Dr Andrew Smith

Principal Research Scientist
Phone - +61 2 9717 9054
Andrew Smith


Role at ANSTO

Andrew is a Physicist with 23 years' experience in Accelerator Mass Spectrometry [AMS] and 37 years' experience with particle accelerator systems. Andrew commenced work at ANSTO in October 1989 on two projects: the joint Australian National University [ANU]/ANSTO 36CI AMS measurement program and the development of a tandem accelerator facility for AMS at ANSTO. This facility is now known as ANTARES: the Australian National Tandem for Applied Research. Andrew's principal contributions to ANTARES were in the development of the high-intensity, multi-sample negative ion source,the isotope cycling system ('bouncer') and with the ion beam optic modelling of beam line and accelerator compontents.


Between 1996 and 1999 Andrew was leader of the project 'Long-lived radionuclides in Antarctic ice as tracers and chronometers in global climate change studies'. This project involved collaboration between ANSTO, CSIRO, Australian Antarctic Division [AAD] and the National Institute for Water and Atmosphere [NIWA], Wellington, NZ. This collaboration was continued under the 'Historical atmospheric radiomethane' project. In 1997/98 Andrew participated in an expedition to Law Dome, Antarctica, collecting firn air samples for measurement of the 14C of air back to ~ 1942 AD.


Restructuring at ANSTO towards the end of 2002 saw Andrew leading the task 'Radiocarbon signatures of greenhouse gases' in the 'Cosmogenic Archives of the Southern Hemisphere' [CcASH] project, within the Institute for Environmental Research [IER]. In 2005/06 Andrew lead an expedition to Law Dome, retrieving a large diameter, thermally-drilled 'ANSTO' ice core to a depth of 260m (ice age ~ 1615 AD), principally for global climate change studies.


Andrew continues to work on applications of long-lived radionuclides (14C & 10Be) in polar ice sheets as tracers and chronometers and on further development of AMS at ANSTO, particularly in the continuing development of ANSTO's capability to measure 14C in ultra-small carbon samples containing just a few micrograms of carbon and in the measurement of the short-lived radioisotope 7Be. Samples for 7Be studies are taken annually at Law Dome, most recently in the 2011/12 reason. Currently Andrew is leading the task "Ice sheets & microcarbon' in the research area 'Isotopic Proxies of Palaeoclimate' which in turn is included within the "Isotopes for Climate Change and Atmospheric Systems' project.



Accelerator Mass Spectrometry [AMS] (in particular micro-carbon 14C, 7Be and 10Be), accelerator systems, ion beam optics, measurement and applications of 'radiomethane', transport and deposition of cosmogenic beryllium to polar ice sheets.


Qualifications & Achievements


  • BSc Hons 1978 (1st class 2nd division, University of New South Wales).
  • PhD in Physics 1990 (University of New South Wales): 'A system for ion microbeam formation and profile measurement'.
  • Participation in a firn air sampling expedition to Law Dome, Antarctica, in the 1997/98 season.
  • Leading an expedition to Law Dome, Antarctica, in the 2005/06 season and retrieving 7.5 tonnes of ice core, snow and ice samples.
  • Leading an expedition to Law Dome, Antarctica, in the 2011/12 season.
  • Principal Investigator in Australian Antarctic Science [AAS] project #2384 'Historical atmospheric radiomethane' (2003/04-2006/07).
  • Co-investigator in AAS project #0124 'Concentration and isotopic measurements of radiatively important gases in the southern atmosphere' (2003/04-2011/12).
  • Co-investigator in AAS project #1004 'Air sampling and analysis from Antarctic firn and ice' (2003/04-2011/12).
  • Principal Investigator in AAS project #3064 'High resolution studies of cosmogenic beryllium isotopes (10Be and 7Be) at Law Dome' (2008/09-2011/12).
  • Principal Investigator in AAS project #4200: 'High resolution studies of cosmogenic beryllium isotopes (10Be and 7Be) at Law Dome' (2012/13-2016/17).
  • Co-investigator in AAS project #4144 ' Antarctic Black Carbon Records of Past Climate and Fire Emissions' (2012/13 on).


