Researcher Profile

Dr Andrew Rate

Andrew Rate
Andrew Rate

Phone: +61 8 6488 2500

Research Expertise:
  • Environmental geochemistry
  • Soil chemistry
  • Water chemistry
  • Sediment chemistry
  • Trace elements
  • Rare earth elements
  • Heavy metals
  • Acid sulphate soils
  • Exploration geochemistry
  • Regolith geochemistry
  • Soil contamination
  • Urban soils and sediments
  • Estuarine sediments


<p>Husband, dad to 2 great girls, science and geochemistry geek. Love (in no particular order): being outdoors, doing field work, doing multivariate statistical analysis, making sciencey maps, hanging out with my family, getting good data, my church, encouraging and teaching students, environmental and social justice, prog rock/metal, playing guitar, poetry, cycling to work, movies, coffee, . . .<br>
I studied chemistry to MSc level at The University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and eventually graduated with a PhD in Soil Chemistry from Lincoln University, New Zealand. I've worked at UWA since 1995. I now call myself and Environmental Geochemist, with expertise in the application of aquatic physical chemistry and surface chemistry to a range of fundamental and applied research problems. My main current areas of research interest and achievement are: Understanding the behaviour of trace and rare-earth elements in soils, sediments and regolith; Geochemical exploration; Acid sulfate soils<br>
安德魯率, 博士</p>

Funding Received

<em>Selected Recent Research Projects:</em>
<li>Department of Water (Government of WA). (2017), 'Understanding dynamics of phosphate retention and reactive material stability behaviour of soil amendment blends under extended leaching' (A. Rate, B. Degens)</li>
<li>Pilbara Iron Company (Services) Pty Ltd. (2016), 'A method to determine elemental distribution of mineral, non-crystalline and exchangeable phases within iron ores' (A. Rate)</li>
<li>ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) 2014, 'Laser ablation multiple split streaming' (A.I.Kemp, M.T.McCulloch, M.Fiorentini, T.C.McCuaig, A.W.Rate, C.F.Clark, B.Rasmussen, N.J.Evans, S.M.Reddy, P.A.Bland, T.Raimondo, N.J.Pearson, E.Belousova, D.E.Jacob, D.Rubatto, C.Spandler, S.J.Barnes)</li>
<li>Salazar Gold Pty Ltd., 2014, 'Geochemistry and mineralogy of regolith-hosted rare-earth elements' (A.Rate)</li>
<li>Worldwide Universities Network WUN 2013, 'UWA Led - Ancient Soils & Modern Land Use - A Challenge for Critical Zone Science - International Workshop & Summer School' (M. Leopold, D. Gleeson, G. McGrath, A. Rate).</li>
<li>Iluka Resources Limited 2012 ‘Literature Review: Geochemical Background and Mobility of Thorium and Uranium from Mineral Sands’ (A. Rate, S.U. Salmon, H. Prommer, Z. Rengel) FOR: 040202</li>
<li>Australian Synchrotron. 2011. 'Rare Earth Elements mode of occurrence in iron nodules in Western Australia' (A. Rate, X. Du, M. Gee) RFCD: 260399/259902; FOR: 040299/039901</li>
<li>Australian Synchrotron. 2010. 'Unravelling the in-situ mineral transformations of mackinawite in a eutrophic estuary system: a powder diffraction study' (A.Rate, B. Morgan, E. Burton) RFCD: 260399/259902; FOR 040299/039901</li>
<li>Australian Synchrotron. 2010. 'Quantitative mineralogy of modified bauxite processing residue, and rare earth minerals in Western Australian laterite' (A.Rate, T.Santini, M.Gee, X.Du) RFCD: 260399/259902; FOR: 040299/039901</li>
<li>Australian Research Council Linkage / WA Water Corp. / ALS Laboratory Group. 2008 'Environmental risk assessment of acid sulfate soil formation and pollutant generation in Swan Coastal Plain', RFCD: 300104 (Zed Rengel, Christoph Hinz, Andrew Rate)</li>
<li>Australian Research Council Linkage / Newmont Mining Corp. 2008 'Evaluating a biogeochemical mechanism for soil anomaly formation using diffusive thin-film samplers in geochemical exploration', RFCD: 260302 (Andrew Rate, Nigel Radford)</li>
<li>Lionore Australia Pty Ltd 2007 'Discharge of Nickel Bearing Mine Water into Lake Hope North - Retention and Release of Nickel by Lake Sediments', RFCD: 259902 (Andrew Rate, Christoph Hinz)</li>
<li>UWA Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences 2005 'Diffuse gradients in thin films for sensitive profiling of nutrient gradients and trace elements in soils' (Andrew Rate)</li>
<li>Sons of Gwalia Tantalum 2004 'Assessment and Remediation of Arsenic Contamination in a Mine Site Environment', RFCD: 300801 (Andrew Rate, Christoph Hinz)</li></ul>


