Quote To Live By: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” -Steve Jobs

Expertise:

  • Geochemical behaviour of radionuclides and metals in groundwater
  • Non-aqueous behaviour, natural attenuation and transport of LNAPLs and DNAPLs in groundwater
  • Geochemical reactive transport modelling of aqueous species in groundwater
  • Analytical and numerical transport modelling of metals, LNAPLs and DNAPLs in the sub-surface
  • Groundwater quality site conceptualisation and risk assessment
  • Groundwater investigations in igneous and sedimentary aquifer systems
  • Regulatory requirements for the protection of groundwater resources in Australia and the UK
  • Design of laboratory analytical programmes and novel techniques for site assessment.

 


  • Full Profile

    Rebecca is a contaminant hydrogeologist with over 14 years experience in the private, public and academic sector within Australia and the UK.

    Rebecca began her career with the UK regulator – the Environment Agency – in 1999.  Rebecca spent 9 years working within the south-east of England principally involved with private companies and the public sector ensuring that activities and developments met strict environmental regulations and policy guidelines.  In 2008, Rebecca started a doctorate at Sheffield University (UK), which she completed in 2013.  This period of research involved the study of the behavior of uranium in groundwater, removal of aqueous uranium using elemental iron and the development of a non-invasive fluorescent measurement technique.  Since 2011, Rebecca has worked as a hydrogeologist in the Australian private industry and has been involved in the risk assessment of a variety of groundwater contaminants within small and large scale developments.

    Rebecca can provide technical assessment on a range of sub-surface contaminants coupled with the awareness of a regulatory background which enables a reasonable cost-effective outcome to be achieved whilst meeting local statutory requirements.

    Education

    • Ph.D. Uranium surface geochemistry and behaviour in groundwater systems, 2013 Sheffield University, UK
    • M.Sc. (Distinction) Contaminant Hydrogeology, 2005 Sheffield University, UK
    • M.Sc. (Merit) Environmental Science, 1997 University of London, UK
    • B.Sc. (hons) Geology, 1994 Imperial College, UK.

     

    Professional Affiliations

    • Fellow of the Geological Society.

     

    Training

    • Geochemists WorkBench, 2012
    • OHS induction Construction Safety, 2012
    • University of Oxford and Diamond Light Source synchrotron residential school, 2010
    • ConSim, 2006
    • ArcView 8, 2003
    • LandSim, 2001.

     

    Key Experience

    Groundwater and Contaminant Fate and Transport Modelling

    Yarraville former chemical manufacturing site | Orica 

    Groundwater flow and contaminant transport modeller for a major revision of the Yarraville 2007 groundwater model.  The project initially involved an update of the groundwater head levels and geological layer characteristics.  The model was successfully calibrated against local groundwater level and quality data.  The project was extended to the development of specific scenarios, where changes in groundwater flow direction and in-situ barriers were incorporated into the model.  The influence of these changes on contaminant fate and transport was explored through a range of sensitivity runs.

    Lorimer Street, Melbourne | Undisclosed client 

    Contaminant hydrogeologist for the advanced phase of field works and interpretation of membrane interface probe (MIP) results.  The detailed borehole log information and DNAPL distribution results were used to produce a 3-dimensional conceptual model of the various lithologies beneath the site, the lateral and vertical extent of DNAPL and potential flow pathways and vulnerable receptors.

    Hermitage (QLD) and Narrabri (NSW) Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Schemes | Santos

    Geochemical modeller involved in hypothetical mixing and injection scenarios using PHREEQC software.  The Hermitage scheme was a trail project where treated groundwater (permeate and reject effluent) from coal seam gas exploration, was injected into a receiving aquifer.  The geochemical injection modelling used a combination of mixing ratios between the host groundwater and injectant to observe resultant changes in phase and solute distributions.  The Narrabri scheme was a proposed discharge of permeate effluent into a deep alluvial creek system.  Mixing of treated CSG water and resident creek water was simulated using a range of mixing ratios and permeate water qualities.  The results of the geochemical modelling were used in the assessment of the viability of the MAR scheme.

    Young, NSW | Undisclosed client 

    Contaminant hydrogeologist for the risk assessment of residual levels of lead in soil at an unregulated waste disposal site.  Study involved using R&D20, a spreadsheet model, to derive site-specific remedial targets which were compared to hydraulically down-gradient concentrations of lead.  The modelling was utilised in the risk assessment to evaluate the need for further in-situ monitoring and bulk soil removal works.

    Boxhill former acrylics manufacturing site, Melbourne | Momentive Specialty Chemicals

    Contaminant hydrogeologist and technical project manager involved in site conceptualisation, fate and transport risk assessment modelling and coordinator for site ground and surface water monitoring events.  The site history involved phases of development and sub-surface modifications which presented challenges in characterising the contaminant (non-aqueous phase DNAPL) behaviour.  Statistical analysis was used to compare groundwater and surface water quality data and evaluate whether the two waters belonged to the same population, i.e. whether solutes in groundwater were contributing to surface water quality.

    Clean-up to the extent practicable (CUTEP) for groundwater was accepted to have been achieved by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria.

    Barkly Street, Melbourne | Spotless

    Contaminant hydrogeologist involved in site conceptualisation and fate and transport risk assessment modelling.  Analytical fate and transport modelling of DNAPLs was simulated using BIOCHLOR (solute transport with biotransformation modelled as a sequential first-order decay process).  Groundwater flow transitioned from a turbidite sediment sequence to a basaltic lava flow which presented variable flow velocities and attenuation capacities.