Committee Membership and Affiliations

  • Member AIP (Australian Institute of Physics) since 1977.
  • Member IOP (Institute of Physics, UK) since 2001.
  • Committee member AINSE (Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering) Environment Specialist Committee 2002-2009.
  • Member AQUA (Australian Quaternary Association) since 2009.


Awards & nominations

  • 2009 Nominee for Australian Museum Eureka Prizes 'People's Choice Awards'.
  • 2009 Nominee for NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change Eureka Prize for 'Innovative Solutions to Climate Chnage'.
  • 2010 'ANSTO Star' Award, ANSTO.
  • 2011 'Pride of Workmanship Award', Como-Jannali Rotary Club.

Selected publications

Solar and climate influences on ice core 10Be records from Antarctica and Greenland during the neutron monitor era, Joel B. Pedro, Joe R McConnell, Tas D van Ommen, David Fink, Mark A Curran, Andrew M Smith, Krista J Simon, Andrew D Moy, Sarah B Das, accepted for publication Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. on 27/08/12.

Bomb radiocarbon in Indonesian tree rings indicates monsoonal influences on atmospheric 14CO2, Quan Hua, Mike Barbetti, Vladmir A. Levchenko, Rosanne D. D'Arrigo, Brendan M. Buckley, Andrew M. Smith, Accepted for publication in GRL 10/09/12 Influence of model resolution on the atmospheric transport of 10Be, U. Heikkil and A.M. Smith, Atmospheric Chemistry Physics 12, 10601-10612, 2012.
A new capability for ANTARES: 7Be by AMS, A.M. Smith, L. Mokhber-Shahin & K.J. Simon, accepted for publication in Nuclear Inst. and Methods in Physics Research, B and available online as at 23/08/12 at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nimb.2012.08.055

Strange bedfellows: the curious case of STAR and MOATA, A.M. Smith, V.A. Levchenko & G. Malone, accepted for publication in Nuclear Inst. and Methods in Physics Research, B and available online as at 21/02/12 at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nimb.2012.01.027

A cold finger cooling system for the efficient graphitisation of microgram-sized carbon samples, Bin Yang, A.M. Smith and Quan Hua, accepted for publication in Nuclear Inst. and Methods in Physics Research, B21/08/12.

Beryllium-10 transport to Antarctica: Results from seasonally-resolved observations and modelling, J.B. Pedro, U.E. Heikkil, A. Klekociuk, A.M. Smith, T.D. van Ommen and M.A.J. Curran, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D23120, doi:10.1029/2011JD016530,2011.

Continental aridification and the vanishing of Australia's megalakes, Tim J. Cohen, Gerald C. Nanson, John D. Jansen, Brian G. Jones, Zenobia Jacobs, Pauline Treble, David M. Price, Jan-Hendrik May, Andrew M. Smith, Linda K. Ayliffe & John C. Hellstrom, Geology v.39 no. 2 p. 167-170.

Seasonal variability in the input of lead, barium and indium to Law Dome, Antarctica Original Research Article, Laurie J. Burn-Nunes, Paul Vallelonga, Robert D. Loss, Graeme R Burton, Andrew Moy, Mark Curran, Sungmin Hong, Andrew M. Smith, Ross Edwards, Vin I. Morgan, Kevin J.R. Rosman, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 75, Issue 1, 1 January 2011, Pages 1-20.

Changes in black carbon deposition to Antarctica from two high-resolution ice core records, 1850-2000 AD, M. M. Bisiaux, R. Edwards, J. R. McConnell, M. A. J. Curran, T.D. Van Ommen, A. M. Smith, T. A. Neumann, D. R. Pasteris, J. E. Penner and K. Taylor, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12,4107-4115, 2012.
Late Quaternary mega-lakes fed by the northern and southern river systems of central Australia: varying moisture sources and increased continental aridity, T.J. Cohen, G.C. Nanson, J.D. Jansen, B.G. Jones, Z. Jacobs, J.R. Larsen, J-H. May, P. Treble, D.M. Price & A.M. Smith, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatolgy, Palaeoecology, Volumes 356-357, 15 October 2012, Pages 89-108.

