Current research

Scientist sampling water at Gregory River, QLD
ANSTO's environmental research infrastructure is designed to drive new science and provide government and policy makers with advice that will enable them to make informed decisions about the best way to manage the environment including our vital water and land resources.

Accelerator Science    


The Accelerator Science project provides excellence in accelerator-based science at ANSTO, delivering leading-edge ion beam research and technological innovations with outcomes that impact not only Australia, but the wider global community.
The unique suite of accelerator-based characterisation techniques available at ANSTO are capable of analysing specimens across a wide variety of research fields including physics, climate science, environmental science, zoology, biology, materials science, geology and archaeology.
Current and recent research includes monitoring ambient air pollution at sites across Australia and Asia, radiocarbon and exposure age dating, determining heavy metals pollutants in biological systems, studying archaeological rock and soil specimens, analysing thin films for photovoltaic (solar cell) applications and probing materials engineering problems such as corrosion and coating delamination.


Here a range of current research project areas:




Isotopes in Climate Change and Atmospheric Systems 

The Isotopes in Climate Change and Atmospheric Systems project utilises isotopic ratios to study palaeo-climate variability over the past few millions years, up to the last few centuries, to better understand how oceans, land and atmospheric systems interact to drive climate variability.


The CcASH activity focuses on select Southern Hemisphere records obtained from corals, speleothems, lake and ocean sediments, tree-rings, glacial deposits and ice-cores to enhance our understanding of past climate variability. From these, the Institute's scientists can establish the dates and rates of Earth's past climate systems, and compare them to similar records from other regions.
The Atmospheric Mixing and Pollution Transport (AMPT) task is focused on understanding the processes of exchange, mixing and transport of key climate-related gasses, such as greenhouse enhancing gases and airborne particles and pollutants in the lower atmosphere in order to improve weather and climate prediction models.
Key Project Tasks


Isotopes for Water 

The Isotopes for Water project applies isotopic and nuclear techniques to provide valuable scientific knowledge that underpins effective management of groundwater and rivers, freshwater ecosystems and the human activities that affect them.

The Isotopes for Water project has three key tasks, Isotopes in the Hydrological Cycle, Aquatic Ecosystems Function and Climate Variability and Water Resources. 
Key Project Tasks   


Nuclear Methods in Earth Systems 


The Nuclear Methods in Earth Systems project uses isotopic and nuclear techniques to trace the impact of humans on the environment.
Earth systems science recognises that knowledge of the history of environmental variability and human-environment interactions improves our understanding of the functioning of Earth systems and their response, or vulnerability, to current and future impacts.
Isotopic and nuclear techniques are also applied to contaminant science, where researchers identify the behaviour of contaminants and thus assist in the remediation of affected sites.
The Nuclear Methods in the Carbon Cycle task focusses on cave system processes for palaeo-climate assessments, and to aid understanding of where carbon resides in soil and the environment.
Key Project Tasks

IER Current Research 

ANTARES target hallDavid Fink fieldwork at Sickle Nunatak North Victoria Land AntarcticaDioni Cendon sampling water at Gregory River QLDHenk Heijnis with earth sample from Warragamba Dam_350
Accelerator ScienceIsotopes in climate changeIsotopes for waterNuclear methods in earth systems