Dr Andreas Bollhöfer – BSc, PhD

Supervising Scientist research profiles

Research interests

Radiation Protection; Radioecology; Isotope Science.

General research interests and background

Dr Andreas Bollhöfer leads the ERISS Environmental Radioactivity program. His background is in Environmental Physics and Isotope Science, and he has spent most of his research career investigating isotopes of the natural uranium and thorium decay series and anthropogenic radionuclides from nuclear weapons testing, energy production and re-procesing to study environmental transport processes. He has used radioactive and radiogenic isotopes to characterise sources of pollution worldwide, and more specifically to assess the potential impacts of mining in the Alligator Rivers Region upon humans and the environment. Remotely sensed data such as airborne gamma surveys play an important role in those assessments. Andreas has represented the department on a number of national and international scientific committees associated with environmental radioactivity and radioecology programs. A focus of his recent research is the determination of pre-mining radiological conditions at Ranger mine with the view of developing post remediation radiological closure criteria.

Current key projects

  • Estimating radon activity flux densities and diffusion coefficients for Ranger waste rock to predict radon fluxes from the rehabilitated landform.
  • Investigation of radionuclide uptake in plants and animals, both from the terrestrial and aquatic environments.
  • Assessment of radiation doses to humans and non human biota from radionuclides in the environment, during the operational phase and after rehabilitation of the mine site.
  • Development of a model to predict 226Ra uptake in the freshwater mussel, Velesunio Angasi,  from measured Ca, Mg and 226Ra activity concentrations in water bodies of Northern Australia.
  • Monitoring of airborne radon and dust concentrations in the vicinity of the Ranger mine.
  • Monitoring of radionuclides in surface water and groundwater, and in mussels from the Magela Creek catchment.
  • Assessment of the success of remediation of the historic uranium mine sites in the South Alligator River valley.

Key publications

Bollhöfer A & Doering C 2015. Long-term temporal variability of the radon-222 exhalation flux from a landform covered by low uranium grade waste rock. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 127, 88–94. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.06.005

Medley P & Bollhöfer A 2015. Influence of group II metals on Radium-226 concentration ratios in the native Green Plum (Buchanania obovata) from the Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory, Australia. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity (in press).

Anderson P, Barnett CL, Beresford NA, Bollhöfer A, Bradshaw C, Brittain J, Brown JE,  Choi Y-H, Copplestone D, Dagher E, Doering C, [......], Twining J, Uchida S, Vandenhove H, Vlaschenko A, Wannijn J, Wells C, Willey N, Wilson R, Wood MD, Yankovich T 2014. Handbook of Parameter Values for the Prediction of Radionuclide Transfer to Wildlife. IAEA Technical Reports Series (TRS) Publication 479. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, pp 211.

Stark, K., Andersson, P, Beresford NA, Yankovich TL, Wood MD, Johansen MP, Vives i Batlle J, Twining J, Keum DK, Bollhöfer A, Doering C, Ryan B, Grzechnik M, Vandenhove H 2014. Predicting Exposure of Wildlife in Radionuclide Contaminated Wetland Systems. Environmental Pollution 196, 201-213.

Medley P, Martin P, Bollhöfer A & Parry D 2014. 228Ra and 226Ra measurement on a BaSO4 co-precipitation source. Applied Radiation and Isotopes. DOI: 10.1016/j.apradiso.2014.09.015

Bollhöfer A, Beraldo A, Pfitzner K, Esparon A & Doering C 2014. Determining a pre-mining radiological baseline from historic airborne gamma surveys: A case study. Science of the Total Environment 468-469, 764-773

Bollhöfer A, Schlosser C, Ross JO, Sartorius H & Schmid S 2014. Variability of atmospheric Kr-85 activity concentrations observed close to the ITCZ in the Southern Hemisphere. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 127, 111-118

Medley P, Bollhöfer A, Parry D & Martin P 2013. Radium concentration factors in passionfruit (Passiflora foetida) from the Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory, Australia. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 126, 137-146.

Yankovich T, Beresford NA, Fesenko S, FesenkovJ, Phaneuf M, Dagher E, Outolav I, Andersson P, Thiessen K, Ryan J, Wood MD, Bollhöfer A, Barnett CL & Copplestone D 2013. Establishing a database of radionuclide transfer parameters for freshwater wildlife. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 126, 299-313.