High-resolution records of the beryllium-10 solar activity proxy in ice from Law Dome, East Antarctica: measurement, reproducibility and principal trends, J. B. Pedro, A. M. Smith, K. J. Simon, T. D. van Ommen, and M. A. J. Curran, Clim. Past, 7, 707-721, 2011, www.clim-past.net/7/707/2011/, doi:10.5194/cp-7-707-2011.

Seasonal variability in the input of lead, barium and indium to Law Dome, Antarctica, Burn-Nunes, L.J., Vallelonga, P., Loss, R.D., Burton, G.R., Moy, A., Curran, M., Hong, S., Smith, A.M., Edwards, R., Morgan, V.I., Rosman, K.J.R., Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75 (2011) pp.1-20, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2010.09.037.
Laser-heated microfurnace - gas analysis & graphite morphology, A.M. Smith, Bin Yang, Quan Hua & Michael Mann, Radiocarbon 52(2-3), 2010, pp. 768-782.

Methane from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, Petrenko, Vasilii V., Etheridge, David M., Weiss, Ray F., Brook, Edward J., Schaefer, Hinrich, Severinghaus, Jeffrey P., Smith, Andrew M., Lowe Dave, Hua Quan, Riedel Katja, Science (2010), Volume 329, Issue 5996, pp. 1146-1147.

Atmospheric 14C variations derived from tree rings during the early Younger Dryas, Quan Hua, Mike Barbetti, David Fink, Klaus Felix Kaiser, Michael Friedrich, Bernd Kromer, Vladimir A. Levchenko, Ugo Zoppi, Andrew M. Smith, Fiona Bertuch, Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume: 28, Issue: 25-26, December, 2009, pp.2982-2990.

Massive perturbation in terrestrial ecosystems of the Eastern Mediterranean region associated with the 8.2 kyr climatic event, J. Pross, U. Kotthoff, U.C. Mller, O. Peyron, I. Dormoy, G. Schmiedl, S. Kalaitzidis & A.M. Smith, Geology 2009 37: 887-890.

Improvements in micro-sample 14C AMS at the ANTARES AMS facility, Andrew Milford Smith, Quan Hua, Alan Williams, Vladimir Levchenko & Bin Yang, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 268 (2010) 919-923.

AMS14C datign of different plant fractions of a tropical peat profile from Kalimantan, Indonesia, and implications, Raphael A. J. W st, Geraldine Jacobsen, Henk van der Gaast & Andrew M. Smith, Radiocarbon Vol 50, Nr 3, 2008 p 359-372.

14CH4 measurements in Greenland ice: investigating last glacial termination CH4 sources, Vasilii V. Petrenko, Andrew M. Smith, Edward J. Brook, Dave Lowe, Katja Riedel, Gordon Brailsford, Quan Hua, Hinrich Schaefer, Niels Reeh, Ray F., Weiss, David Etheridge, and Jeffrey P. Severinghaus, Science 24 April 2009 324: 506-508 [DOI: 10.1126/Science.1168909] (in Reports)

10Be concentrations in snow at Law Dome, Antarctica following the 29 Oct 2003 and 20 Jan 2005 solar cosmic ray events, J. B. Pedro, A. M. Simth, M. L. Duldig, A.R. Klekociuk, K. J. Simon, M. A. J. Curran, T. D. van Ommen, D. A. Fink, V.I. Morgan and B.K. Galton-Fenzi, Advances in Geosciences 14:Solar Terrestrial. 285-303; Eds.

