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Ms Patricia Gadd

Patricia Gadd

Ms Patricia Gadd

Instrument Scientist, Itrax Core Scanner

Role at ANSTO

Patricia Gadd established and runs the Itrax Core Scanner Laboratory at ANSTO and is a much sort after expert in X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF).

At the ITAX Core Scanner Laboratory Patricia undertakes studies on paleo, volcanic, food, tissue and climate samples.

The materials analysed range from traditional sediment cores, corals, tree-ring samples and stalagmites to materials previously never studied using this technique.

Patricia developed a world-first non-destructive technique to evaluate tissue. Her use of this technique on seafood profiles led to a new and growing research field at ANSTO, seafood provenance. The novel technique can distinguish which region the seafood is from and whether it is wild or farmed fish based on the samples XRF fingerprint.

Other unusual samples Patricia has successfully studied include Kakadu plums and Merino wool samples, and in a collaboration between Taronga Zoo, ANSTO and UNSW, Patricia contributed to the prevention of illegal trading of animals by analysing Echidna quills to determine those from animals raised in captivity versus those from the wild. 

Patricia’s unique skills in analysing a wide variety of samples and difficult to study samples (eg. unsually shaped) to a very high resolution, sees her expertise in high demand within the environmental, paleo and life science research communities.


Analytical chemistry, X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF), Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES), Radiochemistry for Po-210 analysis, Delayed Neutron Activation Analysis, Geochemistry, Dendrochemistry, Pollution studies, Sediment core studies and Past climates.

Qualifications & Achievements

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Chemistry) from the University of Technology Sydney (1997)

Committees, Affiliations & memberships

  • STEM Advocate
  • Treasurer Women in Nuclear Australia
  • Committee Member of ANSTO Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • Chair ANSTO Science Talks Committee
  • AINSE Women in Science Entrepreneurship (WISE) Mentor
  • Australian Academy of Science 'On the Job' Competition Winner (2016).
  •  Mentor for UTS Professional Mentoring Program