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Dr Catherine Hughes

Senior Research Scientist

Role at ANSTO

Dr Cath Hughes is a senior research scientist at the ANSTO Institute for Environmental Research. Cath's role in the Isotopes for Water Project is to trace water, sediment and contaminant movement in reservoirs, catchments, aquifers and coastal water bodies using stable isotopes and artificial or naturally occurring radioactive isotopes as environmental tracers.

Her particular interest is in catchment hydrology and the management  of coastal, estuarine and wetland areas. Through case studies in the Murray-Darling and Sydney Basins she aims to promote the routine use of stable isotopes in hydrology and catchment studies and to contribute to a national sampling network.

Closer to home she is involved in monitoring and research related to the movement of radionuclides in sewage effluent, river sediments and groundwater in the Sydney region.

She has also been involved in IAEA/RCA activities teaching and demonstrating applications of radiotracer technology to coastal engineering and environmental problems in Asia.


Isotope hydrology, radiotracing, precipitation, groundwater, surface water, radioactive contamination, biota dose assessment, coastal processes.

Qualifications & Achievements

Cath joined ANSTO in August 1999 and has a PhD in wetland hydrology from the University of Newcastle and an Environmental Engineering degree from the University of NSW.