Researcher Profile

Dr Pauline Grierson

Pauline Grierson
Pauline Grierson

Phone: +61 8 6488 7926

Research Expertise:
  • Ecosystem biogeochemistry of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  • Stable isotope techniques for environmental, hydrogeological and ecological applications
  • Ecohydrology of arid and semi-arid ecosystems
  • Ecological water requirements
  • Tree physiology and hydraulic architecture
  • Dendroclimatology and tree ring studies
  • Fire ecology
  • Forest ecology


PLNT3306 Australian Vegetation (coordinator)
ENVT5512 Ecosystem Biogeochemistry (coordinator)
PLNT4511 Plant Biology Research Project Development(coordinator)
PLNT4512 Plant Biology Research Presentation (coordinator)

ENVT3363 Ecological Processes

Industrial Relevance

* Ecological water requirements
* Groundwater and surface water management in arid landscapes
* Fire ecology & management
* Risk management around extreme events (cyclones, floods, drought)


BSc PhD Melb.

Current Projects

• Ecological water requirements in the Pilbara, including the integration of biological, ecological and hydrogeological elements

• Hydroclimatic variability and extreme events over the recent past in Western Australia from tree ring and sediment proxies

• Ecosystem biogeochemistry of the Swan-Canning catchment

• Dendroclimatology of Australia using Callitris - reconstructing rainfall patterns

Previous Positions

1999-2001 Senior Research Associate, University of Western Australia, Botany
1998-1998 Lecturer, University of Western Australia, Faculty of Agriculture, Plant Science
1995-1997 Research Associate, University of Western Australia, Plant Science
1993-1995 Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Florida, Forest Resources and Conservation, Soil and Water Science
1991-1992 Research Associate, University of Melbourne, Botany


American Geophysical Union
Australian Society for Limnology
Ecological Society of America
Ecological Society of Australia
European Geophysical Union
International Atomic Energy Agency
Soil Science Society of America
International Tree-Ring Society

Funding Received

2017-19 Annual rainfall variability and extreme drought over the late Holocene. Grierson, Cook, Skrzypek. ARC- DP170101033. 485K

2017 A multi-institutional environmental radioactivity research centre. Masque, Lavery, McInnes, Grierson, McCulloch et al. ARC-LE170100219. 170K Ex Edith Cowen University

2016-2017. Monitoring of vegetation water use, Billiards North. Linkage scoping study. Grierson, Skrzypek. Rio Tinto, 150K.

2016. Distribution of Triodia cytotype within Roy Hill seed collection zones, east Pilbara. Grierson, Barrett. Roy Hill. 35K.

2016. Recruitment dynamics of Tecticornia on the Fortescue Marsh in relation to flood regimes. Grierson, O'Donnell, Colmer. Pilbara Corridors (WA Rangelands NRM). 9K

2015 Isotope analyser with delta17O capability to examine water fluxes. Skrzypek, Grierson, Edwards, McCulloch, Grice ARC-LE150100139. 160K.

2013-14 Phase 2: Assessment of vegetation water use of upland and lowland communities associated with the Fortescue Marsh using isotopic tracers. Grierson, Page, Skrzypek. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. 40K

2013 Dating of sediments to aid in reconstruction of hydroclimatic variability in northwest Australia. AINSE Research Award. 13K

2013 Ultra-trace analytical facility for earth system change. Edwards, Goodwin, Tessalina, Grierson, Nelson, McCulloch. ARC-LE130100029. 280 K. Ex Curtin University

2013-2015 Reconstructing changes in atmospheric circulation over the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere during the past 3000 years. Turney, Meissner, Grierson. ARC-DP130104156. 470K Ex UNSW

2012-2015. Ecological responses of native fishes to extreme flow variability in arid Australia. Grierson, Collin, Davies, Kelley. ARC Linkage LP120200002. Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton Iron Ore. 400K

2012-2015 Defining ecological and evolutionary significant units in spinifex (Triodia spp.) for improved ecological restoration in arid Australia. Grierson, Krauss, Price, Dixon, Thiele. ARC Linkage 120100350. BGPA, Rio Tinto Iron Ore; Chevron. DEC. 550K

2012-2015 Climate-related shifts in semi-arid ecosystems through ecohydrological proxies. Grierson, Skyrzpek, Turney, Cook, Greenwood Dogramaci. ARC Linkage 120100310. Rio Tinto Iron Ore. 330K

2012-14 Plumbing the depths of tall trees: quantifying the hydraulic structure and function of deep roots. Hermon Slade Foundation. Bleby, Burgess, Grierson 64K.

2011-2012 Triangulating climate records derived from fish, corals and trees to predict marine ecosystem productivity in the face of ocean warming. ANNIMS (Australian National Network in Marine Science). Meeuwig, McCulloch, Grierson, Waite, Frusher, Buxton, McCormick, Choat, Meekan, Black, Heung, Clements, Simpson, Zeller. 298K.