The Geochemical Society
Association of Applied Geochemists

Current Projects

<img align="center" alt="Iron-stain image 1015x275" src="">
<p><font color="#009600"><strong>**** Potential project areas for prospective students ****</strong> <br>
<em>Environmental Geochemistry group, School of Earth & Environment, UWA</em></font><br>
<li>Geochemistry of trace elements and rare earth elements<br>
¤ in estuarine sediments<br>
¤ in urban soils and sediments<br>
¤ in deeply weathered soil/regolith<br>
¤ in nodular regolith ferricretes and/or carbonates</li>
<li>Acid sulfate soils:<br>
¤ early diagenesis of sulfides in estuarine sediments;<br>
¤ export of trace / rare earth elements (potential contaminants) to water & sediments;<br>
¤ landscape and other controls on distribution of co-contaminants (arsenic, heavy metals);<br>
¤ effects of groundwater-level seasonality on sulfide oxidation;<br>
¤ corrosion of concrete and steel infrastructure;<br>
¤ use of electron microprobe and synchrotron X-ray techniques...</li>
<li>Significance of soil charcoal as a trace element sink </li>
<li>Novel applications of diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) </li>
<li>Quantitative modelling of pedogenetic processes using geochemical / transport models </li>
<p><strong><em>Current and Recent PhD and MSc by Research students:</em></strong> </p>
<li><img alt="Nian" src="" height="150" width="150">Nian 'Jasmine' Xu (PhD 2013- ) "Sources and sinks of rare-earth and associated trace elements in sulfidic estuarine sediments" (<a href=""></a>)</li>
<li>Graham Sylvester (PhD 2013- ) "Evaluating partial extraction soil geochemistry in archaeological exploration" (<a href=""></a>)</li>
<li>Josh Pearce (MSc completed 2015) "Physical and chemical weathering of Mount McRae shale" (<a href=""></a>)</li>
<li><img alt="Andy" src="" height="150" width="150">Dr Andy Lucas (<strong>PhD completed in 2014</strong>) "Evaluating a biogeochemical mechanism for soil anomaly formation using passive diffusion samplers in geochemical exploration" (<a href=""></a>)</li>
<li><img alt="Xin" src="" height="150" width="150">Dr Xin Du (<strong>PhD completed in 2012</strong>)
"Occurrence and behaviour of rare earth and associated elements in lateritic regolith profiles, Western Australia" (<a href=""></a>)</li>
<li><img alt="Bree" src="" height="150" width="115">Dr Bree Morgan (<strong>PhD completed in 2012</strong>) (PhD completed in 2012) "Sulfur geochemistry as a driver of trace metal, rare earth element and nutrient cycles in eutrophic estuarine
sediment" (<a href=""></a>)</li>
<li><img alt="Talitha" src="" height="150" width="150">Dr Talitha Santini (<strong>PhD completed in 2012</strong>) "Chemical and mineralogical aspects of soil formation in bauxite residue" (<a href=""></a>)</li>
<li>Dr Yamin Ma (<strong>PhD completed in 2008</strong>) - "Vegetation as a biotic driver for the formation of soil geochemical anomalies for mineral exploration of covered terrains" </li>
<p><strong><em>Selected Recent Honours and MSc Coursework/Dissertation Students:</em></strong></p>
<li>Eleanor Liddle (Honours 2016) "Acid sulfate impacts on an estuarine environment associated with dredge spoil disposed on land"</li>
<li>Korin Wyatt (MSc 2016-7) "Comparison of chemical techniques to measure amorphous mineral content in iron ores and associated materials"</li>
<li>Huaji Lei (MSc 2015) "Trace element environmental geochemistry of sediments fringing the Swan-Canning estuary" </li>
<li>Tiffany Collins (Honours 2014) - "Geochemistry and mineralogy of regolith-hosted rare-earth elements" </li>
<li>Zhaohui Chen (MSc 2014) "Geochemical associations and enrichment of rare-earth elements in mineralised regolith" </li>
<li>Kai-Ying Khoo (Honours 2013-4) - "Acid sulfate and trace element signatures of drought-affected wetlands fringing the Swan-Canning estuary system" </li>
<li>Victor Cha (Honours 2013) - "The use of combined trace element and soil property data as predictors for the partial extraction of metals" </li>
<li>Claire Toms (Honours 2012) - "The effect of acidification processes occurring at depth in the Ellenbrook catchment" </li>
<li>Graeme Hardwick (Honours 2012) - "Dispersion of gold and pathfinder elements through the regolith, southern Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia"</li>


MSc Cant., PhD Lincoln(NZ)


Soil Science ENVT2236 <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Environmental Assessment ENVT3361 (coordinator) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Land Rehabilitation EART3339 <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

<em>MSc / Honours</em>

Soil Dynamics ENVT5510 (coordinator) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

BSc(Hons) SCIE4501-4504 project supervision <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Roles, responsibilities and expertise

Future Research

<li>microplastics in urban street dusts and stormwater drainage</li>
<li>review and recalculation of Gd anomalies to account for anthropogenic Gd</li>
<li>preservation of lithogenic immobile element ratios in soils and regolith</li>
<li>global controls of trace elements in soils by Fe mineral phases</li>

ID: 30703

Most frequent journals

View all »