Postgraduate Researchers


Fang Bian

Fang Bian
BSc (Top-Notch Class of Chemistry) Sichuan University

Research Interests
Fang’s research aims to investigate environment-derived records to assess the climatic and environmental controls on speleothem archives. He focused on the trace element and isotope fluctuations to understand local effects such as wildfires on the growth of stalagmites to reconstruct past environmental changes.

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Eliza Wells

Eliza Bryan
BEnvScience (Hons, Microbiology)/B Arts, UNSW

Research Interests
Eliza’s PhD research aims to investigate fundamental questions surrounding groundwater hydrochemical processes within coastal aquifer systems and focus on the development and comparison of novel isotopic dating techniques to complement traditional methods that would allow for an improved investigative and analytical approach to understanding groundwater dynamics in coastal systems.

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Juan Carlos Castilla

Juan Carlos Castilla
BSc(Hons) Water Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
MEngSc(Ext) Water Resources UNSW

Research Interests
Juan's research is developing new modeling frameworks capable of characterizing the multiple sources of uncertainty that often obscure our understanding of hydrogeological systems. He focuses on the incorporation of societal decisions to groundwater modeling using agent-based models and stochastic simulation approaches. His research has important groundwater management implications and pursues a more rigorous quantification of the reliability of hydrogeological predictions.

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Katie Coleborn

Katie Coleborn

Research Interests

Katie is currently investigating the effect of wildfire on karst processes and the potential for using speleothems as records of past wildfire events. Her research interests include paleoclimate reconstructions from stalagmites, stalagmite geochemistry and the interaction between wildfire and soil. Having completed a two year research associate position at UNSW, her PhD has evolved from examining the short term effects of wildfire on caves around NSW to a more paleoclimate focussed approach with field sites in WA.

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Scott Cook

Scott Cook
BSc Hons First Class (Geology), University of the Witwatersrand

Research Interests
Scott’s PhD research is focused on hydraulic connectivity through low permeability clayey sediments (aquitards). New techniques for hydraulic, hydrochemical, and geological evaluation are being developed for alluvial aquitard-aquifer systems. Understanding how aquitards influence groundwater flow processes is important for estimating leakage or recharge volumes to underlying aquifers. The field site is situated in an important inland basin where groundwater is extracted for irrigation of crops, town water supply and by coal mining.

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Gabriela Cuadrado-Quesada
Law Degree, University of Costa Rica
Masters Water and Coastal Management and Environmental and Infrastructure Planning, University of Oldenburg (Germany) and University of Groningen (The Netherlands)
Masters Human Rights and Education for Peace, National University Costa Rica

Research Interests
Gabriela Cuadrado-Quesada is a PhD student at the Faculty of Law at UNSW. She researches how legal instruments can best achieve sustainable use, participation, collaboration and accountability in groundwater governance. The title of her research is: Groundwater governance at the extremes: a comparative study between Australia and Costa Rica.

From 2004 to 2010 Gabriela worked in Costa Rica as an environmental lawyer for an NGO called the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Centre (CEDARENA). At the same time, she has done diverse consultancies in environmental law, sustainable development and water governance; as well as environmental litigation work.

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Katarina David

Katarina David
B.Sc. Hons (Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology), University of Zagreb
M.Sc. (Hydrogeology and Groundwater Management), University of Technology Sydney

Research Interests
Katarina’s PhD research is developing innovative multidisciplinary approaches to evaluate groundwater flow through rock strata overlying underground mining in dynamic stress conditions. There is currently a gap in the understanding of groundwater behaviour in dynamic stress environments and the role of low permeability rock strata as a barrier to vertical flow towards underground mining operations. This multidisciplinary research (hydrogeology, geomechanics, hydrogeochemistry) focuses on quantifying vertical and horizontal components of groundwater seepage at the interface of high and low permeability rock strata within the constrained zone overlying a longwall coal mine.