2011 Assessment of vegetation water use of upland and lowland communities associated with the Fortescue Marsh using isotopic tracers. Grierson, Page, Skrzypek. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. 45K

2011 Coolibah woodland: water use and hydraulic architecture. Grierson, Page, Skrzypek, Bleby, Argus. Rio Tinto. 42K.

2011 LTER Monitoring of Themeda grasslands. Grierson. Rio Tinto. 30K.

2010 A high-resolution isotope facility for low cost analysis of water, plant, and soil/sediment samples to understand environmental change. Grierson, Kendrick, Skyrzpek, Fellman, Bowman, Grice, Waite, Stock, Froend, Lavery. ARC LIEF $100K

2010 High resolution liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (Orbitrap) for analysis of polar compounds in biomass, petroleum, potable and reclaimed water. Grice K, Murphy, Greenwood, Heitz, Grierson, Busetti, Wacey, Gleeson. ARC LIEF $300K

2008-10 Ecological water requirements of the Yule River. Water Corporation and WA Dept of water. Grierson, Adams, Pfautsch, McLean, Braimbridge, Bellhouse, Jones. Water Corporation $110K

2007-09 Productivity of the southern jarrah forest in relation to fire. Australian Greenhouse Office, Grierson, Boer, Pekin, Macfarlane. $30K

2008-10 Fire management of complex rehabilitated forests – quantifying and understanding spatial variability of forest structure and fuels. ARC-Linkage, Worsley Alumina, DEC. Grierson, Macfarlane, Boer, Sadler, Vlahos, McCaw. $645K

2007-10 Using tree-rings of an Australian conifer as a bio-indicator of decadal-scale environmental change. CERF – Dept of Environment, Water, Heritage & Arts. Prof David Bowman (UTas) Grierson, Hua (ANSTO), Dodson (ANSTO), McCaw (DEC), Lynda Prior (Charles Darwin Univ.) $799K

2007-9 Impacts of environmental change on organic matter and nutrient dynamics in near - coast catchments. CSIRO Flagship Collaborative Research Fund. Grierson, Petrone, Barron (CSIRO Land & Water). $109K

2008-2011 Dynamics of woody vegetation and water in the central Pilbara – understanding and managing for environmental change. ARC-Linkage, Rio Tinto Iron Ore & BHP-Billiton Iron Ore. Grierson, Adams (USyd), Madden, White, Van Leeuwen. $1.8M

2007-9 John de Laeter Research Fellow in Isotope Biogeochemistry. John de Laeter Centre for Mass Spectrometry. Grierson McNaughton, McWilliams. $300K

2007-8 Host-truffle relationships – dependency on host tree roots. Hazel Hill/Manjimup Wine & Truffle Company. Grierson, Bougoure, Malajczuk, Eslick. $59K

2007 A novel isotope facility to characterise high-molecular-weight fractions of natural organic matter in soils, sediments, water, petroleum and coal. ARC-LIEF. Grice, Grierson, Greenwood, Brocks, Zhang, Heitz. $280K

2006-7 Hydraulic conductivity and functional redundancy in woody shrubs. Andrew Mellon Foundation/CSU. Grierson, Schenk (California State University Fullerton). $25K

2006 Stable isotope facility for biological, ecological, and geological applications - West Aust Biogeochemistry Centre. ARC-LIEF. Grierson, McNaughton, Murphy, Greenwood, Walker, Kendrick, Roberts, Grice. $614K

2006 Laser pyrolysis system with GC-MS.ARC-LIEF. Greenwood, Grice, Watling, Grierson. $350K

2002-6 Ecological sustainability and changing land use in the Pilbara. ARC-Linkage, Pilbara Iron Pty Ltd. Grierson, Adams. $750K

2003-9 Multi-scale analysis of patterns in ecological processes in relation to fire regimes Bushfire CRC. Grierson, Boer. $750K

2004-7 The role of mycorrhizal fungi in nutrient supply and habitat specificity of the rare underground orchid (Rhizanthella gardneri). ARC-Linkage, DEC Grierson, Brundrett, Brown(DEC), Sivasithamparam. $140K

2006-8 Dendroclimatology studies of Callitris. Hermon Slade Foundation. Cullen, Grierson. $120K

2005-7 Understanding coastal biodiversity: the impact of marine production subsidies upon arid coastal environments. ARC Discovery.Walker, Duarte, Grierson, Robertson. $220K

2005-8 Mulga ecology in the Pilbara. Pilbara Iron Pty Ltd. Grierson, Page, Cullen. $250K

2005 State-of-the-art solid state nuclear magnetic resonance ARC-LIEF Berners-Price, Raston, Baker, Koutsantonis et al. $434K

Roles, responsibilities and expertise

Pauline is Director of the WA Biogeochemistry Centre, and leads the Ecosystems Research Group at UWA. She has extensive experience in the application of stable isotope methods (C, N, H and O) to examining ecosystem processes, particularly in assessing ecological water requirements of semi-arid ecosystems.

ID: 31680

Most frequent journals
  • Soil Biology & Biochemistry

    ISSNs: 0038-0717, 1879-3428


    Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 5.17 SJR 2.132 SNIP 1.832

    Journal: ERA2018

  • Journal of Hydrology

    ISSNs: 0022-1694


    Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 3.89 SJR 1.745 SNIP 1.759

    Journal: ERA2018

  • Forest Ecology and Management

    ISSNs: 0378-1127, 1872-7042


    Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 3.61 SJR 1.615 SNIP 1.555

    Journal: ERA2018

  • Climatic change

    ISSNs: 0165-0009, 1573-1480


    Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 3.52 SJR 1.883 SNIP 1.296

    Journal: ERA2018

  • Plant, Cell & Environment

    ISSNs: 0140-7791, 1365-3040

    Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1365-3040

    Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 5.89 SJR 2.646 SNIP 1.737

    Journal: ERA2018

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