Howard BJ, Beresford NA, Copplestone D, Telleria D, Proehl G, Fesenko S, Jeffree RA, Yankovich TL, Brown JE, Higley K, Johansen MP, Mulye H, Vandenhove H, Gashchak S, Wood MD, Takata H, Andersson P, Dale P,  Ryan J, Bollhöfer A, Doering C, Barnett CL, Wells C 2013. The IAEA handbook on radionuclide transfer to wildlife. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 121, 55-74.

Medley P, Bollhöfer A & Martin P 2013. Variability of procedural blanks leads to greater uncertainty in assessing detection limits for the measurement of polonium-210. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 296, 2, 1155-1162.

Bollhöfer A 2012. Stable lead isotope ratios and metals in freshwater mussels from a uranium mining environment in Australia’s wet-dry tropics. Applied Geochemistry 27, 171-185.

Shakhashiro A, Sansone U, Wershofen H, Bollhöfer A, Kim CK, Kim CS, Kis-Benedek G, Korun M, Moune M, Lee SH, Tarjan S & Al-Masri MS, 2011. The new IAEA reference material: IAEA-434 technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM) in phosphogypsum. Applied Radiation and Isotopes 69, 231–236.

Bollhöfer, A., Brazier, J., Ryan, B., Humphrey, C., Esparon A., 2011. A study of radium bioaccumulation in freshwater mussels, Velesunio angasi, in the Magela Creek catchment, Northern Territory, Australia. Journal of  Environmental. Radioactivity. 102, 964-974.

Frostick A, Bollhöfer A, Parry D (2011) A study of radionuclides, metals and stable lead isotope ratios in sediments and soils in the vicinity of natural U-mineralisation areas in the Northern Territory. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 102, 911-918.

Lawrence CE, Akber RA, Bollhöfer A and Martin P (2009). Radon-222 exhalation from open ground on and around a uranium mine in the wet-dry tropics. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 100, 1–8.

Bollhöfer A, Pfitzner K., Ryan B., Martin P., Fawcett M. and Jones D.R. (2008). Airborne gamma survey of the historic Sleisbeck mine area in the Northern Territory, Australia, and its use for site rehabilitation planning.. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 99, 1770-1774.

Ryan B, Bollhöfer A, Martin P (2008) Radionuclides and metals in freshwater mussels of the upper South Alligator River, Australia. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 99, 509-526.

Frostick A, Bollhöfer A, Parry D, Munksgaard N, Evans K (2008) Radioactive and radiogenic isotopes in sediments from Cooper Creek, Western Arnhem Land. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 99, 468-482.

Pfitzner K, Bollhöfer A & Carr G 2006. A standard design for collecting vegetation reference spectra: Implementation and implications for data sharing. Journal of Spatial Sciences. 52 (2), 79-92.

Bollhöfer A., Honeybun R., Rosman K.J.R. and Martin P. (2006) The lead isotopic composition of dust in the vicinity of a uranium mine in northern Australia and its use for radiation dose assessment. Science of the Total Environment 366, 579-589.

Hancock G.R, Grabham M.K, Martin P., Evans K.G. and Bollhöfer A. (2006). A methodology for the assessment of rehabilitation success of post mining landscapes—sediment and radionuclide transport at the former Nabarlek uranium mine, Northern Territory, Australia. Science of the Total Environment 354, 103-119.

Bollhöfer A., Rosman K.J.R., Dick A.L, Chisholm W., Burton G.R., Loss R.D. and  Zahorowski W (2005) Concentration, isotopic composition and sources of lead in Southern Ocean air during 1999/2000, measured at the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station, Tasmania. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 69, 20, 4747-4757.

Bollhöfer A, Storm J, Martin P and Tims S (2005). Geographic variability in radon exhalation at a rehabilitated uranium mine in the Northern Territory, Australia. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 114. 313-330.

Martin P, Tims S, Ryan B & Bollhöfer A (2004).  A radon and meteorological measurement network for the Alligator Rivers Region, Australia. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 76, 35-49.

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