Marc Duldig et.al. World Scientific Publishing Company. A novel method for obtaining very large ancient air samples from ablating glacial ice for analyses of methane radiocarbon, Vailii V. Petrenko, Jeffrey P. Severinghaus, Edward J. Broook, Jens M hle, Melissa Headly, Christina M. Harth, Hinrich Schaefer, Niels Reeh, Ray F. Weiss, Dave Lowe and Andrew M. Smith, Journal of Glaciology Vol. 54, No. 185 (2008), pp. 233-244.

A new method for analyzing 14C of methane in ancient air extracted from glacial ice, Vasilii V. Petrenko, Andrew M. Smith, Gordon Brailsford, Katja Ridel, Quan Hua, Dave Lowe, Jeffrey Severinghaus, Vladimir Levchenko, Tony Bromley, Rowena Moss, Jens M hle and Edward Brook, Radiocarbon Vol 50, Nr 1, 2008 p 53-73.

High-resolution snow pit studies of the deposition of cosmogenic 10Be at Law Dome, Antarctica, J.B. Pedro, A.M. Smith, M. Curran, V.I. Morgan, K. Simon, D. Fink, T.D. van Ommen and B. Galton-Fenzi, XVII INQUA Congress 2007, Cairns, 28th July - 3rd August 2007, INQUA 2007 Abstracts, Quaternary International 167-168 (2007), pp.320.

The atmospheric cycling of radiomethane and the "fossil fraction" of the methane source, K. R. Lassey, D. C. Lowe and A. M. Smith, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2007, 7, pp.2141-2149, www.atmos-chem-phys.net/7/2141/2007/.

Centennial evolution of the atmospheric methane budget: What do the carbon isotopes tell us?, K.R. Lassey, D. M. Etheridge, D. C. Lowe, A. M. Smith and D. R. Ferretti, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2007, 7, pp2119-2139, www.atmoschem-phys.net/7/2119/2007/.

The effect of N2O on the graphitization of small CO2 samples, A.M. Smith, Vasilii V. Petrenko, Quan Hua, John Southon, Gordon Brailsford, Radiocarbon Vol 49, Nr 2, 2007 p245-254.

The Law Dome CO2, CH4 and N2O Ice Core Records Extended to 2000 years BP - Art. No. L14810, C.M. Meure, D. Etheridge, C. Trudinger, P. Steele, R. Langenfelds, T. van Ommen, A. Smith and J. Elkins, Geophysical Research Letters (2006), vol. 33, no 14, L14810, doi:10.1029/2006GL026152

An inter-comparison of 10Be and 26Al AMS reference standards and the 10Be half-life, David Fink and Andrew Smith, Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research B 259 (2007), pp. 600-609.

Evidence for climate modulation of the 10Be solar activity proxy, Joel Pedro, Tas van Ommen, Mark Curran, Vin Morgan, Andrew Smith, Alison McMorrow, J. Geophys. Res., 2006,111, D21105, doi:10.1029/2005JD006764.

Atmospheric histories of halocarbons from analysis of Antarctic firn air: Analysis of Antarctic Firn Air: Major Montreal Protocol Species, G. A. Sturrock, C. M. Trudinger, D. M. Etheridge and A. M. Smith, Journal of Geophysical Research 107(D20) ACH12/1-ACH12/14.

In search of in situ radiocarbon in Law Dome ice and firn, A.M. Smith, V.A. Levchenko, D.M. Etheridge, D.C. Lowe, Q. Hua, C.M. Trudinger, U. Zoppi and A. Elcheikn, Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research 172 (2000) pp.610-622.

7Be and 10Be concentrations in recent firn and ice at Law Dome, Antarctica, A.M. Smith, D. FInk, D. Child, V.A. Levchenko, V.I. Morgan, M. Curran, D.M. Etheridge and G. Elliott, Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research 172 (2000) pp.847-855.

The world's smallest gas cylinders?, G.E. Gadd, M. Blackford, S. Moricca, N. Webb, P.J. Evans, A.M. Smith, G. Jacobsen, S. Leung, A. Day and Q. Hua, Science 277 (1997) pp. 933-936.