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Mark Hocking

Mark Hocking
BSc. (Geology & Environmental Science) Latrobe, MSc. (Geology) Latrobe, Grad Dip. (Gw Eng.) UTS

Research Interests
Mark is investigating the potential impacts of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) production on groundwater levels in the upper Condamine alluvium and the eastern portion of the Great Artesian Basin.  Research interests include; methods of hydrogeological conceptualisation, recharge estimation, groundwater simulation, paleoclimate impacts, groundwater response time.

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Charlotte Iverach

Charlotte Iverach 
BAdvScience (Hons, Geochemistry), UNSW 

Research Interests
Charlotte's PhD research aims to establish a unique method for assessing hydraulic connectivity in aquifers adjacent to developing CSG production sites using a combination of classical geochemical techniques and novel methane isotope tracing techniques. Atmospheric methane isotopes are also being studied to identify sources of methane across the Australian landscape for future greenhouse gas accounting.

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Mohammadreza (Reza) Keshavarzi

Mohammadreza (Reza) Keshavarzi
B.Sc. Geology, Shiraz University, B.Sc. Hydrogeology, Shahid Chamran University, Iran

Research Interests
Hydrogeology and geochemsitry of Karst systems, karst morphology, groundwater-surface water interaction, near surface geophysical techniques, deep drainage.

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Monika Markowska

Monika Markowska
BSc (Hons, Geography) UNSW, BSc (Environmental Science) Murdoch University, BBus (Property) University of South Australia

Research Interests
Monika's PhD research aims to investigate quaternary climate change using speleothem archives to reconstruct past climates for the Snowy Mountains region, Australia. The effect of localised karst hydrology on the speleothem record will be assessed and a multiproxy approach used to reconstruct a climate record for the region. Main research interests include: paleoclimate, stable isotopes and karst hydrology.

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Liza McDonough

Liza McDonough
B.Env.Sc. Hons First Class, UNSW 

Research Interests
Liza’s PhD work is focused on determining the rate and extent of both the biological and the physiochemical processes determining groundwater organic matter concentration. This research will assist in determining the environmental conditions where groundwater organic matter is a source or a sink. The terrestrial surface water carbon cycle is a significant carbon sink, but the cycling of organic carbon in groundwater is unquantified. By quantifying the processes which determine where and when groundwater is a carbon source or sink, this research will help guide policy which will enable the management of the groundwater resource as part of the carbon economy.

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Phetdala Oudone (La)

Phetdala Oudone (La)
TAFE (Environmental Management) at Swinburne University, Australia; MSc at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

Research Interests
Phetdala’s PhD research ultimately aims to determine the environmental conditions and the processes controlling groundwater organic matter and the condition where it is a carbon source or sink. He is specifically looking at the rate and the extent of both the biological and the physiochemical processes determining groundwater organic matter concentration. He is highly expecting that his claim will have contributions on groundwater resource management policy as part of the carbon economy as well as groundwater resource protection policy.

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Mark Peterson

Mark Peterson
BSc (Hons) Advanced, UoW; Grad. Dip. Ed, UoW

Research Interests
Mark is investigating the diffusion of radionuclides into fractured rocks, groundwater age interpretation, radiotracers and various isotopic analyses of groundwater. These techniques are valuable for understanding the connection pathways and flow rates between surface water and groundwater. The results contribute to quantifying water resources, contaminant transport pathways and mining subsidence impacts on water supply and the environment.

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Carol Tadros

Carol V. Tadros
BSc (Hons) Chemistry (University of Sydney)

Research Interests
Carol’s PhD research is currently focussed on understanding the atmosphere-soil-karst system at Yarrangobilly Caves using stable isotopes and trace elements for the palaeoenvironmental interpretation of speleothems.

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Nur Syahiza Zainuddin

Nur Syahiza Zainuddin
BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering (Malaysia), MEng (Hons) Environmental Engineering (Malaysia)

Research Interests
Iza's PhD research aims to develop an understanding of arsenic behaviour in hyporheic and riparian zones of connected surface water groundwater systems. Her research is developed in a framework honouring both the hydrogeology and the geochemistry. Geochemical processes involving organic matter reactivity and quality are studied to reveal its role in mobilising and transporting arsenic in connected groundwater-surface water systems.