    Clean-up to the extent practicable (CUTEP) for groundwater was accepted to have been achieved by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria.

    Former resin manufacturing plant, Dandenong, VIC | Undisclosed client 

    Contaminant hydrogeologist involved in site conceptualisation and fate and transport risk assessment modelling.  Analytical fate and transport modelling of LNAPLs was simulated using BIOSCREEN-AT (Domenico analytical solute transport model for solute transport in three-dimensional porous media).  Benzene was identified as the principle risk driver and was used to derive remedial target concentrations which were compared against local environmental criteria.

    Kangaroo Flat Mine pipeline spill, Bendigo, VIC | Unity Mining 

    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prepared following a spill from the Woodvale pipeline.  The pipeline carries discharge water from the Kangaroo Flat mine and the EPA produced a site inspection report that required potential environmental impacts to be assessed.  The discharge water was elevated in arsenic and the EIA involved a comparative examination of the concentration of arsenic in the discharge water with the local soil arsenic concentrations.  The conclusion of the EIA was that no deleterious environmental impact had occurred and recommended no further sampling or monitoring. This was not challenged by EPA Victoria.

    Kooragang Island chemical plant, NSW | Orica

    Hydrogeochemist for review and geochemical modelling of field data.  Data review involved lateral and vertical assessment of multiple alluvial units with a dispersed arsenic plume.  Sequential in-situ remedial trials included injection of hydrogen peroxide and ferrous chloride.  Two locations were chosen for comparative analysis and the relative success of the remedial techniques was evaluated through groundwater geochemical analyses.

    Rosslyn Street, Melbourne | AUSpost/AGL

    Technical project manager and lead hydrogeologist responsible for groundwater quality data review and report production.  Initial characterisation of DNAPL non-aqueous plume behaviour in a sub-surface basaltic lava flow.

    Former depots and fuel storage sites, various locations (Australia) | Shell

    Lead hydrogeologist responsible for site conceptualisation for fate and transport modelling of LNAPL and aqueous-phase LNAPL in a range of lithologies including aeolian sands, shoestring deposits and basaltic lava flows.  Rebecca was also involved in the independent technical review of sites in Queensland, New South Wales and Fiji.

    Eagleton Quarry, NSW | Undisclosed client 

    Lead hydrogeologist for the initial desktop assessment (phase I) of existing site data and construction of a numerical model using Visual MODFLOW. Phase II works not completed.

    Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) Assessment

    Kangaroo Flat Mine ARD assessment review, Bendigo, VIC | Unity Mining 

    Lead hydrogeochemist involved in the assessment and review of historical ARD reports for in-situ rock and stockpiled tailings waste.

    Rouez former gold mine, France | Total Energy 

    Lead hydrogeochemist for the existing and potential acid producing potential of residual mine spoil and natural rock material at a disused mine site.  Works involved the development of a soil sampling programme, review of laboratory quality control and assurance results and procedures.  Outcome of the risk assessment was used to provide a tiered matrix of potential passive and active remedial systems for the site.

    Landfill Assessment

    LandSim parameters | Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC)

    Technical project manager and lead hydrogeologist for the production of a report on the derivation of default input distributions and input variables for use in LandSim.  LandSim is a commercial software program used for the risk assessment of landfilling activities on groundwater resources.  It was developed by Golder Associates primarily for use by the UK environmental regulator (Environment Agency).  SEWPaC also required a literature review on all (27) persistent organic pollutants (POPs) included within the Stockholm Convention.  All input parameters were to be collated specifically for Australian conditions.

    Rowan Spring Road Landfill, Melbourne | Local Authority

    Lead hydrogeologist for the phase I assessment of a former landfill in the south-east suburbs of Melbourne.  A number of EPA Victoria enforcement notices had been issued for the site which required a full hydrogeological and landfill gas risk assessment.  Initial phase II works included the design of a landfill gas, leachate and groundwater monitoring network within and along the perimeter of the site.

    Audit Review

    West Melbourne, Former DNAPL storage | Undisclosed client

    Provided technical support for auditor review of documentation produced by site consultant (engaged by client).

    Braybrook, Former DNAPL storage | Undisclosed client

    Provided technical support for auditor review of documentation produced by site consultant (engaged by client).

    Yarraville former chemical manufacturing site | Orica 

    Provided technical support for auditor review of documentation produced by site consultant (engaged by client).

    Laboratory Experimental Research and Design

    Rebecca has extensive experience of experimental development, design and production of novel equipment within the field of benchscale barrier research.  This includes static and kinetic batch testing, sampling under anaerobic and aerobic conditions and fluorescence imagery.  Previous research and employment has involved the collection, preparation and analysis of groundwater samples which has highlighted the importance of quality control and assurance procedures.  Rebecca has used and is familiar with a variety of wet and dry analytical chemical techniques – ICP‑MS, AAS, XRF, XRD, TEM and XPS.  She is also familiar with a variety of beamlines used at synchrotron light sources.

    Selected Publications and Conference Papers

    Fraser R, Banwart SA & Romero-Gonzalez M (2009) Fluorescent Imaging of Radionuclide Chemical Transformation Through Permeable Reactive Barriers Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73(13) Supplement 395

    Fraser R, Banwart SA & Romero-Gonzalez M (2011) Fluorescence imaging and geochemical studies of a radionuclide permeable reactive barrier system Environmental Mineralogy & Biogeochemistry Research conference, University of Edinburgh 6th May 2011