uranium and thorium binding on a modified bauxite refinery residue using isotopic exchange techniques. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 356: 699-705.

Hughes, C.E., Cendon, D.I., Harrison, J.J., Hankin, S., Johansen, M.P. Payne, T.E., Vine, M., Collins, R.N., Hoffmann, E., Loosz, T. (2011). Movement of a tritium plume in shallow groundwater at a legacy low level radioactive waste disposal site in eastern Australia. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 102: 943-952.


T.E. Payne, V. Brendler, M. Ochs, B. Baeyens, P.L. Brown, J.A. Davis, C. Ekberg, D.A. Kulik, J. Lutzenkirchen, T. Missana, Y. Tachi, L.R. Van Loon, S. Altmann.  Guidelines for thermodynamic sorption modelling in the context of radioactive waste disposal. Environmental Modelling & Software 42, (2013) 143-156.