• The University of Western Australia (M079), 35 Stirling Highway, Room 2.11, Myers St bldg

    6009 Perth


  • 751 Citations
  • 15 h-Index
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Personal profile


My formal credentials include M.Sc. in Chemistry from The University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and a Ph.D. in Soil Chemistry from Lincoln University, New Zealand. I have worked at the University of Western Australia since 1995 as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer. My research and teaching discipline is best described as Environmental Geochemistry, 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 behavior of trace and rare-earth elements in soils, sediments, water, and regolith; sulfidic sediments and acid sulfate soils; urban soils and sediments. I teach mainly in Environmental Science, covering soil physics and chemistry, environmental assessment, and environmental statistics.

安德魯率, 博士

In the rest of my life I'm a husband, a 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, . . .


See '♦ Grants' and '♦ Research Output' tabs above, or Future research and Current research sections below, or:


Teaching overview


MSc / Honours

UWA Student Guild’s Students’ Choice Award for teaching in ENVT3361, Semester 1, 2017

Member of teaching team awarded the 2006 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Award for Excellence in Coursework Teaching, for the unit EART1105 Earth and Environment: Dynamic Planet.


Teaching philosophy

Succinctly (but, to a purist, likely to be inaccurately) I consider myself an experiential teacher with social constructivist leanings. I believe in learning by doing, especially in the context of environmental science, and learning in a community where the 'teacher' is also one of the learners, and where the teacher's authenticity and character help to maintain an effective community of learners.

More specifically, I have been influenced by these books (among others):

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, Fast and SlowFarrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, NY, USA.

Palmer, P.J. (1998). The Courage To Teach. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Siegel, D.J. (2013). Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain - An Inside-Out Guide to the Emerging Adolescent Mind, Ages 12-24. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, New York, NY, USA.

My best teaching practices are inspired (but imperfectly implemented!) by the Learning Community model of Parker Palmer (Palmer, 1998). The other books are not really about teaching, but I think they're extremely useful for informing my teaching practice. Kahneman (2011) discusses the main categories of thought processes in humans, and his ideas on inherent bias are highly relevant to teaching science. This is especially relevant given that human brains are not mature until the age of about 24 (Siegel, 2013); older than most of the students we teach!

Future research

  • microplastics in urban street dusts and stormwater drainage
  • trace elements in a coastal plain catena
  • review and recalculation of Gd anomalies to account for anthropogenic Gd
  • preservation of lithogenic immobile element ratios in soils and regolith

Current projects

**** Potential project areas for prospective students ****

Environmental Geochemistry groupUWA School of Agriculture & Environment 


  • Microplastics in urban soils and sediments

  • Geochemistry of trace elements and rare earth elements
    ¤ in estuarine sediments
    ¤ in urban soils and sediments
    ¤ in deeply weathered soil/regolith
    ¤ in nodular regolith ferricretes and/or carbonates
  • Acid sulfate soils:
    ¤ early diagenesis of sulfides in estuarine sediments;
    ¤ export of trace / rare earth elements (potential contaminants) to water & sediments;
    ¤ landscape and other controls on distribution of co-contaminants (arsenic, heavy metals);
    ¤ effects of groundwater-level seasonality on sulfide oxidation;
    ¤ corrosion of concrete and steel infrastructure;
    ¤ use of electron microprobe and synchrotron X-ray techniques...
  • Significance of soil charcoal as a trace element sink
  • Novel applications of diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT)
  • Quantitative modelling of pedogenetic processes using geochemical / transport models

Current and Recent PhD and MSc by Research students:

  • NianNian 'Elaine' Xu (PhD completed in 2018) "Sources and sinks of rare-earth and associated trace elements in sulfidic estuarine sediments" (21360643@student.uwa.edu.au
  • Graham Sylvester (PhD completed in 2017) "Evaluating partial extraction soil geochemistry in archaeological exploration"
  • Josh Pearce (MSc completed 2015) "Physical and chemical weathering of Mount McRae shale"
  • AndyDr Andy Lucas (PhD completed in 2014) "Evaluating a biogeochemical mechanism for soil anomaly formation using passive diffusion samplers in geochemical exploration"
  • XinDr Xin Du (PhD completed in 2012)
    "Occurrence and behaviour of rare earth and associated elements in lateritic regolith profiles, Western Australia"
  • BreeDr Bree Morgan (PhD completed in 2012) (PhD completed in 2012) "Sulfur geochemistry as a driver of trace metal, rare earth element and nutrient cycles in eutrophic estuarine
  • TalithaDr Talitha Santini (PhD completed in 2012) "Chemical and mineralogical aspects of soil formation in bauxite residue"
  • Dr Yamin Ma (PhD completed in 2008) - "Vegetation as a biotic driver for the formation of soil geochemical anomalies for mineral exploration of covered terrains"

Selected Recent Honours and MSc Coursework/Dissertation Students:

  • Stephanie Franceschini (Honours 2018) "Understanding rare earth element fractionation in estuarine sediment pore water at Banks Reserve, Western Australia"
  • Scott McCarthy (Honours 2017) "The use of an Iron Man Gypsum based amendment in drains to prevent phosphate contamination"
  • Eleanor Liddle (Honours 2016) "Acid sulfate impacts on an estuarine environment associated with dredge spoil disposed on land"
  • Korin Wyatt (MSc 2016-7) "Comparison of chemical techniques to measure amorphous mineral content in iron ores and associated materials"
  • Huaji Lei (MSc 2015) "Trace element environmental geochemistry of sediments fringing the Swan-Canning estuary"
  • Tiffany Collins (Honours 2014) - "Geochemistry and mineralogy of regolith-hosted rare-earth elements"
  • Kai-Ying Khoo (Honours 2013-4) - "Acid sulfate and trace element signatures of drought-affected wetlands fringing the Swan-Canning estuary system"



External positions

Editorial Board Member, PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science

4 Sep 2018 → …

Editorial Board Member, Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis, Geological Society of London

2005 → …


  • Environmental
  • 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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
Trace Elements Chemical Compounds
soil Earth & Environmental Sciences
Soils Chemical Compounds
trace element Earth & Environmental Sciences
Geochemistry Chemical Compounds
geochemistry Earth & Environmental Sciences
metal Earth & Environmental Sciences
dredge spoil Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1995 2019

  • 751 Citations
  • 15 h-Index
  • 41 Article
  • 6 Conference paper
  • 4 Doctoral Thesis
dredge spoil
rare earth elements
dredged materials
Rare earth elements
3 Citations (Scopus)

From source to sink: Rare-earth elements trace the legacy of sulfuric dredge spoils on estuarine sediments

Xu, N., Morgan, B. & Rate, A., 1 Oct 2018, In : Science of the Total Environment. 637-638, p. 1537-1549

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

dredge spoil
estuarine sediments
rare earth elements
estuarine sediment
142 Downloads (Pure)
dredge spoil
rare earth element
3 Citations (Scopus)
2 Citations (Scopus)

Scanning and transmission analytical electron microscopy (STEM-EDX) can identify structural forms of lead by mapping of clay crystals

Batista, A. H., Melo, V. F., Rate, A. W., Gilkes, R. J., Saunders, M. & Dodd, A., 15 Jan 2018, In : Geoderma. 310, p. 191-200 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

electron microscopy
transmission electron microscopy
scanning electron microscopy

Projects 1996 2019